US 5604509 Remote display monitor system
ABSTRACT – A monitor is remotely coupled to a source of display data for real-time display of the data thereon. The display is real-time in that the received data is converted to pixel values and is displayed by the remote monitor almost instantaneously except for some minor data hand-off and transmission delays. The remote monitor can be any kind of conventional text and/or graphics display device, e.g. a cathode ray tube device, but preferably is a flat panel, digital display. Preferably the system couples to a pre-existing data bus, e.g. an ISA, EISA, VLB or PCI bus, and an interface circuit communicates with the source of the display information, such as a processor on the bus. Digital pixel values are stored in a local frame buffer. A transmit controller transmits the stored pixel values over a preferably serial, optical transmission medium, to a remote circuit which stores them in a remote frame buffer. A remote processor controls the communication of pixel values from the remote frame buffer to the remote monitor. In some embodiments, the remote processor has data ports, e.g. a keyboard, pointing device and/or a serial port, and can be used to process operator inputs to perform functions such as pan and zoom on the display data. Also data input at the remote monitor can be sent back to the bus interface circuit via a second transmission medium, preferably optical and serial.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates in general to apparatuses that allow a fully functional, real-time video monitor or terminal to be remote from a source of display data, such as a data processor.
The advantages and attributes of this invention will be readily discernable upon a reading of the text hereinafter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An object of this invention is to provide a system that allows a fully functional, real-time video monitor or terminal to be located remote from a source of display data, such as a data processor.
A further object of this invention is to provide a system for transferring video data from a circuit local to a data processor to a remote display circuit without going through an analog stage.
These objects, and other objects expressed or implied in this document, are accomplished in one embodiment by a system for remotely coupling a real-time display monitor to a source of real-time display data, the system comprising: (a) an interface circuit coupled to the source for receiving units of display data, e.g. frames, from the source, (b) a first memory, e.g. a frame buffer, for storing a unit of display data received by the interface circuit, (c) a data transmission medium having a port remote from the first memory, (d) a circuit for periodically retrieving display data stored in the first memory and communicating it via the medium to the medium’s remote port, (e) a circuit for receiving display data from the remote port, (f) a second memory, e.g. a frame buffer, for storing a unit of received display data, (g) a circuit for retrieving display data stored in the second memory and communicating same to the display monitor for display thereon.