US006862188B2 (12) United States Patent (10) Patent N0.: Calh00n (45) Date of Patent: (54) COMPUTER WITH COVER REMOVAL DETECTION (Us) retrieved from http://WWWeZekOn.com/show pr0ducts.asp (73) Assignee? Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA (Us) _ Mar. 1, 2005 Elekon Industries, “Re?ector Sensor”, ERT—3270 (1 page) retrieved from http://WWWeZekOn.com/show pr0ducts.asp ?cat=Re?ective+Sens0rs on Apr. 9, 2004. Elekon Industries, “Re?ector Sensor”, ERT 3280 (2 pages) (75) IIlVeIliOrI JOhIl C- CalhOOIl, WOOdiIlVille, WA ?cat=Re?ective+Sens0rs on Apr. 9, 2004. Intel®SR2100 2U Rack Server Chassis, For Highly Reliable e—Business Solutions, Copyright 2001, retrieved from http:// _ ( * ) Nonce: US 6,862,188 B2 _ _ _ SubJeCt_tO any dlsclalmeri the term of thls WWW. adst0refr/d0Wnl0ad/SR21 00.pa'f. MicroATX Electrical Design Suggestions, Version 1.0, pp. Patent 15 extended or adlusted under 35 1—24, Copyright 1998, http://WWWf0rmfact0rs.org/devel U.S.C. 154(b) by 33 days. oper 5specsCATXELE1 1.pdf. (21) Appl- NO-I 10/355,854 . _ Super SMM1 System Management Module, User’Guide, Revision 1.0 Co (22) Flled' Jan' 31’ 2003 (65) Prior Publication Data ri ht 1997, 14 . retrieved from htt .'// WWW2.Im—sens0;?s§./nug/~Im78mdfs/fnlim lpdf. Us 2004/0150958 A1 Aug‘ 5’ 2004 http://WWWriOWOrkS.com/Download/Manual?vurca (51) (52) Int. c1.7 ................................................ .. H05K 5/00 US. Cl. .................. .. 361/752; 340/571; 340/568.1; Pdf * Cited by examiner (58) Field of Search ............................... .. 361/724, 725, 361/752, 753, 760, 796, 797; 340/554, 340/555; 340/825.71 555, 5681, 571, 82571, 82531 (56) References Cited 5,229,749 A * 7/1993 Yenghn _________________ __ 340/5688 5,760,690 A 6/1998 French ___________ * 6/1999 Schmidt - - - - - - _ _ _ Primary Ex“ml'?e’—DaV1d Mam“ Assistant Exammer—Thanh S Phan . ~ (74) Attorney, Agent, or Fzrm—Leyd1g, Volt & Mayer, Ltd. (57) ABSTRACT re?ective optical sensor includes a light emitter and a light _ _ _ __ 340/571 detector, and is mounted adjacent a re?ective surface on the 361/724 inner side of the cover When the cover is in place such that - - - -- 340/571 the light emitter is re?ected by the re?ective surface and 5,825,626 A * 10/1998 Hulick et a1. 5,912,621 A _ man Acomputer uses an optical re?ective optical sensor to detect the removal of a cover of the computer housing. The U'S' PATENT DOCUMENTS * P PURCA User’s Guide, Rio Works, The Reliable Building Block, Revision 1.0, Jul. 2002, 76 pp., retrieved from 6,191,503 B1 * 2/2001 Kitten et a1 307/112 received by the light detector. When the cover is removed, 6,388,574 B1 * 5/2002 Davis et al. ........... .. 340/5681 the intensity of the re?ected light received by the light detector drops. The change in the output of the light detector triggers the operating system of the computer to poWer doWn the computer. OTHER PUBLICATIONS Elekon Industries, “Re?ector Sensor”, ERT—3102 (1 Page) retrieved from http://WWWeZekOn.com/show pr0ducts.asp 19 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets ?cat=Re?ective+Sens0rs on Apr. 9, 2004. Computer System 100 SOFTWARE HARDWARE Application Processor Unit 130 Plogrem ‘I42 Application Progr'am 142 Input Devices 134 Operating System Output Devices 136 140 Power Supply 138 Power Management . - HardwarelFirmware Puwemff Prooessirg Circuit 145 Re?ective Surface 152 u 144 U.S. Patent Mar. 1,2005 Sheet 1 of3 US 6,862,188 B2 mm? \ wzlk vmw i KHU1 8i NNP QNP vmw U.S. Patent Mar. 1,2005 Sheet 2 of3 US 6,862,188 B2 FIG. 2 Computer System 100 HARDWARE SOFTWARE _ Application 130 142 M81212” Application Program Input Devices 142 134 r—_————\ Output Devices Operating 136 System IIU 140 Power Supply 138 Re?ect|1v5eoSensor - Power Management I Hardware/Firmware Power-off Processing Circuit 146 \ Re?ective Surface 1 52 J ' 144 U.S. Patent Mar. 1,2005 Sheet 3 of3 US 6,862,188 B2 /—~104 150 Power \ Supply 162/ |138 ( ‘----112 160 i < & Operating VCCL System (F : 140< 168 N '\ 170"'—\J L_ /% / \ ~_/164 \166 FIG. 3 154 US 6,862,188 B2 1 2 COMPUTER WITH COVER REMOVAL DETECTION removed While the computer is in a full-on or sleep state, removal of the cover causes the intensity of the light re?ected by the cover to the light sensor to drop. As a result, the output of the light detector is changed. The change in the light detector output is used as a signal to trigger the operating system of the computer to start a shut doWn process. Because the re?ective optical sensor uses light FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to computer hard Ware and, more particularly, to a feature incorporated into a emitting and receiving devices, it has no mechanical parts computer system to prevent access to components inside the computer While the computer system is not poWered off. 10 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Adding neW hardWare to or performing maintenance on a FIG. 1 is a perspective vieW of a computer system computer often requires accessing hardWare components inside the housing of the computer. Typically, gaining access to the inside of the computer housing requires the removal con?gured for implementing the present invention; 15 of a cover, access panels, or lid of the housing. To protect the the components in the computer from being damaged, it is important that the electrical poWer to the components be DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION turned off When the cover is removed. In many applications, hoWever, a computer is not com NoW referring to the draWings, Wherein like reference 25 Interface (ACPI) speci?cation. In the sleep mode, the higher-level applications and peripheral devices of the com puter system are not in operation, but the rest of the computer system remains on. To a user or service technician, the computer may appear to have been turned off. If the user 102 includes a removable cover or panel 112. in the computer Without completely poWering off the The computer 100 also includes various peripheral com computer, injury or device damage may occur, and the state data of the computer may be lost. puter When the computer is still on, mechanical sWitches have traditionally been used for detecting the removal of the cover (or access panel or lid) of the computer housing. In such an application, the mechanical sWitch is pressed doWn by the cover When the cover is mounted in its normal closed position. Removing the cover causes the closing (or opening) of the sWitch contact, Which triggers the computer operating system to shut doWn the computer. The mechanical sWitches, hoWever, are not satisfactory. The mechanical sWitches have to be accurately positioned and aligned to correctly register removal of the covers and, just as importantly, to avoid falsely registering removal numerals refer to like elements, FIG. 1 shoWs an embodi ment of a computer that implements the present invention. The computer includes a case or housing 102 that encloses many of the hardWare components of the computer, such as the motherboard 104 and the disk drives 106. The case 102 is structured around a chassis 110 to Which the various enclosed components can be mounted. To gain access to the enclosed components for maintenance and/or repair, the case or technician removes the cover and touches the components To prevent access to the internal components of a com FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the components of the computer system of FIG. 1; and FIG. 3 is schematic diagram of a re?ective optical sensor and a re?ective panel. safety of the person Working on the computer and to prevent pletely poWered doWn even When it is not being used. For instance, a computer may implement a Sleep mode, such as the S3 state of the Advanced Con?guration and PoWer that are susceptible to Wear or damage from repeated use or corrosion over time. ponents that are not enclosed Within the case 102. For 35 eXample, the computer system may include output devices for interacting With users, such as a monitor 118 that can display a visual image. The computer system 100 may also 40 include various input devices, such as a keyboard 120 and a mouse 122 that permit the inputting of information and data. The input and output devices can communicate With the components enclosed inside the case 102 by, for eXample, communication cables 124, such as a Universal Serial Bus (USB), or an infrared or radio frequency transceiver 126 for Wireless communications. 45 The hardWare and softWare components commonly included in a computer 100 are illustrated as functional blocks in FIG. 2. The computer 100 includes a processor unit 130 for executing instructions and a memory 132 for data When the covers are in fact in place. Moreover, they are storage, and input devices 134 and output devices 136. The subject to corrosion. Being mechanical devices, the sWitches poWer supply 138 converts utility-supplied poWer to a are also subject to physical Wear over repeated uses and may voltage usable by components of the computer system. The computer softWare typically comprises an operating system be damaged upon incorrect removal of the cover. 140 and one or more application programs 142. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION re?ective optical sensor. As used hereinafter and in the One of the many functions and subsystems of the oper ating system 140 is a poWer management module 144 that functions to conserve the energy required by the computer system by sWitching betWeen a run mode and a sleep mode. The poWer management system 144 may sWitch the com claims, the term “cover” is used broadly to mean a cover, puter to the sleep mode When, for instance, the computer In vieW of the foregoing, the present invention provides a 55 mechanism for detecting the removal of a cover from the case or housing of a computer system that makes use of a system 100 has not received any input from a user for a access panel, door, hatch, or lid, etc., that can be opened or removed from the computer housing to alloW access to the predetermined amount of time. Additionally, the user may explicitly selects to sWitch the computer to the sleep mode. In the sleep mode, the computer shuts doWn some of the internal components of the computer. The re?ective optical sensor includes a light source and a light detector. The re?ective optical sensor is positioned such that When the cover is in place the light emitted by the light source is re?ected by a re?ective surface on the inner side of the cover and received by the light detector. When the cover is higher-level applications and peripheral devices, hoWever, 65 poWer is still very much supplied to the critical hardWare components such as the processor unit 130 and the memory 132, and state data may not have been saved. US 6,862,188 B2 3 4 Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, because the computer system 100 may appear to be off When it is actually in a sleep mode, phototransistor 164 is supplied from the poWer supply 138 of the computer system. Normally, When the cover is in place, the light from the LED 160 is re?ected by the a user or technician servicing the computer may think the computer is off and may attempt to remove the cover 112 re?ective surface of the cover onto the phototransistor 164. The phototransistor 164 is saturated by the light, and its output signal is a logical “0”. Upon removal of the cover, the phototransistor 164 ceases to be saturated, and its output signal changes to a logical “1”. This transition from “0” to While the components are still operating under poWer. To prevent harm to the both the person and the computer 100, one or more re?ective optical sensors 150 are incorporated into the computer housing to detect removal of the cover 112 from the case 110 While the computer system 100 is still under poWer. The re?ective optical sensors 150 are inter faced With the operating system 140 to initiate a poWer “1” is a signal that the cover has been removed. In response, 10 system. The poWer-doWn may include storing the state data doWn operation. Interfacing the re?ective optical sensors With the operating system can be accomplished by any of the system on the hard drive or another non-volatile memory. suitable method knoWn to those of skill in the art. In one implementation, the signal generated by a sensor 150 upon Preferably, the poWer-doWn operation is carried out to 15 detection of the cover removal is received as a general In some cases, the computer may be put into a “soft-off” performing the poWer-doWn operation, the computer may also generate an audio or visual alarm signal to indicate to the person that the computer system is still operating. Referring to FIG. 1, to ensure that the re?ective optical sensors 150 and the re?ective surfaces 154 interact properly, each re?ective surface should preferably be located in close 25 is turned off in response to the trigger signal generated by the re?ective optical sensor 150 When the cover is removed. produce the re?ective surface 154. Mylar tape With an adhesive backing is, for instance, a suitable re?ective mate 35 rial for this purpose. It should be noted that While the preceding embodiment has been described With the re?ective optical sensor located inside the computer case and the re?ective surface located on the cover, the arrangement of those components can be readily sWitched. Accordingly, embodiments of such alter computer. 40 native arrangements are contemplated. It should be noted that in the foregoing description, the cover removal detection method has been describe as func tioning While the computer system is in sleep mode. This is sensor 150 is positioned such that the light generated by its light emitter is re?ected by a re?ective surface 154 on the inner side of the cover and received by its light detector. The re?ective optical sensor may be mounted, for example, on a sensor. In an embodiment, the metallic material that often coats the interior of the cover 112 to control electro magnetic interference emissions can function as the re?ec re?ective material can be attached to the cover 112 to cannot process the trigger signal, the trigger signal is pro Referring to FIG. 1, to monitor the presence of the cover 112, the re?ective optical sensors 150 are located Within the case 102 adjacent the cover. Each of the re?ective optical sensors 150 includes a light emitter and a light detector. The proXimity to and opposite of the respective re?ective optical tive surface. In other embodiments, an additional piece of Since the operating system 140 has been unloaded and thus cessed by system hardWare and/or ?rmWare. To that end, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the re?ective optical sensor 150 is also interfaced to a hardWare/?rmWare poWer-off processing circuit 146. When the computer system 100 is in the soft-off state, if the poWer-off processing circuit 146 receives a trigger signal from the re?ective optical sensor 150, it shuts off the poWer applied to the hardWare portions of the completion soon enough after the removal of the cover is detected so that the user or technician Will not have su?icient time to access the components in the case. In addition to purpose event (GPE) by the operating system. state that corresponds to the S4 state of the ACPI speci? cation. In that state, the operating system 140 has been unloaded from the random access memory of the computer, but some hardWare portions of the computer system may still have poWer applied to them. Those hardWare portions With poWer applied may still pose a risk of electrical shock and device damages if the cover of the computer is removed. To prevent such a risk, the poWer to the hardWare portions the system’s poWer management circuitry and softWare completes an orderly poWer-doWn operation of the computer 45 because it is during sleep mode that the cover Will most likely be accessed inadvertently. HoWever, it is not neces sary that the cover removal detection method only functions during sleep mode. For instance, the detection of the cover circuit board contained in the case 102. In one removal When the computer is in the ON state can also cause implementation, the re?ective optical sensor is mounted on the computer to poWer doWn. Thus, there is provided a novel mechanism and method for optically detecting the removal of a cover from the case of a computer system. By using a re?ective optical sensor, the motherboard 104. Alternatively, the re?ective optical sensor may be mounted on the chassis 110. For those embodiments in Which the re?ective optical sensor 150 is mounted to the chassis, the interface With the operating system can occur via Wires 128 connecting the re?ective optical sensor to the appropriate locations on the mother board 104. In one implementation as illustrated in FIG. 3, the light source of the re?ective optical sensor 150 is a light-emitting there are no mechanical parts that are subject to misalignment, Wear, or corrosion. 55 In vieW of the many possible embodiments to Which the principles of this invention may be applied, it should be recogniZed that the embodiments described herein With respect to the draWing ?gures are meant to be illustrative only and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the diode (LED) 160, and the light detector is a phototransistor 164. The LED 160 and the phototransistor 164 are both mounted on a supporting member 162. The phototransistor 164 is a light sensitive semiconductor device that schemati cally includes a photovoltaic base 166 that is located betWeen a collector 168 and an emitter 170. When light invention. Therefore, the invention as described herein con templates all such embodiments as may come Within the strikes the photo-voltaic base 166, the base alloWs electric a housing having a removable cover, the cover having a re?ective surface on an inner side of the cover; current to ?oW betWeen the collector 168 and emitter 170 Which can be interpreted by the operating system 140 as a signal. The poWer needed to operate the LED 160 and the scope of the folloWing claims and equivalents thereof. I claim: 1. A computer comprising: 65 components contained in the housing and accessible by removing the cover; and US 6,862,188 B2 6 5 monitoring an intensity of light generated by the light a re?ective optical sensor disposed in the housing adja cent the re?ective surface of the cover and interfaced to emitter and re?ected from the re?ective surface; and generating a signal for triggering the computer to poWer doWn When the intensity of light re?ected from the an operating system of the computer for detecting removal of the cover, the re?ective optical sensor having a light emitter generating light directed to the re?ective surface is reduced. 12. A method as in claim 11, further comprising the step re?ective surface of the cover and a light detector disposed to receive light re?ected by the re?ective surface, the re?ective optical sensor being connected to send a signal for triggering the operating system to initiate a poWer-doWn operation When removal of the of attaching a re?ective sheet to the removable cover to 10 cover is detected. 2. Acomputer as in claim 1, Wherein the re?ective optical sensor is mounted on a circuit board contained in the housing. 3. A computer as in claim 2, Wherein the circuit board is 15 a motherboard of the computer. 4. Acomputer as in claim 1, Wherein the re?ective optical sensor is mounted on a chassis of the computer inside the provide the re?ective surface. 13. A method as in claim 11, further comprising the step of generating an audio alarm signal. 14. A method as in claim 11, further comprising the step of generating a visual alert signal. 15. A computer comprising: a housing having a removable cover; components contained in the housing and accessible by removing the cover; and a re?ective optical sensor disposed in the housing, the re?ective optical sensor having a light emitter gener ating light directed to an inner surface of the cover and a light detector disposed to receive light re?ected by the inner surface and interfaced to an operating system of the computer for detecting removal of the cover, the housing and connected to a motherboard of the computer. 5. A computer as in claim 1, Wherein the light emitter is a light emitting diode (LED). 6. A computer as in claim 5, Wherein the light detector is a phototransistor. 7. Acomputer as in claim 1, Wherein the re?ective surface re?ective optical sensor being connected to send a is a re?ective sheet adhered to the inner side of the cover. 25 ponents of the computer When the computer is in a state in signal for triggering the operating system to initiate a poWer-doWn operation When removal of the cover is detected. 16. A computer as in claim 15, Wherein the inner surface Which the operating system of the computer has been of the cover includes a re?ective sheet disposed to re?ect unloaded. 9. A computer as in claim 1, further including an audio light from the light emitter to the light detector. 17. A computer as in claim 15, Wherein optical sensing 8. Acomputer as in claim 1, further including a poWer-off processing circuit responsive to the signal from the re?ective optical sensor to turn off poWer applied to hardWare com alert device, and Wherein the operating system controls the means is mounted on a motherboard contained in the hous audio alert device to generate an audio alert signal in ing. response to receiving the signal from the re?ective optical 35 sensor. 10. A computer as in claim 1, further including an visual housing and connected to a motherboard of the computer. 19. A computer as in claim 15, further including a alert device, and Wherein the operating system controls the visual alert device to generate a visual alert signal in response to receiving the signal from the re?ective optical sensor. 11. A method of detecting removal of a removable cover on a housing of a computer, comprising: directing light generated by a light emitter onto a re?ec tive surface on an inner side of the cover; 18. Acomputer as in claim 15, Wherein the optical sensing means is mounted on a chassis of the computer inside the poWer-off processing circuit responsive to the signal from 40 the optical sensing means to turn off poWer applied to hardWare components of the computer When the computer is in a state in Which the operating system of the computer has been unloaded.