Apple hit by a patent suit over A7 chip

A new lawsuit claims that Apple's latest chip infringes on patented technology developed at the University of Wisconsin.


Apple is no stranger to patent suits, but the latest one alleges legal issues with the brains behind the new iPhone and iPad.

Filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) on behalf of the University of Wisconsin, the suit claims that Apple's A7 chip violated its 5,781,752 patent known as "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," PatentlyApple reported on Monday.

The patented technology is described as follows:

A predictor circuit permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected at the final stages of processing. Synchronization of dependent instructions is provided by a table creating entries for each instance of potential dependency. Table entries are created and deleted dynamically to limit total memory requirements.

WARF, which is the patent arm of the University of Wisconsin, claims that Apple has used the patented technology in its latest chip to achieve greater efficiency and performance. As such, the foundation is asking the court to stop Apple from further violating the patent and to fine the company for legal damages.

"WARF is informed and believes, and on this basis alleges, that the acts of infringement by Defendant have been, and continue to be, willful, intentional, and in conscious disregard of WARF's rights in the '752 patent," the court filing said.

The 64-bit A7 chip powers Apple's iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and Retina iPad Mini.

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