Apple had four patents in edge computing during Q1 2024. Apple Inc has filed patents for systems and methods utilizing integrated access and backhaul (IAB) nodes to provide multi-access edge computing (MEC) functionality. These nodes include distributed units with local application instances for communication with user equipment (UE). Data is transported between the UE and the IAB node using packet data convergence protocol (PDCP) layers and service data adaptation protocol (SDAP) layers, as well as via sidelink. The core network can instruct the IAB donor to route traffic for specific applications to the corresponding instances on the IAB node. GlobalData’s report on Apple gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

Apple grant share with edge computing as a theme is 25% in Q1 2024. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Recent Patents

Application: Systems and methods for iab mec (Patent ID: US20240049000A1)

The patent filed by Apple Inc. describes systems and methods for utilizing integrated access and backhaul (IAB) nodes to provide multi-access edge computing (MEC) functionality. These IAB nodes include distributed units (DUs) with local application instances of MEC-enabled applications for communication with user equipment (UE). The nodes use packet data convergence protocol (PDCP) layers to transport data between the mobile termination functionality (MT) and an IAB donor, as well as between the DU and the UE through various methods like PDCP layers and service data adaptation protocol (SDAP) layers.

The claims of the patent detail the configuration and operation of the IAB nodes for MEC, including the transport of updated content, aggregation of bearers, use of TCP/IP layers, and sidelink protocol stacks. The method outlined in the patent involves instantiating local application instances, PDCP layers, and transporting data between the IAB donor, MT, DU, and UE. It also includes aggregating bearers, transporting ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) data, and utilizing layer 2 (L2) relay functionality. The patent provides a comprehensive framework for implementing MEC functionality in IAB nodes for efficient data transport and communication.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.