Ex parte HORSTMANN et al. - Page 2

          Appeal No. 1997-3241                                                        
          Application 08/442,726                                                      

          specification, Appellants identify that each storage location               
          (referred to as a slice) includes a ripple counter which                    
          contains a value indicative of the time the data in the slice               
          was used relative to the data within the buffer’s other                     
          slices.  Each of these counters is connected to a comparator                
          which compares the value of the counter with a reference                    
          value.  As described in greater detail on page 16 of                        
          Appellants' specification, the comparison is performed using a              
          technique whereby the lower order bits of the counter are                   
          compared to the reference value at the same time the ripple                 
          counter is incrementing the higher order bits.  This technique              
          reduces the overall time required to update the counter and                 
          compare the count to the reference value.  Additionally, use                
          of the ripple counter, in lieu of a synchronous counter,                    
          reduces the circuit elements needed in the TLB.                             
               Independent claim 15 is illustrative of the invention.                 
               15. A method, comprising:                                              
               initiating an incrementing of a ripple counter of an LRU               
          portion of a translation lookaside buffer by clocking a low                 
          order bit of said ripple counter; and                                       
               comparing an output value of said low order bit of said                
          ripple counter with a low order bit value of a ripple counter               


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