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Apple Patent Focuses on Miniaturizing iPhone

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On August 13, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application titled Embedded die system and method . In this patent, Apple states that “miniaturization may be described as a continuing trend in technology toward ever-smaller scales for devices. Miniaturization may include reducing the size of a specific device. For example, transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, and diodes may be reduced in size, while retaining the same operational characteristics. One of the prime examples of miniaturization in this patent includes that of a phone, which would support the notion of the nano phone. Other interesting devices listed included that of a watch and portable television. This particular patent primarily focuses on a die integral to a substrate via a cavity or aperture in the substrate.

Patent Overview Apple states that “in the cell phone industry, smaller phones are desirable because users can more easily transport and store a phone that takes up less space. Additionally, miniaturization may facilitate inclusion of additional features in a single device, which may be advantageous because it eliminates the need for multiple devices. Indeed, miniaturization of a device may include more effectively utilizing available space for a particular component, which makes space available for additional components. For example, if certain components of a digital music player are reduced in size, the space previously occupied by the now miniaturized components may be utilized for an additional feature, such as camera circuitry, cell phone circuitry, a sound recorder, or the like.

Accordingly, it may be desirable to miniaturize electronic devices. More particularly, it may be advantageous to miniaturize electronic devices without sacrificing functionality.”

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Apple’s patent FIG. 1 noted above depicts a cross-sectional view of a semiconductor device 100 (e.g., a processor or a memory) integrated with a substrate 102 of an electronic device (e.g., a hearing aid, a blue tooth headset, a watch, an implantable medical device, a phone, or a portable television) in accordance with present embodiments In Apple’s patent FIG. 3 noted below, we see a depiction of a perspective view of a cavity formed in a substrate of an electronic device and configured to receive a TAB mounted die in accordance with present embodiments. The cavity may be formed via a hot embossing tool, a laser, or the like. Similarly, various trenches, vias, and the like may be formed within and around the cavity using the same hot embossing tool, laser, or the like.

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In Apple’s patent FIG. 6 noted above we once again see a perspective view of the TAB mounted die feature coupled with the substrate such that the integrated circuit is suspended within the cavity. As illustrated, the TAB mounted die feature may couple with the substrate via a coupling between the leads and the bond pads.

Definition of TAB: the bridge that is designed to span the cavity may include a tape automated bonding (TA tape that is formed from four layers, including an electromagnetic shielding layer. The electromagnetic shielding layer may include a metallic mesh or the like that cooperates with a layer of electromagnetic shielding material disposed within the cavity to shield the semiconductor device when it is positioned between the TAB tape and the walls of the cavity. The other layers of the TAB tape may include a laminated metal layer, a polymer layer, and an adhesive layer.

Apple credits Irvin W. Graves, JR as the sole inventor of patent application 20090200648.

NOTICE: MacNN presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or grant is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or grant should be read in its entirety for further details. For additional information on today’s patent(s), simply feed the individual patent number(s) noted above into this search engine.

via MacNN

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