Apple Patent Shows Method For Making Smaller iPhones

Apple has applied for a patent on a new technology that could greatly reduce the size of future devices. Titled Embedded die system and method, it describes a method for reducing the size of a device by embedding components into a connecting substrate like a motherboard or the device itself instead of attaching them to the surface.

One of the uses they describe using this technology for is an iPhone:

“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.”

FIG. 1, shown above, shows a cross-sectional view of a semiconductor embedded into an electrical device, where the semiconductor is embedded into the substrate within a cavity formed by something like a hot embossing tool or laser.

FIG. 6 shows the same device from an isometric perspective view of the TAB mounted die, where the TAB couples the leads with the die with those on the substrate.

Definition of TAB: the bridge that is designed to span the cavity may include a tape automated bonding (TAB) 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.

[via MacNN]

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