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Apple Wants to Get Rid of Motherboard Cables

There have been some rather wacky ideas such as cutting the audio plug in half, but there have been rather ingenious thoughts that prove how serious Apple is about its product design as well. Most of these approaches relate to ideas that apparently have been sparked by the need of a more compact design, even if a specialized manufacturer does not offer it.

A new patent application that describes a multi-pane circuit board may be one such example. To save space, Apple seems to be thinking about replacing traditional cables that connect circuit boards with flexible circuit boards. The purpose of these flexible boards is to transmit data and power between two boards - and to reduce the bill of materials and assembly cost of the circuit boards in its mobile devices.

From the patent application: "The flexible [board] can be deflected or twisted to connect first circuitry on the multi-plane rigid circuit board to second circuitry associated with another device component. The flexible member can be formed as an integral component of the multi-plane rigid circuit board, i.e., the flexible member and the multi-plane rigid circuit and the flexible member share a common substrate."

The document frequently refers to design advantages and mentions specifically that "the advantages of the invention are numerous." However, Apple refers to only one particular advantage: replacing flex cables.

  • soo-nah-mee
    Apple Wants to Get Rid of Motherboard Cables
    Where's this article?
    Is Tom's baiting us now?
    Reply
  • stingstang
    "The advantages of the invention are numerous" encompasses anything and everything. You just wait... Someone's going to slip up and apple's going to cite this.
    Reply
  • nforce4max
    Good ideas and great ones at that but for the wrong purpose though to maintain high prices while extracting ever greater profits.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    stingstang"The advantages of the invention are numerous" encompasses anything and everything. You just wait... Someone's going to slip up and apple's going to cite this.well they just filed the patent, its gonna be years befor etheyre actually granted it. it's a good idea nonetheless, apple is good at brining innovation to the table, even though its at a very high price
    Reply
  • blingbling
    I can't wait for one of these multi-plane circuit boards to be left in a bar.
    Reply
  • digiex
    flex connectors has been existing for a long time. even my old calculator had flex connectors.
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    well they just filed the patent, its gonna be years before theyre actually granted it. it's a good idea nonetheless, apple is good at brining innovation to the table, even though its at a very high price

    It's Apple, so the Patent Office is just waiting to rush it through. Never mind that these flexible boards exist today- and they can be off to sue people who think up flexible e-reader displays without a hiccup.

    Now that that's out of the way:

    It's a good idea. I hate having to buy new screens when the flexible cable breaks on an iPod touch while you're trying to fix it.
    Reply
  • drwho1
    blingblingI can't wait for one of these multi-plane circuit boards to be left in a bar.
    LOL
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    digiexflex connectors has been existing for a long time. even my old calculator had flex connectors.Doesn't matter, it could be 40 years ago, if Apple patents it first then the 100 billion calculators sold in that time don't count - that's how the law has been twisted.
    Reply
  • back_by_demandDoesn't matter, it could be 40 years ago, if Apple patents it first then the 100 billion calculators sold in that time don't count - that's how the law has been twisted.
    Are the newer style SLI/Crossfire connectors considered a flexible circuit board?
    Reply