Apple Granted 55 New Patents for the iPhone
The US Patent and Trademark Office has officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc.
First, Apple has been granted a patent for their manufacturing techniques for electronic devices. Specifically, the patent pertains to shaping device structures - such as display - with a water jet shaping technique.
The material that is used to form display layers such as color filter array layers, thin-film-transistor layers and cover glass layers usually starts as large panels called mother glass. The mother glass is cut (or singulated) into device-sized pieces using a scribing and breaking process. The display layers can then be laminated together to form displays. Sometimes, mechanical milling machines are used to mill openings into glass layers.
Conventional singulation techniques can only be used to form straight cuts, which is obviously very limiting. Conventional milling techniques may require multiple passes when forming certain shapes to avoid stress buildup, which can reduce throughput and limit the types of features that can be incorporated into a glass layer. Hence, Apple thought that it would be desirable to be able to utilize enhanced techniques for manufacturing electronic device structures.
This is where the water jet cutting equipment comes in. The equipment can use computer-controlled positioners to position a workpiece relative to a water jet. The water jet may be formed from a high-pressure stream of water. The position of the workpiece relative to the water jet may be adjusted so that the water jet shapes the workpiece. The water jet may be used to cut or trim the edges, to form notches and openings in the workpiece, or to shape other features in the workpiece such as recesses, grooves, and chamfers.
Additionally, Apple has been granted a patent for their invention relating to the use of an ultrasonic welding machine in electronics manufacturing.
This patent relates to an apparatus for ultrasonically bonding a number of wires to a printed circuit board (PCB) pad. The apparatus includes: an ultrasonic vibration driver configured to create mechanical vibrations between 60 and 80 kHz; and a steel ultrasonic bonding horn with a cavity shaped to maximize the amount of ultrasonic energy imparted to the plurality of wires. The ultrasonic vibrations made by the apparatus cause the plurality of wires to vibrate harmonically, and the bonding operation itself takes roughly 50 to 100 milliseconds.
Lastly, Apple has been granted a patent for their invention relating to integrated touch screens including drive lines formed of grouped-together circuit elements of a thin film transistor layer and sense lines formed between a color filter layer and a material layer that modifies or generates light.
Apple first introduced the iPhone with "Integrated Touch" in 2012 via the iPhone 5. However, recent news reports on the iPhone 5.5 claim that in-cell displays are causing delays in the phone.
Sense lines can be formed on an underside of a color filter glass, and a liquid crystal region can be disposed between the color filter glass and the TFT layer. Placing the sense lines on the underside of the color filter glass - within the display pixel cell - can provide a benefit of allowing the color filter glass to be thinned after the pixel cells have been assembled.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.