Wow, out of nowhere newly granted patents for Apple reveal MacBooks, an iMac and possibly a TV having cellular and television circuitry built in. If that wasn't enough, Apple reveals a possible future iPad with a built-in stand that incorporates a cellular antenna. Why say more – take a look for yourself.
Apple Receives Granted Patent for Antennas Designed for Apple's iPhone, iPad and Future MacBook
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to electronic device antennas, and more particularly, to antennas for electronic devices with conductive housings.
Electronic devices such as portable computers and handheld electronic devices are becoming increasingly popular. Examples of portable devices include handheld computers, cellular telephones, media players, and hybrid devices that include the functionality of multiple devices of this type.
Devices such as these are often provided with wireless communications capabilities. For example, electronic devices may use long-range wireless communications circuitry such as cellular telephone circuitry to communicate using cellular telephone bands at 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz (e.g., the main Global System for Mobile Communications or GSM cellular telephone bands). Long-range wireless communications circuitry may also use the 2100 MHz band.
It can be difficult to incorporate antennas successfully into an electronic device. Some electronic devices are manufactured with small form factors, so space for antennas is limited. Antenna operation can also be blocked by intervening metal structures. This can make it difficult to implement an antenna in an electronic device that contains conductive display structures, conductive housing walls, or other conductive structures that can potentially block radio-frequency signals.
Apple's invention sets out to provide improved antennas for portable electronic devices that have conductive housings.
Antennas are provided for electronic devices such as devices that have conductive housing. The antennas may be slot antennas that are formed from slots in conductive housing structures. The slot antennas may be formed form a dielectric-filled logo structure that is formed in a conductive housing. Slot antennas may also be formed from a slot between a conductive housing and an internal frame or from one or more slots in an internal frame. If desired, slot antennas may be formed in a stand that supports a portable electronic device such as in Apple's Patent FIG. 3 shown below illustrating a possible future iPad. Antennas may be fed by antenna feed structures within the conductive housing.
Specifically, Apple's patent FIG. 3 shows a tablet computer such as the iPad having a housing that may have a stand built-in. The Stand is to hold the iPad in an upright position when pulled out from the back of the iPad. Slot antennas may be formed in the stand such as in dashed region 19E of FIG. 3.
Furthermore, the electronic device may be a portable computer such as a MacBook or a handheld electronic device such as an iPhone. For example, the housing may be formed from a machined block of aluminum or other metals. The walls of the housing may be used to hold conductive components such as displays. The housing may have internal frame members. Integrated circuits and other electronic components may be mounted within the housing.
Slot antennas may be formed directly in the conductive housing of the electronic device. Forming antennas directly in electronic device housing may prevent antennas from being shielded by the conductive housing material. Slot antennas may also be formed in the internal frame members of an electronic device. Slot antennas may also be formed in gaps between conductive housing and an internal frame member. Slot antennas may have open or closed slots. Slot antennas may be single-band or dual-band slot antennas.
Apple credits Kough; Douglas B. (San Jose, CA), Springer; Gregory A. (Sunnyvale, CA), Chiang; Bing (Melbourne, FL), Ayala Vazquez; Enrique (Watsonville, CA), and Hao Xu as the inventors of their '675 patent which was originally filed in Q2 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Future iMac and Television Display May Have Built-In Cellular Antennas
A second patent relating to cellular antennas for a future MacBook could be found under granted patent 8,269,674. A third patent covers a cellular antenna that could be coming to a future iMac. Now that's an interesting twist. For more see granted patent 8,269,677.
According to Apple's granted patent, wireless communications circuitry may include radio-frequency transceiver circuits for handling multiple radio-frequency communications bands. For example, circuitry may include transceiver circuitry that handles 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for WiFi (IEEE 802.11) communications and the 2.4 GHz Bluetooth communications band. Circuitry may also include cellular telephone transceiver circuitry 24 for handling wireless communications in cellular telephone bands such as the GSM bands at 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz, and the 2100 MHz data band (as examples). Wireless communications circuitry 20 can include circuitry for other short-range and long-range wireless links if desired. For example, wireless communications circuitry may include global positioning system (GPS) receiver equipment, wireless circuitry for receiving radio and television signals, paging circuits, etc. In WiFi and Bluetooth links and other short-range wireless links, wireless signals are typically used to convey data over tens or hundreds of feet. In cellular telephone links and other long-range links, wireless signals are typically used to convey data over thousands of feet or miles.
The last granted patent relating to antennas, likely supports Apple's iPhone 4 if not iPhone 5. The patent is title "Bezel gap antennas." You could learn more about it under granted patent 8,270,914
Two last patents of the day relate to "Optimized selection of memory chips in multi-chips memory devices" under number 8,270,246 (see graphic below) and an iPhone related patent titled "Method and system for prolonging emergency calls" under 8,270,935
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.