Apple's Senior VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller introduced the iPhone 7 on September seventh and informed us that they had added Felica, Japan's version of NFC, to the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. In October Apple's CEO tested out the technology in Japan when taking a ride on the Yamanote Line railway. Felica uses NFC-F technology which is a faster form of RFID with Type B communications. Today we learn that Apple was granted a patent for an RFID tag and microchip integration design. The technology was gained through LuxVue Technology, a company they acquired back in 2014. Whether today's patent is used in Apple's iPhone today or this is something for the future is unknown at this time, but the patent does reference Japan's faster RFID standard.
Granted Patent: RFID Tag and Microchip Integration Design
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to an integrated microchip, method of integrating a microchip, and a microchip integration system. In an embodiment, a microchip such as a micro RFID chip or integrated passive device (IPD) is electrostatically transferred and bonded to a conductive pattern including a line break. In an embodiment, the line break is formed by a suitable cutting technique such as laser ablation, ion beam etching, or photolithography with chemical etching to accommodate the microchip.
Integrated passive devices (IPD) are used in wireless and RF applications.
Apple's patent FIG. 8A noted above is a schematic top view illustration of a far field RFID tag including a micro RFID chip and a pair of micro LED devices connected to a planar dipole antenna in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 8B is a schematic top view illustration of a near field RFID tag including a micro RFID chip and a pair of micro LED devices connected to a looped antenna.
In the particular embodiments illustrated, one or more electrode trace lines #152 can be formed on the substrate #102 similarly as the antenna patterns #120. One or more micro LED devices #150 are transferred and bonded to contact areas of the electrode trace lines using one or more electrostatic transfer head assemblies. In this manner, the one or more micro LED devices connected with the micro RFID chip can light up when the RFID tag is interrogated by a reader.
Felica is NFC-F that technology which is a faster form of RFID with Type B communications. Today's patent shows the U.S. frequency for RFID is at 915 MHz and the Japanese standard being 950 MHz.
Apple's granted patent 9,542,638 was originally filed in Q1 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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