The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover Apple's granted patent relating to high-efficient inductive charging interfaces for mobile devices. Apple's patent places extraordinary emphasis on a next-gen connector plug. The system is designed to reduce the complexity of the inductive componentry required in iDevices.
In order to inductively charge electronic devices, large receiving coils are currently implemented within electronic devices. These receiving coils consume a significant amount of scarce space within increasingly compact electronic devices. A corresponding transmission coil is typically located within a charging pad to inductively charge these electronic devices when placed on the pad.
As electronic devices continue to consumer more power, there is an increasing demand for convenient, power-efficient and space-efficient methods of charging these electronic devices.
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to high-efficiency inductive charging interfaces for mobile devices.
The patent claims of this invention put most of the emphasis of the invention on a new connector plug for the inductive charger. Apple granted patent notes that a magnetic core of an inductive charging configuration may be divided into two magnetic elements; one element can be housed within a receptacle or receiving connector of a housing of an electric device and the other element can be housed within a plug or transmission connector.
Apple further notes that the present invention can provide for high efficiency inductive charging of mobile devices and accessories by facilitating the flow of magnetic flux along more optimal paths. For example, a magnetic core of an inductive charging configuration may be divided into two magnetic elements; one element can be housed within or near a receptacle or receiving connector of an electric device and the other element can be housed within or near a plug or transmission connector. When the plug and receptacle connectors are joined, the two magnetic elements may combine to form a closed magnetic flux path. The magnetic flux may travel in circular motion within and between the magnetic elements, as directed by the poles of the magnetic elements. Additional elements corresponding to those of a typical transformer or an inductive charger can also be included in this inductive charging configuration.
This closed flux path may limit losses that typically occur with open magnetic flux paths and increase the strength of the magnetic field between the magnetic elements. As such, devices may receive around 90% of the power transmitted by corresponding plug connectors, i.e., 90% inductive charging efficiency may be achieved.
The magnetic field may also serve to align the plug and receptacle connectors with respect to each other as well as to provide a retention force to hold the plug connector in a mated position with the receptacle connector.
Apple's granted patent 9,614,378 was originally filed in Q3 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This is without a doubt a very complex invention and for those wanting to dig into the details of it, click here. To review other Apple wireless charging patents, click here.
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