Apple Wins a Patent for a Water Resistant System for iDevices that introduces Moisture Routing Patterning
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 62 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a new moisture routing system that could bring a new level of water resistance to future iPhones and other iDevices.
Granted Patent: iDevices with Moisture Guiding Structures
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to moisture repelling layers and moisture attracting layers that may be patterned to form channels and other structures that guide moisture away from sensitive components towards insensitive components. Moisture repelling and attracting layers may also be used to limit the lateral spread of a conformal coating layer when coating components.
Apple notes that during normal operation, a device may be exposed to moisture from precipitation or perspiration. The moisture may enter the interior of the housing of an electronic device through gaps. To prevent damage to sensitive components mounted within the device housing, moisture repelling and attracting layers may be patterned on printed circuit boards, conformal coating layers, and other internal structures of the device.
For example, moisture repelling layers and moisture attracting layers may be patterned on printed circuit board substrates with or without conformal coating layers to form channels that guide moisture away from sensitive components towards insensitive components. Moisture repelling and attracting layers may also be used to limit the lateral spread of a conformal coating layer during the process of forming the conformal coating layer over a sensitive component.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 noted below is a cross-sectional side view of a conventional encapsulated integrated circuit showing how moisture can penetrate encapsulant pinholes; FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of a component such as an integrated circuit that is covered with encapsulant showing how patterned coatings may be used to prevent moisture damage.
Apple's patent FIG. 16 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in forming device structures that incorporate patterned liquid repelling regions and liquid attracting regions in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
Apple's granted patent 9,585,275 was originally filed in Q4 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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