Apple's 4th Millimeter Wave Antenna Patent Surfaces that Relates to iPhone Technology needed for 5G Networks
In May 2017 Patently Apple posted a report about Apple seeking a license from the FCC covering new Wireless Millimeter Wave Technology that supported an Apple patent application filed in 2015 that was published in April 2017. Since that time Patently Apple posted three additional reports on Millimeter Wave technology (one, two) with one titled "Apple Patent reveals the use of Millimeter Wave Antennas in Future iPhones for 5G Networks & Wireless Charging." Earlier this month AT&T announced that it would launching 5G networks in a dozen U.S. markets later this year. So Millimeter Wave antennas will be needed in iPhones to take advantage of these networks.
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published yet another patent application from Apple relating to Millimeter Wave antennas on printed circuits. Apple's patent FIG. 7 noted below is a perspective view of a portion of an illustrative electronic device with millimeter wave antennas and millimeter wave transceiver circuitry on a flexible printed circuit.
According to Apple's filing, the new millimeter wave antennas could be used in future Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, MacBooks, Apple Watch, AirPods and Beats headsets. Apple further notes that the antenna could be embedded in smartglasses, vehicles or a television.
Millimeter wave communications, which are sometimes referred to as extremely high frequency (EHF) communications, involve signals at 60 GHz or other frequencies between about 10 GHz and 400 GHz. If desired, device 10 may also contain wireless communications circuitry for handling satellite navigation system signals, cellular telephone signals, local wireless area network signals, near-field communications, light-based wireless communications, or other wireless communications.
To avoid disrupting communications when an external object such as a human hand or other body part of a user blocks one or more antennas, antennas may be mounted at multiple locations within the device's housing.
Apple's patent application 20180026341 was filed back in Q3 2016. For those wanting to review Apple's patent claims and/or explore the many technical aspects of their invention, click here. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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