Apple has been granted a patent for their Pro Display XDR's laser etched anodized surface for cosmetic grounding
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to the Pro Display XDR that uses a sparse laser etched anodized surface for cosmetic grounding.
In Apple's patent background they note that electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. ESD can cause failure of solid-state electronic components such integrated circuits. Static electricity can build up on electronic devices and various conductive components. When an electronic device is mounted to another electronic device or to another component, inadvertent discharge of static electricity between the two devices can damage sensitive electronic components in the electronic device.
Accordingly, it is desirable to have a system for mounting an electronic device to a second device that can dissipate any static electricity that builds up on both of the devices.
Apple's granted patent relates to a mounting system that can mount a first electronic device to another device and provide a path for discharge of static electricity between the devices while maintaining a visually appealing connection surface and avoiding a metal-on-metal connection point that could otherwise result in corrosion and/or wear over time. In some embodiments, a first part of the mounting system is formed on a first device and includes a metallic layer covered by a cosmetic anodized layer with multiple micro-perforations formed through the anodized layer, each of which exposes a small portion of the underlying metallic layer. The micro-perforations can be formed by laser-etching the cosmetic anodized layer to provide a grounding path to the underlying metal layer while the micro-perforations are sufficiently small to remain practically or completely undetectable to an unaided human eye.
A second part of the mounting system can be formed on a second device that can be mounted to or otherwise connected to the first device. The second part of the mounting system can include a compressible semi-conductive wear layer formed on a second electronic device. The semi-conductive wear layer can be compressed against and coupled with the anodized layer of the first part of the mounting system such that portions of the semi-conductive wear layer are pressed into the micro-perforations and into electrical contact with the underlying metallic layer. In some embodiments, the compressible, semi-conductive wear layer can be formed in a recess of the second electronic device, and in some embodiments, the semi-conductive wear layer is made from a conformal conductive rubber.
In various embodiments the compressive force that compresses the semi-conductive wear layer against the anodized layer and into the micro-perforations can be produced by one or more connection components configured to attach and secure the mounting region of the first electronic device to the mounting region of the second electronic device. In some embodiments, at least some of the connection components can include one or more magnets, and in some embodiments, at least some of the connection components can include one or more mechanical latches.
In some embodiments, the mounting system described herein can be used to mount a computer display to a stand for the display. In some embodiments, the mounting system design can be used in a modular server tower, a modular tower for a desktop computer or decouplable panels with a cosmetic interface.
In some embodiments, a mounting system for a device can include an electrically conductive layer; an anodized layer formed over the electrically conductive layer in a mounting region; a plurality of micro-perforations formed through the anodized layer in the mounting region exposing the metallic layer; and one or more connection components configured to attach and secure a second electronic device to the mounting region. The plurality of micro-perforations can provide a path for discharging a flow of static electricity through the mounting region when a second device is attached to the mounting region by the one or more connection components and thus mounted to the first device.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 below illustrates the Pro Display XDR. The stand can develop a static charge often just from airflow over the surface of the stand #604. Without adequate ESD protection, such as that provided by the present disclosure, when the display is mounted to the stand, this built-up charge can be discharged from the stand into the display resulting in a temporary spike in the display ground as the pulse comes through it which can damage sensitive electronic components within the display. Mounting system #608 enables static charge that has built-up on either or both of display and stand to be dissipated to ground when the display is attached to the stand thus protecting the various electronic components within display.
Apple's patent FIG. 7 above shows an exemplary detailed view of a mounting system; FIG. 8 shows an exemplary view of a mounting system with the electronic device uncoupled; and FIG. 9 shows an illustration of a mounting surface with lattice pattern that increases airflow.
For greater details, review Apple's granted patent 10,999,917.