Rumor: iPhone 7 chips to be encapsulated in EMI shielding

Apple A9 (mockup 002)

Korean publication ETNews is claiming that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 smartphone refresh will reduce electromagnetic interference by encapsulating major chips, including its application processor, into an electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.

According to ETNews, key iPhone 7 chips such as the main ‘A10’ processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, cellular modems and RF chips will be protected by EMI shielding, which involves covering a chip’s surface with ultra-thin metal. Prior iPhones have used EMI shielding on the printed circuit board and the connectors to reduce electromagnetic interference.

According to an industry insider, “As clock signals of digital chips have increased and as diverse functions such as 3D-touch and others have recently added, reduction of electromagnetic waves have emerged as major topic of this industry.”

Other benefits of EMI shielding include more densely packed circuit boards, leaving extra space for the battery. On the downside, the process of applying EMI shielding will slightly raise the cost of chips’ production.

Taiwanese companions StatsChipPac and Amkor will be charged with applying EMI shielding on major chips of the iPhone 7, which should take place in their facilities in South Korea, as per the report.

Apple S1 image 002

The next iPhone could also use a system-in-package (SiP) process that Apple first used for the Apple Watch’s ‘S1’ processor, which is completely encapsulated in resin to protect the components from water and dust.

The SiP process could basically eliminate the printed circuit board in iPhones if all of its chips will be squeezed into a tiny package. In addition to more efficient power performance, the approach could allow Apple to engineer a waterproof device more easily.

Source: ETNews via PatentlyApple