Saturday, September 15, 2012

No. 615: Developing parts and materials to thin a smartphone is accelerating (September 15, 2012)

Apple’s iPhone 5 will make a debut on September 21 in nine countries including the U.S. and Japan. As Apple introduced a new model, iPhone became thinner. The initial model launched in 2007 was 12 mm thick, but the 4S launched last year was 9 mm thick. The competitive edge of a smartphone is the weight and thickness besides the functions it provides to users, and 40% of parts and materials of a smartphone is developed by Japanese companies. Teijin dispersed carbon fiber wrapped by nickel evenly inside the resin used for an exterior part and increased the ability to prevent the leakage of electromagnetic wave by 50%.

Meiko Electronics developed a technology to shape a copper film thinner than 0.1 micrometer on a resin film to be used as the base of a flexible printed board. With this technology, a flexible printed board can be 30% thinner. The company pasted the copper film on the resin film using a special material called molecular junction agent. The new technology decreases the power consumption to a quarter and the number of working processes. Taiyo Yuden developed a laminated ceramic coil as small as 0.3 mm wide and 0.6 mm deep, and Murata Mfg decreased the volume of a laminated ceramic capacitor to one fourth to 0.125 mm wide and 0.25 mm deep. The competition to develop a technology to help a smartphone thinner and lighter is intensifying. 

Flexible printed boards 

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