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Apple Files Patent Application for Hybrid Acoustic EMI Foam in Personal Computers

Small is the new big, and as the newest tech devices reflect such, one company is preparing to mitigate electromagnetic interference (EMI) to remain competitive in offering consumers the most cutting edge electronics. On July 21, Apple Inc., Cupertino, California, filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “hybrid acoustic EMI foam for use in a personal computer” under application number 20160216892.

As personal devices grow smaller electronic components are subsequently compelled to be smaller and more complex. This results in the need for electronics designers to group more components together but the challenge remains to properly isolate those components in order to mitigate EMI. If the components come in direct contact it can cause equipment degradation and even permanent damage. Apple plans to fix this, as revealed in the recent patent application, they intend to develop an electrically conductive layer using a hybrid acoustic EMI foam that will isolate the audio assembly and other components to block EMI emitted by the antenna and audio transducer.

“Combination of subassemblies within electrical devices can result in numerous efficiencies and space savings. In many cases, the combined electrical devices can share resources such as power and data inputs, shock protection, and attachment mechanisms. The following disclosure relates to combining an antenna component with another electrical component without degrading either the antenna component or the other electrical component.”

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As described in Part 0027 of the Patent Application No 20160216892

The patent application describes various methods and apparatus for shielding the audio assembly through the port opening of the speaker assembly. Changes to the audio assembly and personal device will include adjustments to the housing enclosure, having the antenna coupled to the exterior surface of the audio assembly, and use of a conductive gasket and fabric made from the hybrid acoustic EMI foam.

Figure drawings found within the application indicate that these changes could take place with future versions of the MacBook. The patent application can be found here for more details, U.S. Patent Application No. 20160212892

Sources: Patently Apple | U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

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