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iPhone 7 May Use New Packaging Technology for Antenna Switching Module to Save Space

Rumors have suggested the iPhone 7 will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 6s, and a new report from Korean site ETNews shares some technical details on the methods Apple may use to save space internally and shave off precious fractions of a millimeter from the device's size.

Apple is said to be planning to use a new fan-out packaging technology for the antenna switching module and radio frequency chip in the iPhone 7, which is a feature that allows the iPhone to switch between LTE and other antennas like GSM and CDMA. Fan-out packaging technology allows for a greater number of I/O terminals while cutting down on chip size.

iphone7mockupantennabands
A mockup of what the iPhone 7 might look like
Fan Out technology is a technology that increases number of I/O (Input/Output) terminals within a package by pulling out wiring of I/O terminals to outside from a semiconductor chip (Die), which is a previous step before packaging. As area of a chip had become narrower as manufacturing processes had become finer, it was difficult to increase number of I/O terminals. Because industries do not want to increase size of a chip just for I/O terminals, they have been paying attention to Fan Out Packaging technology recently. It is most cost effective from production cost perspective if number of I/O terminals increases within a package while still decreasing size of a chip.
Using this packaging method, along with single-chip EMI shields, Apple will be able to fit more components into a single package while minimizing signal loss and also cutting down on the potential for interference in wireless communication. The radio frequency chip built into the antenna switching module is said to include two chips in one package rather than two chips built into a printed circuit board to save space.

Apple's iPhone 7 is expected to launch in the fall of 2016. Rumors about the device suggest it will look similar to the iPhone 6s, but with redesigned antenna bands and a somewhat thinner chassis. Along with the chip packaging techniques shared today, Apple is rumored to be cutting down on the size of the device through the removal of the headphone jack and the slimming of the Lightning port.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7


Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago
Thinner and lighter instead of improving battery life. Classic.
Rating: 34 Votes
43 months ago
Could it not be thicker, less bendy, and with better battery life? I mean, wouldn't that be... better?
Rating: 30 Votes
43 months ago
The relative lack of Mac rumors compared to iPhone, iPad and :apple:watch rumors is worrisome. This site may need to be renamed.
Rating: 26 Votes
43 months ago
Gosh! Enough with the thinning of the device, already. The device is thin enough already. Improve the battery for goodness sake. Shaving off fractions of millimetres... rubbish!
Rating: 25 Votes
43 months ago
Atleast the inside is going to look different...
Rating: 22 Votes
43 months ago

Rumors have suggested the iPhone 7 will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 6s, and a new report from Korean site ETNews ('http://english.etnews.com/20160331200003') shares some technical details on the methods Apple may use to save space internally and shave off precious fractions of a millimeter from the device's size.

Since day one with my 6s+, I've wished it could be fractions of a millimeter thinner. Finally, I can be reassured it will be a reality.

/s
Rating: 13 Votes
43 months ago

Could it not be thicker, less bendy, and with better battery life? I mean, wouldn't that be... better?


Not necessarily. The "bendy" criticism could be addressed by materials and engineering. The battery criticism is really a compromise no matter how you look at it. The question is how much thicker and heavier would they have to make it to achieve any significant battery improvement? If the performance would only gain 30 minutes to an hour, I'm not sure the trade-off would be worth it for everyone.

Apple seems to have decided, based on essentially consistent performance with slight improvements year after year that the current battery life is acceptable for most people, and for those on the fringes who need more have various battery enhancing options available to them.
Rating: 10 Votes
43 months ago

Could it not be thicker, less bendy, and with better battery life? I mean, wouldn't that be... better?


No, the endgame is that we have the screen surgically embedded into our forearm. Our body is the antenna and the electricity we create within out bodies does the rest.

BTW: Contract free, but the surgery is $ 799.00 designed by Apple, performed in China, which by then has 4 million iPhone surgeons.

Still 16GB.

.....and don't say there wouldn't be enough kooks to try this.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
What about shaving of the bezels?!
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago

Gosh! Enough with the thinning of the device, already. The device is thin enough already. Improve the battery for goodness sake. Shaving off fractions of millimetres... rubbish!

Would be funny if the crowd booed during the keynote when Tim boasts a needlessly thinner design.
Rating: 8 Votes

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