or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple looks to extend display life with removable LED strips
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple looks to extend display life with removable LED strips

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
With Apple rapidly transitioning its notebooks -- and eventually its desktops -- to flat-panel displays lit by LEDs rather than CCFLs, the Mac maker is simultaneously researching cost-effective solutions that would extend the life of those displays should the LED backlights eventually burn out.

In a new patent filing discovered by AppleInsider this week, the Cupertino-based company notes that flat-panel computer displays have traditionally been lit by cold cathode fluorescent lamps ("CCFL").

It explains, however, that CCFL technology has not kept pace with advances in other technologies that have reduced the size and weight of many of the other display components. In addition, the entire display must often be replaced once a CCFL lamp burns out.

As such, Apple explains that light-emitting diodes ("LEDs") technology offers attractive alternatives to CCFLs because they are much thinner and do not require many of the weighty power supply systems that CCFLs do.

"However, one LED is not sufficient to light an entire display," the company said. "Furthermore, some LEDs may have a shorter operating life then a CCFL, and replacing an entire display due to a failed LED can be costly."

The Mac maker's solution is to develop a quick and cost effective removable LED light strip that does not require the replacement of an entire screen, and instead slides in and out of the base of a flat-panel display in very much the same way a memory card sides in and out of a digital camera.

"Thus, for example, if the removable light strip or portions thereof fail, the removable light strip may be readily, quickly, and inexpensively removed from the screen for quick replacement," the company said. "Similarly, as light source technologies continue to improve over time, newer and better performing removable light strips can be easily exchanged for earlier ones, as desired."



More specifically, Apple said its concept calls for side firing LEDs to be mounted on and electrically connected to one another via a flexible strip with a power feed contact that connects to the screen. The LEDs would each be spaced the same distance from each other on the flexible strip, which would folded back on itself to form a folded flex once inserted into the base of the display.

While design rules for electrical connections have long limited how closely LEDs may be mounted to each other on a flexible strip, Apple said it "unexpectedly discovered" during its experimentation that increased LED density can be achieved, not by decreasing, but rather by increasing the spacing between the LEDs on the flex strip because it results in a decrease in spacing once the strip is folded.

"Thus, the LEDs can be mounted on the folded flex with maximum density and little or no space at all between the LEDs," the company said.



An alternative method described in the filing would forgo a single foldable LED strip for two separate strips: one that would be inserted into the top of the display and one that would be inserted into the bottom.

The invention is credited to Apple employees Victor Yin and John Zhong.
post #2 of 44
Ok, the first thing I'd do is replace it with a sweet neon strip.
2 dogs and 1 cat, we've got a full house!
Reply
2 dogs and 1 cat, we've got a full house!
Reply
post #3 of 44
This is a great idea. After inverters, the backlight is the most frequent part of LCDs to die. With the exception of impact damage, the actual LCD matrix generally doesn't die. It's doubtful that they would make the backlight user-serviceable, but having it a similar repair to an inverter would save a lot of people a lot of money.
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
post #4 of 44
A user replaceable part like this? Coming from the company that refuses to put a "user replaceable" battery in all of their music players, and even a laptop? A company that has no user serviceable drives in their pro series laptops, and same for their iMac. Seriously?

All negative thoughts aside, I think all companies should adopt this type of an idea for their screens, even TV manufactures. LED's aren't exactly cheap (will get cheaper), but makes it so if something does go wrong, we don't have to shell out $600 in order to replace only the lamp in our screens.

I seriously hope Apple does do this in their displays in the future. My thoughts of the company would improve if they do things more like this!

I can see other people wanting to have a certain color temperature light in their computer depending on what they do.
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
Reply
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
Reply
post #5 of 44
wow, imagine that -- modular design. Kinda like the original IBM-PC design with separate cards which, when designed to spec, can be plugged into the system bus to extend functionality. Or, a more relevant analogy, separating the power supply from the motherboard in a way that one can be replaced independently of the other.

I'm certainly not expecting that Apple will actually design a open spec for this so that third parties can create parts (thus reducing the cost through competition), but just the fact that they're actually considering making something like this user serviceable is a good sign.
 
Reply
 
Reply
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

A user replaceable part like this? Coming from the company that refuses to put a "user replaceable" battery in all of their music players, and even a laptop? A company that has no user serviceable drives in their pro series laptops, and same for their iMac. Seriously?

All negative thoughts aside, I think all companies should adopt this type of an idea for their screens, even TV manufactures. LED's aren't exactly cheap (will get cheaper), but makes it so if something does go wrong, we don't have to shell out $600 in order to replace only the lamp in our screens.

I seriously hope Apple does do this in their displays in the future. My thoughts of the company would improve if they do things more like this!

I can see other people wanting to have a certain color temperature light in their computer depending on what they do.

I don't see Apple ever putting this on the outside of their case (can you really see Jobs allowing there to be extra cracks/lines in the exterior casing?)... but I could see if you remove the outer case that this invention would still be useful as a technician-replacable mechanism.
post #7 of 44
I like.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
post #8 of 44
Note that Engineering thinks of great inventions such as this one. But do you really think that Marketing will let this idea fly when Apple would make way more money on replacing an entire LCD display instead of a cheap little LCD strip?
post #9 of 44
Why do I get a feeling we'll see a MBP that resembles this.

[IMG][/IMG]
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Note that Engineering thinks of great inventions such as this one. But do you really think that Marketing will let this idea fly when Apple would make way more money on replacing an entire LCD display instead of a cheap little LCD strip?

By that reasoning, why would they do anything that reduces the machine's TCO? Why would they make the inverter a separate part?
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Note that Engineering thinks of great inventions such as this one. But do you really think that Marketing will let this idea fly when Apple would make way more money on replacing an entire LCD display instead of a cheap little LCD strip?

I do -- I doubt this will be a user-replaceable part, and Apple will still make their markup on the technician's time to replace the unit.

As an added benefit, when a lamp fails during the warranty period Apple won't have to eat the cost of a full display unit (hundreds of dollars @ wholesale) when they can replace this module (tens of dollars @ wholesale).
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

A user replaceable part like this? Coming from the company that refuses to put a "user replaceable" battery in all of their music players, and even a laptop? A company that has no user serviceable drives in their pro series laptops, and same for their iMac. Seriously?

All negative thoughts aside, I think all companies should adopt this type of an idea for their screens, even TV manufactures. LED's aren't exactly cheap (will get cheaper), but makes it so if something does go wrong, we don't have to shell out $600 in order to replace only the lamp in our screens.

I seriously hope Apple does do this in their displays in the future. My thoughts of the company would improve if they do things more like this!

I can see other people wanting to have a certain color temperature light in their computer depending on what they do.

NOWHERE does it say it would be user replaceable. This means that a $700+ repair cost to replace the entire LCD component, the cost of the repair for a bad backlight could be 10-20% of the whole component.

No way that would EVER be user replaceable, Not that I care, I've got AppleCare Certification.
post #13 of 44
Apple is on some roll with these technologies!!! Thank god for Patent Office. Apple really thinking different.
LOVE IT

Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

wow, imagine that -- modular design. Kinda like the original IBM-PC design with separate cards which, when designed to spec, can be plugged into the system bus to extend functionality. Or, a more relevant analogy, separating the power supply from the motherboard in a way that one can be replaced independently of the other.

I'm certainly not expecting that Apple will actually design a open spec for this so that third parties can create parts (thus reducing the cost through competition), but just the fact that they're actually considering making something like this user serviceable is a good sign.

Modular design eats up a lot of space, that is why they got away from it.
post #15 of 44
This seems cool, and would definitely be a nice alternative to having to replace the whole display.
MBA 13" i7/4GB/256GB

C2D MBP 2.33GHZ/2 Gig/120 Gig/256MB
Reply
MBA 13" i7/4GB/256GB

C2D MBP 2.33GHZ/2 Gig/120 Gig/256MB
Reply
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Note that Engineering thinks of great inventions such as this one. But do you really think that Marketing will let this idea fly when Apple would make way more money on replacing an entire LCD display instead of a cheap little LCD strip?

That's a mistaken impression. Companies don't want to have to replace anything. Least of all, under warrantee.

If this could save time and money for Apple during a repair, that's more important.

It also goes to reputation. The less expensive a repair is, the more likely the customer will be satisfied, and that means buying more products from the company, as well as recommending it to others.

Apple already has the best reputation in this regard. It's not likely they want to tarnish it, but rather to make it better.

Besides, this is just a good idea.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Why do I get a feeling we'll see a MBP that resembles this.

[IMG][/IMG]

The side mirror WOULD be helpful. You could spot your boss coming up from behind.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Why do I get a feeling we'll see a MBP that resembles this.


Argh!!! I loooove Audis... {drooling} Actually Audi's style resembles Apple's MBP's style.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiolos View Post

This seems cool, and would definitely be a nice alternative to having to replace the whole display.

Yeah but this is very un-Apple, I really doubt this will every happen. If they need to have anything replaceable it should be the iMac's mobo for a newer one.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Note that Engineering thinks of great inventions such as this one. But do you really think that Marketing will let this idea fly when Apple would make way more money on replacing an entire LCD display instead of a cheap little LCD strip?

Marketing has everything to do with it, they could think of a thousand commercials and ads. What you probably meant was Accounting, yeah they may think that selling a non-repairable product should result in more frequent purchases. Bean-counters are often totally oblivious to marketing.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Yeah but this is very un-Apple, I really doubt this will every happen. If they need to have anything replaceable it should be the iMac's mobo for a newer one.

That's very funny. Which company does that?
post #22 of 44
"quick and cost effective" is not apple:

they charge 30 bucks for half of one crappy sock.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M9720G/B
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's very funny. Which company does that?

I don't know, which company offers replaceable LCD lights?
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I don't know, which company offers replaceable LCD lights?

Since this is a new invention, I would hope, none.

The question was, which company offers to upgrade your mobo?
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I don't see Apple ever putting this on the outside of their case (can you really see Jobs allowing there to be extra cracks/lines in the exterior casing?)... but I could see if you remove the outer case that this invention would still be useful as a technician-replacable mechanism.

I don't think the lines would be visible in the way you are thinking. I think backlights are generally mounted to the sides or from the bottom. The ACDs have separate pieces on the sides, and a removable hatch on the bottom would not be visible in normal use.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I don't see Apple ever putting this on the outside of their case (can you really see Jobs allowing there to be extra cracks/lines in the exterior casing?)... but I could see if you remove the outer case that this invention would still be useful as a technician-replacable mechanism.

Judging from Apple's repair procedure for the new iMacs, their "technician-replaceable" backlight would probably go something like this:

Wear full bunny suit.

Take laptop into sterile cleanroom.

Take display off laptop by removing 30 tiny, easily stripped screws.

Disassemble display housing by prying until fingers are blistered. Then remove 30 more tiny, easily stripped screws to remove the panel from the housing.

Using ultra fine tweezers while looking under a microscope, slowly peel off back of LCD panel.

Piece of cake!

Do Apple or Steve understand the concept of field service? Have they seen the inside of a typical computer repair shop and the number of customers they have to service every day? I am so tired of Apple's "Fuck the technicians" attitude. I would like to see Apple's hardware designers forced to work in the same room as the repair technicians, with no walls, doors or ceilings to separate them. Put the designers in the middle of the room so that every time the designers come in to work, they would have to show their faces and walk through the technicians work areas in order to get to their desks. And every time they want to leave the room, they would have to walk through the technicians area again.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo View Post

By that reasoning, why would they do anything that reduces the machine's TCO? Why would they make the inverter a separate part?

I don't think LED backlights use inverters. That's more associated with running the fluorescent backlight bulbs.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Since this is a new invention, I would hope, none.

The question was, which company offers to upgrade your mobo?

LEDs are hardly a new invention, and I would hope other companies would eventually offer replaceable LEDs.
As for mobo upgrades, no one currently does that as a service, but in the case of the imac, it would make sense since the computer is implemented in the same casing as the monitor. It would be great if I can upgrade just the computer part of the imac than having to sell the whole thing and buy a new one again, Apple can easily make the mobo as replaceable as a laptop's battery, the imac's board is small enough to fit in its own casing similar to a notebooks battery pack.
If I had to choose, I would rather have Apple do an upgradeable imacs over replaceable LEDs. Both would be better of corse.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

"quick and cost effective" is not apple:

they charge 30 bucks for half of one crappy sock.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M9720G/B

That's five units there, not one.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

"quick and cost effective" is not apple:

they charge 30 bucks for half of one crappy sock.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M9720G/B


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's five units there, not one.


5! How about 6! Socks come in pairs, even with different colors. So 6 individuals or 3 pairs.
2009 Quad 2.66 Mac Pro, 12 GB OWC RAM, ATI 4870, Wi-Fi Card 802.11n, AppleCare, 4 WD Caviar Black 1TB HD's, 2 SuperDrives, 24" Apple LED Display.
Reply
2009 Quad 2.66 Mac Pro, 12 GB OWC RAM, ATI 4870, Wi-Fi Card 802.11n, AppleCare, 4 WD Caviar Black 1TB HD's, 2 SuperDrives, 24" Apple LED Display.
Reply
post #31 of 44
Wow, amazing. I love this, sadly i just got a new MBP .

Apple has certainly being aggressive with introducing new patents. Good job
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
Reply
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

"quick and cost effective" is not apple:

they charge 30 bucks for half of one crappy sock.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M9720G/B

it's 30 bucks for SIX half socks!

...and boy do i love the pink ones... nobody EVER touches my iPod!
but what to do with the leftover colours
post #33 of 44
Wow, replaceable parts ... what a "novel" concept.

Apparently this is a by-product of the throw-away society. 20-30 years ago (and even less in the computer industry) everything came with disassembly directions and part numbers for all replacement parts.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

it's 30 bucks for SIX half socks!

...and boy do i love the pink ones... nobody EVER touches my iPod!
but what to do with the leftover colours

What I did was sell individual socks to friends of my sister and on ebay. I got my money back anyway. In the end, I don't have any left because I didn't really care for them.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

What I did was sell individual socks to friends of my sister and on ebay. I got my money back anyway. In the end, I don't have any left because I didn't really care for them.

A win-win situation for you and Apple.
2009 Quad 2.66 Mac Pro, 12 GB OWC RAM, ATI 4870, Wi-Fi Card 802.11n, AppleCare, 4 WD Caviar Black 1TB HD's, 2 SuperDrives, 24" Apple LED Display.
Reply
2009 Quad 2.66 Mac Pro, 12 GB OWC RAM, ATI 4870, Wi-Fi Card 802.11n, AppleCare, 4 WD Caviar Black 1TB HD's, 2 SuperDrives, 24" Apple LED Display.
Reply
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

LEDs are hardly a new invention, and I would hope other companies would eventually offer replaceable LEDs.
As for mobo upgrades, no one currently does that as a service, but in the case of the imac, it would make sense since the computer is implemented in the same casing as the monitor. It would be great if I can upgrade just the computer part of the imac than having to sell the whole thing and buy a new one again, Apple can easily make the mobo as replaceable as a laptop's battery, the imac's board is small enough to fit in its own casing similar to a notebooks battery pack.
If I had to choose, I would rather have Apple do an upgradeable imacs over replaceable LEDs. Both would be better of corse.

You've apparently notonly missed this entire discussion, but the article that proceeded it.

the replacable LED strip IS an Apple inventin, nd we haven't seen it before.

Please comment on the facts of the issue.

And yes, as you've admitted, no one offers replacable mobo's, and no one is likely to do so. That's like replacing the entire comouter other than the power supply, HDD, and optical drive. That would be adsurd. Do you understand the cost of doing that?

I didn't think so.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

And yes, as you've admitted, no one offers replacable mobo's, and no one is likely to do so. That's like replacing the entire comouter other than the power supply, HDD, and optical drive. That would be adsurd. Do you understand the cost of doing that?

Hold up there. Whether or not the manufacturer officially supports it is, quite frankly, irrelavent in my opinion.

Whether or not the manufacturer chooses to use hardware which is modular enough to allow it to be technically possible, on the other hand, is centrally important. The vast majority of ATX form-factor boxes out there can have their motherboards replaced with very little pain, as long as you know what you're doing.

In my experience, if it really is just the motherboard only that's bit the dust (ie you can confirm on reference hardware that the RAM, CPU, video, etc are all still intact), and your hardware is recent enough that it's still possible to purchase a replacement MoBo which supports the same types of RAM, CPU, video, etc, then the cost of swapping out the dead motherboard for a new one is significantly less than the cost of buying a whole new computer.
post #38 of 44
The amount of Hype and BS over what Apple has done, is doing, may do etc is mind boggling.
How about some real facts rather than ridiculous drivel that is totally out of character for a closed monolithic company?
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

Hold up there. Whether or not the manufacturer officially supports it is, quite frankly, irrelavent in my opinion.

Whether or not the manufacturer chooses to use hardware which is modular enough to allow it to be technically possible, on the other hand, is centrally important. The vast majority of ATX form-factor boxes out there can have their motherboards replaced with very little pain, as long as you know what you're doing.

In my experience, if it really is just the motherboard only that's bit the dust (ie you can confirm on reference hardware that the RAM, CPU, video, etc are all still intact), and your hardware is recent enough that it's still possible to purchase a replacement MoBo which supports the same types of RAM, CPU, video, etc, then the cost of swapping out the dead motherboard for a new one is significantly less than the cost of buying a whole new computer.

I don't consider your opinion to be relevant. If the manufacturer doesn't support it, then it's out of their control, or support. It's irrelevant anyway, because very few people would ever OPEN their computers, much less replace the entire mobo.

Apple doesn't sell to the DIY market, so it's of no importance in this discussion.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't consider your opinion to be relevant.

Cool! What you dismiss as entirely unimportant in determining where to place your purchasing dollars, is exactly what I value as being at least in the top 10 items of primary importance.

I guess I can live with accepting the fact that we're each irrelevant to each other.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple looks to extend display life with removable LED strips