'iPhone 7' may use new 'fan-out' packaging tech to save internal space

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in iPhone
Apple is expected to use a new "fan-out" packaging technology for some components to maximize the amount of room in its next-generation iPhone, a Korean report said on Thursday.




Specifically, the technology will be applied to the device's antenna switching module and RF (radio frequency) chip, ETNews suggested. Using fan-out should increase the density of I/O terminals within a package, permitting smaller chip sizes.

Shrinking the chassis of the "iPhone 7" is believed to be a high priority for Apple. On top of minimizing radio components, the company may also be increasing its use of single-chip EMI (electromagnetic interference) shielding, allowing components to sit more closely together.

Indeed, the device may even abandon a 3.5mm headphone jack in the interests of thinness and/or adding a second speaker port. If so, people will have to buy Bluetooth or Lightning accessories for external audio.

The "iPhone 7" and an "iPhone 7 Plus" are expected to ship sometime this fall, probably in September as usual. Features of one or both models could include a dual-lens camera and a more uniform back, without a camera bump or visible antenna bands.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    I do hope this translates into thinner bezels than a thinner device.
    edited March 2016 blurlabsbrian greenicoco3
  • Reply 2 of 25
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Just don't make the phone thinner. Use any space-savings to fit in as much battery as possible. That along with a more efficient chip. Battery life is too important. We need as much as you can give us Apple. Meaning more than 6s. Not the same at thinner.
    edited March 2016 lord amhrancalidysamoriaicoco3
  • Reply 3 of 25
    jonyojonyo Posts: 115member
    Ok, but nowhere to you note what the heck "fan-out" packaging technology actually is?
    cornchipbobschlobcalidysamorianolamacguytallest skil[Deleted User]icoco3daren_mitchellapple head
  • Reply 4 of 25
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,382member
    This just in: phone components are getting smaller over time.
    cornchiptallest skil[Deleted User]
  • Reply 5 of 25
    This Apple-obsession with thinness is getting asinine.
    dysamoriatallest skilicoco36Sgoldfishsingularityapple headcnocbui
  • Reply 6 of 25
    jonyo said:
    Ok, but nowhere to you note what the heck "fan-out" packaging technology actually is?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embedded_Wafer_Level_Ball_Grid_Array

    cornchipdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 25
    koopkoop Posts: 337member
    Sounds to me like Apple is keeping the 4.7" screen size. Hopefully increasing the battery and putting in a big camera sensor.
    6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 8 of 25
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,187member
    jonyo said:
    Ok, but nowhere to you note what the heck "fan-out" packaging technology actually is?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embedded_Wafer_Level_Ball_Grid_Array

    Thanks… I think I understand?
    dysamoriaireland
  • Reply 9 of 25
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    As long as battery life remains the same or better, I don't mind if they make the iPhone 7 thinner.  I use a case on mine so a thinner phone means a thinner case.   Losing the headphone jack is no big deal. I just wish the bezels were smaller so you could have a larger screen phone in a smaller footprint. Not sure how they would incorporate the touch-Id sensor though. 
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 10 of 25
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    koop said:
    Sounds to me like Apple is keeping the 4.7" screen size. Hopefully increasing the battery and putting in a big camera sensor.
    The limitation to the size of the camera sensor is the thickness of the phone, you want a bigger bump?

    Only other way of making it bigger without thickness is having two lens and combining through a DSP;
     though you're not getting exactly the same thing as a bigger sensor this way/  There are parallax issues to worry about then.

    They can further reduce noise on the sensor to give a big better resolution in low light, but that's a tiny incremental change.
    brian green
  • Reply 11 of 25
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    This Apple-obsession with thinness is getting asinine.
    The obsession (compulsion) with commenting on a rumor about it (which often exaggerates it because its a button pushing issue) is a lot more...
    nolamacguyRayz2016dasanman69
  • Reply 12 of 25
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    Just don't make the phone thinner. Use any space-savings to fit in as much battery as possible. That along with a more efficient chip. Battery life is too important. We need as much as you can give us Apple. Meaning more than 6s. Not the same at thinner.
    Considering there is no big battery eating tech coming up and everything else is consuming less, you may get what you seek pretty soon unless the screen resolution increases substantially.
    cornchipbrian green
  • Reply 13 of 25
    ksecksec Posts: 1,549member
    cornchip said:
    Think of it as Die Stacking, or a Chip layering on top of another Chip, within the same package.
    Common or similar concept would be like 3D fab technology you keep hearing like 3D NAND, 3D RAM ( The newest HBM memory being used in AMD Radeon Fuji GPU ), all these are NAND / RAM / circuit layering on top of another.

    Fan Out, or TSMC called it InFO is similar, except this is done on a package level and not on a Die level, so integration isn't as "closed". But you still get a lot of the benefits.

    I am over simplifying a lot here, but I hope it makes sense to you.

    According to TSMC, InFO technology can bring greater than 20% reduction in overall package thickness, a 20% speed gain, and 10% better power dissipation. All these are in additional to 16nm FFC that they are introducing and ramping now, which in it selves provide benefits of cheaper and lower power consumption.

    Fan Out tech is something new per se, It has been done and sold many years before. But it may be the first time being incorporated simultaneity with leading node.


    Specifically, the technology will be applied to the device's antenna switching module and RF (radio frequency) chip, ETNews suggested. Using fan-out should increase the density of I/O terminals within a package, permitting smaller chip sizes.
    Now back to the news, I would call Apple using TSMC 16nm FFC + InFO to be pretty much a Fact for a long time, just as much as 10nm for A11 is also a Fact. All these deal are done and set in stone. The most interesting part here is the Rumor of Antenna switching Module and RF frequency Chip. This implied in a sense Qualcomm's die will be integrated into Apple A10, unless Apple has develop their own RF Chip.  
  • Reply 14 of 25
    As it is, I haven't seen a compelling reason to upgrade from my 6 Plus. I used to skip generations, and I didn't see anything in the 6S Plus that warranted the upgrade other than the better LTE antennas. If the 7 isn't that different, I think I'll just keep my phone and wait for something that inspires me to upgrade again. Be it the 7S Plus or the 8.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Just got my Special Edition today. And it's glorious! (Also loving my iPad Pro ... the bump not so much.) They really need to get rid of the bump, and I don't mean make the bump thinner. I mean make the rest of the phone as thick as the camera needs to be. Holding the SE in my hand feels perfect. Even fi they just had the same size internals and just left more air in the phone I think the 6 would have felt better in the hand.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,690member
    Just got my Special Edition today. And it's glorious! (Also loving my iPad Pro ... the bump not so much.) They really need to get rid of the bump, and I don't mean make the bump thinner. I mean make the rest of the phone as thick as the camera needs to be. Holding the SE in my hand feels perfect. Even fi they just had the same size internals and just left more air in the phone I think the 6 would have felt better in the hand.
    This seems obvious to me but I never understood why Apple resists wedge shapes.  This worked great in the era of pocket calculators.   In the case of iPhone make the thick end of the wedge deep enough to handle the best camera module possible and then taper to as thin as possible at the other end.  

    For or a cel phone a wedge would work fine I doubt however that it would do well in a tablet.  
  • Reply 17 of 25
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    This Apple-obsession with thinness is getting asinine.
    you cannot build the devices of the future (see any sci fi show) if you're satisfied with and stop advancing past engineering techniques of today. had Apple not learned new techniques while thinning the iPhones we wouldn't have the iPad Pro.
    edited April 2016 xamaxtmayRayz2016
  • Reply 18 of 25
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,971member
    koop said:
    Sounds to me like Apple is keeping the 4.7" screen size. Hopefully increasing the battery and putting in a big camera sensor.
    For now. I think it'll be 5.8", 5.0" and 4.3" line up in the future with the same chassis sizes as now.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    ksecksec Posts: 1,549member
    As it is, I haven't seen a compelling reason to upgrade from my 6 Plus. I used to skip generations, and I didn't see anything in the 6S Plus that warranted the upgrade other than the better LTE antennas. If the 7 isn't that different, I think I'll just keep my phone and wait for something that inspires me to upgrade again. Be it the 7S Plus or the 8.
    If the rumors are true, then we have an iPhone 7 that is
    New Material, - Likely much better at Radio Reception Signal.
    Integrated Radio Frequency Chip - Using TSMC InFo - It is a little over stretch i think Baseband processor would be a better fit, but anyway integration will bring lower power usage.
    Larger Battery - As Shown with Leaks
    TSMC 16nm FFC - Lower Battery,

    All these will point to one iPhone 7 biggest selling point, battery life! Assuming Apple could get 20% energy reduction, and also 10% increase in battery. That is a 40% Increase in battery life! 
    tmay
  • Reply 20 of 25
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ksec said:
    As it is, I haven't seen a compelling reason to upgrade from my 6 Plus. I used to skip generations, and I didn't see anything in the 6S Plus that warranted the upgrade other than the better LTE antennas. If the 7 isn't that different, I think I'll just keep my phone and wait for something that inspires me to upgrade again. Be it the 7S Plus or the 8.
    If the rumors are true, then we have an iPhone 7 that is
    New Material, - Likely much better at Radio Reception Signal.
    Integrated Radio Frequency Chip - Using TSMC InFo - It is a little over stretch i think Baseband processor would be a better fit, but anyway integration will bring lower power usage.
    Larger Battery - As Shown with Leaks
    TSMC 16nm FFC - Lower Battery,

    All these will point to one iPhone 7 biggest selling point, battery life! Assuming Apple could get 20% energy reduction, and also 10% increase in battery. That is a 40% Increase in battery life! 
    I think it's probable the true tone panel in the Ipad pro will wind up in the Iphone. The question is what resolution will it have.
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