Apple to use improved circuit board technology from 2018

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new investor note about Apple. In it, he sets out how the Cupertino-based company is busy integrating more versatile and faster circuit boards throughout its 2018 product range.

At the moment, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 are both using a new liquid crystal polymer circuit board which is more flexible than before. Both devices utilise it in their antenna designs, and in the iPhone X it’s also used in the TrueDepth camera.

Kuo says Apple and Career have joined forces to expand this technology to the MacBook line-up. This would enable the former to save a significant amount of internal space and take a lot of effort out of integrating I/O connections such as USB 3.2.

As far as the Apple Watch is concerned, the company is reportedly working with Career to develop LCP antenna designs to be used for LTE. Currently, these designs in Apple Watch are based on PI technology.

LCP FPCB holds various benefits over other similar technologies. For example, it provides a significantly more stable frequency transmission and is also moisture and heat resistant.

Kuo states that LCP FPCB design and production are extremely complex and adds that Apple’s competitors are unlikely to be able to integrate it into their products before 2019.

He previously also revealed that Apple and Intel are working together on ground-breaking baseband chips to be used in 2018 iPhones. Although details are sketchy at this stage, these will be pre-5G chipsets promising much higher speeds by using 4×4 MIMO tech instead of the 2×2 MIMO used by current chips.
Although this might not sound very exciting, the latest LCP FPCB chips will enable the company to accomplish other things not possible until now because of their speed and internal space improvements.

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