Apple Granted New Sapphire Antenna Patent

Previous rumors surrounding Apple’s sapphire usage were focused on whether iPhones would be equipped with sapphire screens in the future, but new reports claim the company has received a new sapphire antenna patent.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office approved Apple’s patent for using sapphire in a unique antenna for WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC applications on Aug. 14, 2015, reported Patently Apple. Integrating the antenna onto sapphire glass cover or in the frame of a sapphire glass based device design could make the device thinner and more flexible. Such an antenna design for NFC would be better for Apple Pay usage. The design is related to Apple Watch and other future devices. The Cupertino company recently joined the board of the NFC Forum.

Apple's new sapphire antenna patent is approved by USPTO. (Image courtesy of Patently Apple)

The patent is related to electronic device antennas formed on sapphire structures and methods for forming the antennas on sapphire structure. According to the Apple Patently Report: “The antenna may include antenna traces formed on distinct sides of a sapphire structure, where the respective traces are in electronic communication with one another by a plurality of vias formed in the sapphire structure or through doping the sapphire structure.”

Advantages for Apple in using a sapphire structure to form the antenna of a wireless communication system in an electronic device, includes a greatly reduced overall antenna size. A single sapphire structure might be used to form the antenna. By reducing the size of the antenna, it can also free up more space for other electronic components such as batteries.

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