Apple is researching expanding the 2019 Mac Pro’s distinctive “cheesebread” grid design to other devices, including the iPhone and a “Mac Pro” trash can, according to a recent patent filing.
Apple introduced an innovative tempted grid pattern on the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR in 2019, created by machining a spherical range in aluminum inner and outer surfaces. The result is a light lattice pattern that maximizes airflow while creating an extremely rigid structure.
The new patent, first discovered by Apple patent and granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, is entitled “Housing construction” and covers the extension of the grid pattern to other devices, such as iPhone.
The patent explains that “recent advances in electronic devices have enabled high levels of performance,” but many existing home solutions are unable to “efficiently distribute or repel heat generated by the electronic device to the surrounding environment,” thereby reducing “the performance levels of such devices. devices. “
Apple believes that the grid pattern presents a solution to this problem, as it increases the unit’s surface area for better cooling and can more efficiently “conduct heat away from a component of the electronic device that is located substantially next to the body’s first surface.”
These improved levels of heat removal, as described above, can result in significant performance gains for the electronic device and may allow the use of components or operating levels that may not have been achievable with existing three-dimensional structures to date.
By improving cooling, lattice-patterned units can push processors to higher temperatures for better performance.
The illustrations included in the archive show how a miniaturized version of the grid pattern could be milled directly into the outer frame and back of the iPhone.
In addition to significantly improving the thermals, this can also improve grip, “provide a unique and comfortable look and feel,” and provide “a comfortable experience when handling the device.”
In some cases, a three-dimensional structure may include a relatively intricate repeating pattern which, in addition to improving heat removal ability and providing rigidity, provides a visually interesting or aesthetically pleasing effect to the user. Such a three-dimensional structure, for example when used as a house, may also include a variety of colors on one or more areas of the house to enhance the visual appearance and provide a comfortable aesthetic experience for the user.
Another advantage of the lattice pattern is improved structural strength without increasing the thickness or weight of the components.
When used as a housing or other structural component in an electronic device, a three-dimensional structure as described herein can provide a high level of strength and rigidity to the weight ratio of the device. Traditional structures often achieve improved rigidity or strength by thickening or enlarging certain parts of the structure, which often results in an increase in the weight and size of the electronic device, which may not be desirable for a user. The three-dimensional structures described herein may, for example, include a matrix of passages which serve to improve the rigidity of the three-dimensional structure, without significantly increasing the size or weight of the structures. Thus, a relatively light, yet extremely strong and rigid electronic device can be produced.
Another embodiment covers the embedding of the grid internally in the iPhone to improve rigidity and strength, so that “the electronic device can be used for a long time, while maintaining dimensional stability.”
The patent also mentions how the lattice structure “can act as a shield for the electronic device while still allowing airflow through”, in particular as a shield against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and / or electromagnetic compatibility noise (EMC).
In addition to iPhone, it seems that Apple has revived the divisive design of the Mac Pro from 2013, informally called the “garbage channel” Mac Pro, to demonstrate alternative designs for the grid pattern.
Given that the grid pattern debuted on the Mac Pro tower in 2019, it’s interesting to see some of the latest Mac Pros design aspects implemented on an older model.
While a return to junk design may seem more likely among the transition to Apple Silicon for a next-generation Mac Pro, the machine is actually expected to look more like the Mac mini.
While patent registrations cannot be taken as solid evidence of Apple’s actual hardware plans for consumers, they can provide an interesting insight into the company’s research areas. At the very least, this patent indicates that Apple may be planning to bring its unique grid pattern to more devices in the future, but only time will tell.