Apple has applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a high-speed card connector having a wide power contact. The patent involves connectors to connect optional or daughter cards or boards to main or motherboards.
One example provides a connector that is capable of supporting high-speed data rates by employing contacts that provide short signal paths and a ground plane to improve signal quality. The space consumed in electronic devices may be reduced by providing a connector having a low profile, while another example may provide a connector having mechanical stability. Another example provides a connector having an increased manufacturability. Other examples include wider contacts for increased current capabilities.
Here's Apple's background on the invention: "he number and types of electronic devices on the market have grown tremendously the past few years. Tablet, netbook, laptop, and all-in-one computers, media players, handheld media players, cell phones, and other devices have proliferated. These devices have proliferated not only in the types that are available, but also as to the functionality they include.
"Moreover, options for some particular devices have also proliferated. For example, for a particular device, the size of an internal memory may be an option. Other functionalities, such as video or graphics cards, network connections, and others, may also be made available as options or as possible upgrades. This allows a manufacturer to offer products at several price points, and allows customers to buy only the amount of functionality that is required to suit their needs and to possibly upgrade at a later time.
"In these devices, various options may be added by including an optional card or board inside a housing of the electronic device. Also, certain cards or boards may be manufactured separately, for example, by a different manufacturer. In these and other situations, it may be desirable to include the card in the electronic device as a daughter card or board. These optional or daughter cards or boards may be attached to a main or motherboard. Specifically, these optional or daughter cards or boards may be attached to a board inside the electronic device housing a connector.
"Unfortunately, these connectors consume space inside the electronic device housing. This consumed space may increase the size of the electronic device or reduce the functionality that could otherwise be included in the electronic device. Also, data rates among devices in these electronic devices have increased tremendously. Using a connector may degrade signal quality and reduce the data rates to a lower frequency that may otherwise be achievable.
"Thus, what is needed are connectors that can be used to connect optional or daughter cards or boards to main or motherboards in electronic devices. It may also be desirable for these connectors to have a reduced size and to be able to support high data rates."
The inventors are Zheng Gao, George Marc Simmel and Euan Abraham.