What you need to know
- Apple is pegged to launch several new mini-LED products in the near future.
- DigiTimes says they'll also feature new, super-thin rigid PCBs.
- The new boards will support mass transfer technology and lower shrinkage and expansion.
A new DigiTimes report says that new Apple iPads and MacBooks with mini-LED technology will also adopt new, super-thin rigid PCBs.
Apple's mini LED backlight modules will adopt three-layer rigid boards, which require higher flatness and hole density than general rigid PCBs to support mass transfer technology, with materials also having to achieve extremely low shrinkage/expansion rates, the sources said.
DigiTimes report says that to help out with the manufacturing of the new boards, a new PCB supplier, Tripod Technology is joining Apple's supply chain, taking some of the share from Korean manufacturer Young Poong Electronics. DigiTimes says the firm has "good cost control capability" and is "well recognized than Apple". It also says that Tripod has been recognized previously as a better manufacturer of rigid PCBs in terms of production management, cost control, and profitability. Tripod is currently undertaking trial production of samples, and volume production is pegged to being early 2021 "at the earliest".
Recent reports suggest that a new iPad Pro featuring mini-LED display is in trial production, due to be released later in 2020. Other rumored products include a new MacBook Pro 16-inch and even a 27-inch iMac. It is unclear from the report if the mentioned 2021 manufacturing date means that Apple's upcoming mini-LED products are not expected until next year, or whether devices coming before then may not include the new style of PCB.