Hell froze over
The Register said something nice about Apple.
The iPhone X's face recognition may be experiencing teething problems but the thousand-quid handset is a masterpiece of engineering. Apple is the first to market with new, dense circuit board design called Stacked SLP, often referred to misleadingly as a "stacked logic board". Today's phones use 10 layers of copper on the PCB …
It's Andrew Orlowski. As he has got to know Apple better, he's been coming over all Charles Arthur like.
Understandable, the register has always underestimated Apple's engineering prowess and has never really understood the difference between design and assembly and the role of contractural intellectual property prohibitions.
It's Andrew Orlowski. As he has got to know Apple better…
Long before Andrew was writing puff pieces for Windows Phone or the copyright industry he had latched onto the good things that Apple does and produces. His phone reviews, even the Windows Phone ones, are always worth reading. I think most of the team uses at least one Apple device and has done for years.
Tim Yong Eun's beef with El Reg seems to be, that unless you always gush about Cupertino's toys, then you won't get an invitation to any of the shows.
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Don't you think there are substantive arguments for the existence of copyright in many media; and that it's possible AO writes what he actually thinks is true, and worth hearing, and for people whose intellectual property should be strongly defended because it's in all of our interests? Even if you disagree with those substantive points, do you think it's possible AO sincerely believes in them, passionately, even? I might not agree with you but I don't impugn your integrity. I think it's a failure of your imagination and that of those upvoting you that you don't impute integrity to others where it's deserved, perhaps in part because they disagree with you.
Incidentally, copyright isn't just an industry, it's the legal concept of the property institution central to the operation of huge swathes of many countries' real economies. Remove it and you destroy the private benefit required for there to be private investment in invention.
Of course there is, android gets updates every month. Google push patches for android every month with patches for all versions back to android 4...
My phone gets them every month without fail as an OTA. Sorry it doesn't fit with what the internet told you.
Of course the internet didn't also tell you that android version on your phone isn't as important as less flexible iOS.
OS updates on Android are less relevant than on iOS since systems apps are updated independently of the operating system. First of all, you have to take into account that Android is exceptionally modular — leaps and bounds above iOS, in fact. This modularity arguably makes OS updates much less relevant on Android than they are on iOS since systems apps like the Play Store, Gmail, Maps, Calendar — and even ones like Google Play services or WebView — are all updated independently of the operating system. Not only does this mean that system apps can be updated regularly and independently of the OS, it means the version of OS is mostly irrelevant.
Hey Skippy, I have more than a few Android phones from different manufacturers over the years that got one or two updates over the course of the contracts.
Currently on a Moto Z Force @7.1.1, which is pretty good on updates, three this year so far.
Name the damn phone already!
at what point is this advancement for the sake of it?
I know there are some devices where you can (or could) get a dock unit to use them as a PC but how much of this development work is for bragging rights. I see parallels with Formula 1 where there is a theoretical trickle down to road cars but it only seems to show on the >£1million supercars and for phones the advances are very niche since other applications of the tech would not be so space constrained.
Throughout history mankind has applied technology in unexpected ways, advancements don't always have an immediate and obvious application.
Look at the guy who created suction pads or the chap who created the process for moulding shapes from synthetic rubber. Voila! the suction dildo.
A masterpiece of engineering.
I believe that companies have been doing advancement for the sake of it, for years. In many areas, photography included, it's been about more megapixels, more shots per second, etc. and they've missed the more human advancements and ergonomics. I like the fact that instead of chasing megapixels, they've switched to HDR on-sensor, which I think is a much more worthy thing to go for. So the manufacturers are fighting for bragging rights in areas that I don't give a flying about, while missing the things I care about.
I work in a cluster of Apple colleagues, (one of whom is currently configuring his X.) and had my hands on an iphone for some time, and I hear people say about usability, and it just works, but for me, it didn't. I was glad to hand it back. Things that just worked under Android, needed more software to be loaded and configured on iOS. I wanted to download video I shot on the phone, to a Linux laptop... but I couldn't. I wanted to transfer files by Bluetooth, but I couldn't... and ended up trawling the store for apps... there were a lot there, telling me that I wasn't the only one wanting to break out of the walled garden... but I couldn't. None of them worked. I was very glad to hand back the iPhone when I was able to use my WileyFox for work.
Personally, I had a very dismal time in the Apple ecosystem. I do currently run a Macbook Air, but it's running Linux... because even their UK keyboard, isn't a UK keyboard, and as someone who is a touch typist, and switches between multiple systems, that keyboard itself has ensured I never buy another Mac.
These days I'm on Sailfish, and while I'm not totally loving it, I'm looking forward to being able to afford Sailfish X and get a Sony Experia to run it on. And it will happen at my pace, no one else's.
I guess my values are just out of touch with a society that seems to be glad to get itself in ever deepening debt over things that... well... I don't know. I wouldn't pay a grand for a phone though, I'll tell you that. Not unless it can do a damn sight more than map my face onto a pig emoji.
Yes, Sony missed them, other brands not so much... Canon revolutionized the camera design with its ergonomically designed T90 in 1986... but then someone believed that hipster retro designs make you a better photographer....
Phones will never been real cameras, exactly because they lack the ergonomics. They are designed for other tasks, good if they can take photos also, but when your main task is taking photos (or video), you need a device designed for that.
HDR in camera is close to useless.
If you use Linux, you're not the Apple target. Someone who doesn't like to spend money is not within the Apple demographics, they like people willingly to spend a lot of money for hardware and software. So, blame yourself.
>> If you use Linux, you're not the Apple target. Someone who doesn't like to spend money is not
>> within the Apple demographics, they like people willingly to spend a lot of money for hardware and
>> software. So, blame yourself.
Why do you think Linux users do not spend money?
Couldn't it be instead that Apple products with all their "Think different" smarminess are just limiting our creativity to crapple's piggeon box walled garden?
And that we require more flexibility on simple things that other vendor have mastered for 30 years like transferring files between devices?
No thanks, I used Apple products in the 80's and save for the BSD kernel they use now it is the same smug overpriced shit it has always been.
And having said that, early beer for me.
The commentards here. The many comments about how they can use old or cheap hardware, and they don't have to spend money on the hatred 'commercial' software. Otherwise they would have bought a Mac...
There are two groups of people using Linux. For one, it's a political assertion in the name of Stallman and the GPL. The other is made of people who just find free stuff appealing, especially since Illegal copies of Windows and its software became harder to use (and running macOS on non Apple devices not so easy). Both not exactly groups you're going to target with not so cheap hardware and software , although someone can still find the bling and status symbol associated with some devices appealing, but they are still too few, no ROI.
Obviously I'm talking about the 'desktop' consumer market. The 'server' one, and a few very vertical ones, are different.
>There are two groups of people using Linux.
A bold and possibly incorrect statement.
I like linux because it provides flexible tools which can be customised to solve the problems I have. Technically, any old unix (including MacOS) would do, but linux does it in an easy-to-use manner which also happens to be free.
I have more than one mac and iphone per person in the house, but I run linux (and vmware-windows) on the machines I use for work because they are just easier and therefore more suited to those tasks. There is an element of cost control - with at least eleven running systems in the house, there's no way I'd be buying Mac's or Windows all round.
"There are two groups of people using Linux. For one, it's a political assertion in the name of Stallman and the GPL. The other is made of people who just find free stuff appealing, especially since Illegal copies of Windows and its software became harder to use (and running macOS on non Apple devices not so easy)."
There is at least one move group. That group paid for a vendor OS and then installed Linux anyway (like me, many times over) because quite frankly it is easier to use, more reliable and has more features out of the box. Certain vendor OSes out there don't ship basics such as a bourne shell, C compiler, standards compliant web browser, Python interpreter and a workable email client - you actually have to go out and install that stuff yourself from third parties...
Sorry, I forgot there's a third group, those who have been brainwashed (by the first group) to believe Linux is "the best" - and all other OSes are the same from 1995 (your comment about reliability is a classic example of that). But this changes a little - they are a small minority and won't spend much money in hardware and software - the fact that a distro can bundle more software by default is exactly because it's free stuff you don't have to pay for.
A C compiler, a command line shell or a Python interpreter are a "basic" need only for a niche of users. Again the lack of understanding what most users needs is what dooms Linux to be on less than 5% of desktops, and why desktop commercial software stays away from Linux.
Believe me, I'd really like a good alternative to macOS and Windows, but the "superiority complex" stemming from Stallman himself doesn't really help...
"Sorry, I forgot there's a third group, those who have been brainwashed (by the first group) to believe Linux is "the best" -"
Brainwashing at the scale required to keep an OS user community afloat requires the kind of resources that a big name like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle or Apple bring to bear.
There is however a significant group of FUD pedallers out there (including you in this case) who prefer to denigrate users (aka potential customers, peers and folks with enough marbles to make their own minds up) rather than accept that a different OS is actually a better solution. Folks spewing FUD is a key indicator that they feel threatened by the alternative and are unable to come up with a proper reason to use the product they favour.
I've used CP/M, MS-DOS (1.x -> 6.0), Windows 3.x -> ME, 3.51 -> Windows 10, VMS (3.x -> OpenVMS), SunOS, Solaris, Minix, FreeBSD, MacOS, OS/X, OpenBSD and Linux. I've tried a lot of stuff out - and at the end of the day OpenBSD & Linux still get my personal vote, but I don't feel the need to denigrate other folk's choices.
I am curious why would you care enough to want to piss on other people's parades, do you feel threatened by people making choices that don't fit with your world view ? You behave as if your career depends on you pissing on the Linux community - why is that ?
"Believe me, I'd really like a good alternative to macOS and Windows, but the "superiority complex" stemming from Stallman himself doesn't really help..."
I didn't like the noises coming from Olsen/Cutler/Gates/Jobs/Ballmer either, but I still had a crack at making the best of the stuff they punted. In this instance you are the problem, not te solution.
"Again the lack of understanding what most users needs is what dooms Linux to be on less than 5% of desktops, and why desktop commercial software stays away from Linux."
Desktop users are niche, most people use mobiles and don't run a desktop or even laptop at all.
However none of that is relevant to what suits my purposes. Your argument is pointless.
"There are two groups of people using Linux"
Increasingly a third group who are fed up with Windows GUI going backwards. MS data slurping. The way updates work.
I've used Linux on machines OTHER than main Windows Laptop seriously since 1999. Last year it became my main everyday use on my new laptop,
I've used Mac OS9 and Mac OS X on other people's Apples and far better than Win 9x. But couldn't see the point of extra cost compared to PROPERLY configured Windows XP, besides by 2007 my main reason to run Windows was to keep running windows SW I'd bought, not on Mac or Linux.
I bought an Apple II, real waste of money compared to a more expensive S100 box by time it was upgraded.
There is at least one move group. That group paid for a vendor OS and then installed Linux anyway
I beg you, implore you, please stop. You are funding SCUM - they don't care if you run their software, provided you pay them when you buy a computer ... there are plenty of outfits that sell computers with Linux pre-installed that need your support, provided, of course, that they have the kit you are looking for ...
I build towers, so buy the parts separately ... last time I flung cash over to Slurp was in the 90's for an intelliMouse.
You obviously don't understand Linux or its users. The vast majority of servers run Linux, because it's reliable. Geeks run Linux because it's versatile, flexible and extensible. I run Linux because I make it do exactly what I want quickly, reliably. The average desktop user doesn't know or care about the box under the table. OK. Yet more frequently I'm installing Linux for them because Windows doesn't work, help is useless and they're tired of hassles. Linux can be free, if you know how to run it. Or you can pay for it via service, eg Redhat. That's Linux. Options in a closed shop.
I use Linux because it has less complexity, problems, and bloatware than Windows (I have never used a Mac) and runs Chrome, Firefox, and many other great programs. Being free is just a bonus. Any problem that I've had was solved with a google search. Linux Mint has been my choice for over a decade.
crapple's piggeon box walled garden?
Please enlighten me, in what way is Android's ecosystem not also a pigeon box walled garden ?
macOS X has a Mach kernel, so not really a BSD kernel ... it does have BSD userland tools, though, which is cool ;-). Admittedly not so cool for the Linux generation ... Real UNIX, though I do miss POSIX_ME_HARDER ... arghhh, mon cœur balance.
"Phones will never been real cameras"
My S7 takes some pretty impressive photos, but the thing that will always let a phone down, no matter how good the image sensor, is that phone builders cannot justify making the phone an inch thick in order to tuck in a basic pop-out lens. The pinch to zoom basically throws away the edges of the image and scales up the middle. You're no better off than if you just took a normal (un-zoomed) photo and scaled it up with your favourite image editor. This is a far cry from optical zoom where zooming in focuses a narrower view of the image on the entire sensor, leading to enhanced clarity and no loss of quality due to the zoom.
So when it comes to shots where you can't be right beside the action (think of anything from bird watching to your child's school play) a phone will always be at a disadvantage.
"The pinch to zoom basically throws away the edges of the image and scales up the middle. You're no better off than if you just took a normal (un-zoomed) photo and scaled it up with your favourite image editor."
While I agree a phone camera can't match a real camera, to be honest, the fake zoomed final image will be a little bit better than just taking the middle of the image via your fav photo editor.
The camera will shoot in RAW, take the middle bit and convert to your fake zoomed jpg for output. If you just took the original un zoomed jpg it produced and cropped it for the middle bit, when you saved it more jpg artefacts will be added (it's how jpg works) and the quality will be lower overall. You would notice the problem if you then zoomed in on your pc or mac to see some detail you liked in the image.
When people say their phone takes great pictures, they should try comparing them to ones taken be a real camera at the same time - and not necessarily a super expensive pro camera.
There's no reason Linux or Unix users should not also like Apple or Android, this is not a mutually exclusive club; they are all based on the same underlying software. I use all the above and Windows. Fundamentally they all have advantages and disadvantages and there are cases where one is more appropriate than another. Having and making choices is always better than having none.
Just because I drive one car does not mean I cannot appreciate another, even though I may not choose to own it. If you cannot appreciate the good aspects of one thing without choosing to like it then you are just being narrow minded or obstinate, every thing is a balance and your own personal biases will influence your decisions but do not make them right or wrong.
I had a think about this one from an AC...
"If you use Linux, you're not the Apple target. Someone who doesn't like to spend money is not within the Apple demographics, they like people willingly to spend a lot of money for hardware and software. So, blame yourself."
Blame myself for what exactly? Missing out by not buying a phone I don't want?
Just because I use Linux doesn't mean I don't like to spend money. I just spend it in a different pattern. I buy a small percentage of my clothes from Help For Heroes. (supports UK forces personnel) I bought a messenger bag from Sword and Plough, (supports US forces personnel) AND coughed for the import duties. I bought the last O-Bike Fishing t-shirt. (supports clean up Australia - yes, O-Bike fishing in the Yarra river is a thing now - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xuwl6vKiTLU ) I've just bought a classic marble watch from Analog. (that model supports the Schuylkill centre for environmental education) and I've got Rags of Honor on my shopping list for next year, now that they ship to the UK. I've also spent money on Linux and OpenSource... Last purchase was a license for ClickRepair. I don't expect everything for free, and you're assumption that Linux users want everything for nothing is unbelievably misguided and wrong.
Yes... I'll blame myself. I'll blame myself for giving a crap about the companies that I spend my money with.
(of course, I fully expect AC to come back to me and try and protect their statement by claiming I missed their point - welcome to the Internet)
BE GLAD that phones cost less than a $1000 US (750 Euros)
I remember paying over $2000 US (1500 Euros) for a NON-Smartphone!
I should note though I'm currently using a super rugged full Made in Canada
Milspec 810F/G and IP68 6.3 inch phablet that's running with 4K 4096x2160
pixel display using a laptop CPU and GPU and an encrypted and secured OS.
The motherboards and most of the onboard components and even the CPU
and GPU are Made in Canada or Germany (i.e. ITAR-free) for security reasons!
The OLED display comes form Japan.
I think the company paid like $17,000 US for each phone
so on a technical basis $1000 US dollars for an iPhone ain't bad
considering SOME phones are A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE than
an iPhone X.
And if you have an Android phone and a Mac you need to download software to connect them together. I usually use a USB cable. Bluetooth does work, kind of, only one way and only occasionally.
So, if Apple have to play nice with all the flavours of Linux out of the box then Android has to play nice with Mac stuff too.
Also why Apple have to support people who run Linux on Apple hardware is beyond me. If you want to run Linux, why spend all the money on Apple hardware?
"I see parallels with Formula 1 where there is a theoretical trickle down to road cars but it only seems to show on the >£1million supercars "
You couldn't be more wrong about that.... in recent times turbos became common place because of F1. Improvements in brakes, safety systems, fuel efficiency, creating more power from smaller engines. Hybrid technology... chassis design... Tyre technology... all these things and probably lots more trickle down from car manufactures being involved in F1. it's the *reason* they're in F1, the kudos of winning is supplemental.
all these things and probably lots more trickle down from car manufactures being involved in F1
Some are, most are not. There's quite a few very good car makers with zip involvement in F1 (or any near equivalent), they still have the toys - and often do them better than those companies sponsoring F1.
Also it will be less reliable. Extra complexity,
Stupid design of display.
Crazy expensive (only partly due to extra costs).
Though the best thing for Electronics would be to allow lead in solder. Just don't dump in landfill and it's fine. Look at lead recycling of car batteries. Lead would dramatically reduce failure rates and scrappage which has reached epidemic proportions.
I'm late to this but, I'm -glad- they use leadfree solder in most gear these days.
The reason why I'm glad is because when it comes to reworking/repairing equipment, one of the big problems is trying to remove the parts (with heat) without disturbing everything else. Now on the -removal- phase everything is going to melt at the same temperature, which is a pain, you still do it but it's a bit like walking on thin ice, however when you install new parts you typically will use leaded solder/balls for the task, as such you can get your repair done at a lower temperature/faster without disturbing the rest of the board as much a second time.
Big thing I'd like to see them stop using is the dreaded underfill. Corner-bonding I can handle, but underfill is such a royal PITA.
" to allow lead in solder" . I have to agree with your comment there. But in today's society it all about "I want it NOW attitude and not willing to just wait for anything to get fixed properly. Unleaded solder does seem more brittle than leaded and also you have to heat the unleaded even more than leaded.
phone? Its not a phone its a mobile, a phone can just make calls. This you can browse the web on, take photos, listen to music, do your banking, check your tesco club card balance, play games, watch films, airplay powerpoints to screens, check your email, get directions , pay for things and make a phone call to name but a few things.
phone? Its not a phone its a mobile, a phone can just make calls. This you can browse the web on, take photos, listen to music, do your banking, check your tesco club card balance, play games, watch films, airplay powerpoints to screens, check your email, get directions , pay for things and make a phone call to name but a few things.
True. But so can my OnePlus One that cost £250 two years ago, and still does all those things.
Its not a phone its a mobile, a phone can just make calls. - and a "mobile" is a thing that hangs over a cot...
This you can browse the web on, - nothing extraordinary there, a choice of *different* web browsers is pretty standard on Android.
take photos, - check, and my device gives a choice of photo/video sizes, plus options for things like white balance and ASA rating (more than my iPad Mini ever offered)
listen to music, - not impressed, a twenty euro gadget that would run for hours on a single AAA cell can hold a gigabyte or two of music (and for added lol some of the Chinese ones are basically a turbo charged Z80 core bolted to a DSP!)
do your banking, - I use the browser, don't plan on using an app for that
check your tesco club card balance, - my supermarket offered, I checked the requested permissions and walked away
play games, - whoo. My mother's phone (that can barely do SMS never mind anything more complicated) has a racing car game and a snakes game (it's like you'd expect from an '80s console!)
watch films, - all of my mobiles of the last near decade have been able to do that
airplay powerpoints to screens, - took me a while to work out what you were on about. Don't know if my phone can share PowerPoint slides to anything, I'd rather set fire to my eyes than sit through yet another inane presentation with animated bullet points and fifty different fonts because the twat that created the presentation just discovered all these really great features and so decided to use all of them at the same time...
check your email, - mine checks multiple accounts every fifteen minutes and doesn't cock up IMAP or refuse to expire older messages.
get directions, - Google Maps.
pay for things - I prefer cash, one can keep track of expenditure if payment is more involved than waving a phone...
and make a phone call to name but a few things. - ditto.
So I can already do what this £1000 mobile can do using a less expensive and more compatible (with *other* things) mobile.
Wake me up when it can do something new...
Each to their own. People think I'm mad paying £4k for a camera body and £1500 for my lenses but it's my money. I have to stand on a bloody tube every day with some dirty buggers armpit in my face, then spend all day in an office with people I dislike, making money for ultra rich people I'll never know all just to get my small slice of the pie. So if I blow £10k on camera kit for nothing more than a hobby for fun, what business is it of theirs? My family still eats, still goes out to do things they like, they can still buy clothes, they don't go without while I buy toys for myself.
So if people want to spend £1100 on a mobile phone, be my guest. I refuse to pay that, £150 jobbie from TESCO is good enough for me but those same people would hopefully respect my desire to spend my money how I wish.
People always think somethig silly if its not their idea, I bet the people who get the £1000 jesus phone can't understand why anyone would spend an equal amount on a computer (and yes I think spending more than £200 on a mobile phone is silly but then again I mostly use it for calls and text messages).
I keep telling people to get a dashcam, when I mentioned its normally about £100 for a decent dashcam and a media card they then say its to expensive for their car they probably spent over 10 grand on (Although more people just want a new car on the lease plan's, I would prefer just to get one a few years old)
"OK, I'll bite. I'm genuinely curious. Why is it worth spending £100 on a decent dashcam? Even if they were free I currently wouldn't be tempted to put one in my car."
Never driven around London or Manchester then, I've had a number of near misses where people are no paying attention, another reason for me is so I can review my own mistakes (When you buy one you will instantly see red for everything before you realise how silly you are in most cases). Another is if there is something to rubber neck at, just ignore it and view it on camera later.
"Never driven around London or Manchester then" ..... OK - thanks for the update. I genuinely was curious. Whilst I do drive through London from time to time and have had a few near misses (some my fault but more often not), I never see red so don't feel the need to forensically review them. I won't be putting one in my car, but now understand why you do.
@AC "making money for ultra rich people I'll never know all just to get my small slice of the pie ...."
If you can afford to blow £10K on camera kit (and why not, you can spend your money how you want) your personal slice of the pie isn't too bad. There are plenty of people in the world who would consider you to be "ultra rich" as their concept of rich is being able to put enough rice on the table to feed their family.
Yes but that camera actually does it's job really, really well and the improvements, compared to "average" cameras, can be of practical utility whereas an iphone is an iphone - it works as a phone, it works as worry beads on a boring train ride and it does a bit of internet/PDA stuff. These are things that just need to be done well, doing those things in a better/best way is not really possible for mere electronics.
Spend your excess wealth on an expensive camera and I'll envy you, spend it on the latest and greatest iphone and I'll question your judgement.
Nobody really 'needs' a Ferrari.... I may spend more for an electric cars that doesn't pollute, maybe, or something alike, but the iPhone X is exactly like a Ferrari, or Rolex, great engineering, excellent to show off, but you don't really 'need' it.
Stacked SLP, often referred to misleadingly as a "stacked logic board"
Okay, you told me what Stacked SLP doesn't mean, but what does it mean? Is this one of those things everybody else knows except me?
None of the acronyms on wikipedia seem to fit, and all 129 search results on "stacked slp" seem to refer to regurgitated iPhone X stories with no explanation of the term.
However searching for "slp" alone, it seems to stand for "Substrate-Like PCB". From this article;
The SLP, a main substrate for next-generation smartphones, is an advanced type of the current mainstream High Density Interconnected (HDI) PCB technology. Integrating the HDI PCB with chip packaging technology, the new substrate has a better efficiency by increasing the number of layers while reducing its area and width.
So as far as I can tell, SLP basically means PCBs with more layers and smaller, higher density features, and commensurately smaller chips. One can only assume that "Stacked SLP" means, well, multiple SLPs in a stack?
From what I've read, it includes the embedding of passive components (specifically, resistors and capacitors) within the layers. Apparently future developments will include the embedding of active components (chips). This has already happened on the surface, with the embedding of chips within chip carriers.
Or so I'm told.
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What is the turnover rate like for production on stacked SLP boards?
Must be something interesting regarding quality control as they need to control the manufacturing process tightly, as contaminants will destroy a large number of boards...
In contrast the 48k Speccy seems to be very, very simple...
Drawback with SLP and higher-density electronics is that a minuscule drop of moisture can damage more electronics...
There's stuff called Silicone Conform Spray, and is used for potting PCBs as an alternative to epoxy resin. According to one 3D printing website I stumbled across (I was looking for a food safe material for making jelly molds) some people also use Conform Spray on personalised 3D printed dildos.
>> @Dave 126
>> personalised 3D printed dildos.
Sometimes I marvel at how far the human race has come since we came down from the trees. Sometimes I reflect on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
How the barbarians at the gates of Rome must have sniggered at their inferior commodity dildos
Conformal coating (CC) (silicone, polyurethane, or Acrylic are all common forms -- not to be confused with potting, which is often silicone or epoxy) is commonly used to coat PCB assemblies. Advantages are resistance to external chemicals, water (aside from on exposed connectors), better dielectric performance (in some cases), etc. Disadvantages include increased cost. Heat flow can be a concern as well. Coatings may need to cure/dry before use, and some tend to be explosive/poisonous during application, requiring extra handling concerns. Application can be done by "rattle can", by automated spraying equipment, or by immersing the board in the material and dripping off the excess.
Rework isn't usually impacted. Lots of the commonly used coatings are easy to strip with the proper materials, or can even be simply burned away during rework. Coatings can impact test if they cover test points, so they're usually applied after any bed of nails testing. If functional test is done to the assembly, it can be done after test as long as the I/O is through connectors.
Speaking of connectors, they need to be masked off when applying conformal coatings.
BGAs present some challenges. Most CC materials aren't runny enough to act as an underfill for a BGA. The silicone materials I've seen tend to be applied in thicker layers, so they could dam up around the perimeter of the BGAs. Acrylic and polyurethanes tend to be in the <100 micron range for thickness, so they're not going to dam up unless misapplied.
Not a coatings expert by any means, but have worked in electronics assembly for quite a while. My experience is that most customers that want conformal coating on their boards did so because of Apollo 13. There's this institutional belief that conformal coating saved the day preventing the condensation on the electronics from shorting things out. We just nod politely and update the quote to reflect the added time and material.
*laughs* love your Apollo 13 comment and observation. Have an upvote and a brew.
What I find funny here are the people who do a crap job of cleaning boards and then blissfully encapsulate with a great coating and wonder why they get various plagues... or fail to bake out components prior to reflow or high vacuum... so many ways to FAIL! And theb they blame the conformal chemicals...
Sorry not really impressed.
I've been doing a bit of delving round printed wiring board tech. People were doing 50 layers for mainframes in the early 80's. This tech may include embedded (separate) or printed (onto, or into) the layer resistors/capacitors/inductors. Standard PCB tech (FR4) is usually stated as good to 36 layers.
This may be cutting edge in very expensive cell phones but has been around for most of the last 4 decades in Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic ("low temperature" is relative. It will also work quite happily up to >500c).
The design rules are pretty tight, though - 0.8 thou track and gap (20 micron) , I'm seeing from manufacturers.
It's the stacking of the boards through that via-laden interposer board that I find interesting - although the amount of waste from all those 'middles' seems sad.
(That's just the good photo from ifixit of the stacked interposer)
Also interesting that the BGAs are backfilled, but they haven't gone the next step and filled the whole assembly for thermal and rigidity reasons. Maybe it makes things worse with heat coming from different chips at different times?
Thermal stress was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the teardown. With no thermal goo, I wonder if the OS has to juggle clock speeds to match the temperature between the two sides of the sandwich. Or maybe it cracks in two years and Apple tells you to buy a new one?
That is rather more impressive.
"although the amount of waste from all those 'middles' seems sad."
LTCC also supports the creation of cavities inside a board and hermetic sealing lids. This is presumably the PWB way to do something like it.
"Also interesting that the BGAs are backfilled, but they haven't gone the next step and filled the whole assembly for thermal and rigidity reasons. "
Possibly. Air convection can be surprisingly effective at carrying heat (as anyone whose been on a draft hunt around an old house knows). Another option would be "thermal vias" under the BGA's just for heat transfer, as it's a shorter path.
Thanks for the photo; good stuff.
Regarding lack of full pot on assembly, there are a few reasons: with the increased mass comes lower frequency eigenmodes and therefore greater coupling of shock and vibe into your boards and solder joints. Phone design has the luxury of using really small boards with high freq responses- show me a 40cm x 40cm, 20 layer board that does well in shock and I will be truly impressed. 5cm by 10cm not as much.
Thick conformal has a lot of gotchas possible with respect to differential coefficient of thermal expansion stresses... and if you fail to degas it you can get little bubbles giving rise to ideal gas law-driven thermal stresses...
Unless you are doing high voltage or anti tamper a little dab'll do ya. This is one area where "the bigger the blob the better the job" is NOT the way to go.
@John Smith 19
"Sorry not really impressed... ...People were doing 50 layers for mainframes in the early 80's..."
Just a slight bit of difference between 50 layers in a mainframe the size of a family saloon car, and 20 layers in a single PCB less than 1mm thick. Also, a 1980s IBM System/36 5360 CPU was manufactured with a 405nm track width on a 16" x 24" board, as opposed to the Apple A11 Bionic's 8nm track width, on a board less than 1.5" x 0.75", and then 20 layers deep.
Sounds slightly more impressive when put like that, doesn't it.
405nm is 0.405 micrometres.
That's 0.000405 mm
The System/36 was part of IBM''s mid range hardware, so not a mainframe either.
If you meant 405 micrometres that would be about 16 mils (thousandths of an inch. Appropriate as nearly all PWB dimensions seem to use Imperial units).
8nm would be below the current smallest linewidth on computer chips.
I personally don't see the point of such high resolutions on screens that are only 4 - 5" in size. Unless your looking at your screen through a magnifying glass your not going to be able to notice the difference over a normal HD screen.
I would prefer a lower resolution screen with a bigger capacity battery and therefore you get a more use from your phone in between charging up.
I wondered why Apple would need higher resolution than Retina when iphone X was announced - as they had made a real song and dance at the time of launch of Retina (iPhone 4) that it was the best needed on account of humans resolving abilities... BUT people are now looking at their phones from really close up through lenses a la Cardboard. Looks pretty pixelly this way.
Can you play Crysis with two thumbs covering 25% of the display area?
Even on a PC with a large screen I recall enemies of near microscopic scale shooting at me from distant mountain fortresses.
May have to do some retro-gaming this weekend, just to reminisce of course !
The phone itself is barely larger than 8 and significantly smaller than the 8 plus despite the larger screen (as you'd expect with less bezel) so getting a battery closer in size to the 8 plus than then 8 is a pretty good deal. I think Apple was claiming a couple hours more battery life compared to the 8.
"...The X's 1125x2436 panel is a significant improvement then...."
No it isn't.
"...2014's iPhone 6 Plus, used a 1242x2208 panel..."
Even "downscaled to 1080x1920" it's isn't "significant".
QHD is more significant than this yet another non standard aspect ratio and non-standard resolution.
1000 bucks.... not in a 1000 years!
For high performance RF / mixed signal PCBs I don't find 20 layers particularly heroic. What IS novel is being able to make them really, really cheap. Mitigating factors: the frequencies involved in an mobile are not particularly high. The boarda are physically small, which alleviates a lot of differential coefficient of thermal expansion-driven problems. Design lifetime for a mobile is a small fraction of what we need in, say, aerospace or biomedical space.
And then the big gun: modern design and production test methodologies such as halt/hass permits the cheapest possible acceptably robust boards.
Conformal? Almost certainly something like parylene C, applied in a fine (order of thickness... microns) layer through chemical vapor deposition. Used to be only for military / space / biomedical. But if you can afford cvd - and Foxconn can - its What You Do. Perfect control of layer thickness. No meniscus stresses or cte problems - layer too thin. Totally impervious to water and most solvents. You will find the current state of the art uses nanoparticles like aluminum silicide to make the layers hygroscopic.
My Jolla 1 cost €150 new, two years ago. While the hardware itself is unremarkable, it is a reliable companion in a durable and compact package, with excellent battery life. Sailfish OS is a revelation - indeed I see Apple have now copied its gesture based window management. Though despite adding some whizz-bang features they still lag badly behind on fundamentals such as file transfers and multitasking. Who cares how many layers the PCBs use when you can't make the device do what you want? I have an iPad as well, and it feels like a stone-age device compared to the Jolla. It seems arbitrarily restricted in so many ways; try installing self signed certificates, doing SSH file transfers, adding additional video codec support, switching between writing an email and browsing the web, or using it as USB mass storage - or any number of other things I expect a general purpose computer to be capable of. Apple makes tech for technologically illiterate insecure poseurs, which though it may be a bigger market does little to impress me.
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