With all the electronic signals flowing through a modern smartphone, as processors whiz away, cellular radios connect us with the outside world, and all these components talk to each other as quickly as they can, it’s almost amazing that our phones aren’t positively overwhelmed by electromagnetic interference. Manufacturers use shielding to help keep problem signals at bay, like the type you see above from an iPhone 5s. But now we’re hearing that Apple could be going in a slightly different direction for the iPhone 7, and rather than the one-shield-covers-all layout that we have here, the iPhone 7 could get individual shields for each of its major chips.
While the one-big-shield technique works well enough to protect ICs on the logic board from interference from other phone components (and vice versa), it’s limited in its ability to reduce interference between the chips within. Instead, per-chip individual shielding would cap each IC with its own ultra-thin metal cover, electromagnetically isolating it from its neighbors.
Apple’s already taken one early step in this direction with the shielding it uses for the S1 chip driving the Apple Watch, but the iPhone 7 could see the company take this tech and start bringing it to its smartphones.
This is only the latest in what’s becoming a recent string of iPhone 7 rumors related to the phone’s internal electronics. That’s also included the possibility of an LCD with a touch panel optimized for wet-finger use (in line with rumors about waterproofing), and word that the iPhone 7 could finally see Apple embrace a wireless charging system.