Apple Attains mm-Wave Yagi Antenna Patent for 5G Products

Apple has bagged the first U.S. Millimeter Wave Yagi Antenna Patent (number 20170309991) from the FCC for future iDevices designed for 5G networks. Millimeter wave antennas should appear in upcoming iPhones, iPads, and perhaps Macs designed for next generation 5G networks expected to roll out sometime in 2020 and 2021.

The Millimeter wave is the frequency band from about 30 GHz to 300 GHz and is being used for high-speed wireless broadband communications. This undeveloped band of spectrum can be used in a broad range of products and services like high speed, point-to-point wireless local area networks (WLANs) and broadband access. It is also going to be used by the upcoming 5G standard. Due to the wavelength at this frequency, antennas developed for this band can be extremely compact and have a wide bandwidth, high gain and high directivity.

Here is Apple’s summary of the invention:

"An electronic device may be provided with wireless circuitry. The wireless circuitry may include one or more antennas. The antennas may include phased antenna arrays each of which includes multiple antenna elements. Phased antenna arrays may be formed from printed circuit board Yagi antennas or other antennas. A millimeter wave transceiver may use the antennas to transmit and receive wireless signals".

“The antennas may be mounted at the corners of an electronic device housing or elsewhere in an electronic device. An electronic device housing may be formed from metal and may have an opening filled with dielectric. The antennas may be aligned with portions of the dielectric. Printed circuit board antennas may have reflectors, radiators, and directors. The reflectors, radiators, and directors may be arranged to align radiation patterns for the antennas with the plastic-filled slots or other dielectric regions in the metal housing.”

"The reflector, radiator, and directors may be configured so that each antenna has a radiation pattern that is aligned with a respective portion of the dielectric in the metal housing. In printed circuit boards with multiple substrate layers, different directors in an antenna may be embedded between different respective pairs of the substrate layers to form vertically oriented or diagonally oriented radiation patterns. The directors of an antenna may also be formed along the surface of a printed circuit board so that the antenna exhibits a horizontally oriented radiation pattern." Click here for more information on the patent.