Apple’s cooling method patent covers an advanced system that can be adjusted to direct cooling to the hottest areas of a device.
The US Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple with the “Methods and apparatus for cooling electronic devices” patent on Tuesday. The patent describes a system that directs ionized air moving through a device by deflecting it using an electric or magnetic field. This system could, for example, detect when a particular part of a device has exceeded its temperature threshold, and redirect some of the airflow towards that part to help it cool down.
At present, mechanical fans in Apple’s devices are used to pull in air and direct it through set physical paths, most commonly over a passive heat exchanger, and then back out through the computer’s exhaust port.
Apple’s new invention covers “various apparatus and techniques for deflecting or redirecting a flow of ionized air generated from an ionic wind generator,” describes the patent’s abstract. “In general, a deflection field generator can be located proximate to the path of the flow of ionized air. The deflection field generator is configured to generate an electromagnetic field, which deflects at least a portion of the flow of ionized air to a different path and may possibly increase local heat transfer.”
Apple doesn’t specify which type of device it has designed the ionic wind generator for, but it could be used in its desktop and laptop Macs, as well as its iOS devices.
Apple was also granted a patent entitled “Shock mounting cover glass in consumer electronics devices,” which covers apparatus, systems and methods for shock mounting cover glass for an electronic device such as an iPhone.
Various embodiments are described in the patent, including one that involves a controller, sensor and actuator. “The controller and sensor are used to sense a drop event,” reads Apple’s patent. “The actuator could be coupled with the cover glass for withdrawing the cover glass at least partially into the housing in response to sensing the drop event, thereby protecting for the cover glass.”
Apple also covers protection from water damage using a water seal and stronger glass, and even a tunable shock mount that could compromise of an inflatable bladder filled with a fluid, which is effectively an air-bag for your portable devices.
Among the rest of the patents granted to Apple this week is an iOS photo management system, microperforation illumination (the process that makes the Apple logo glow on MacBooks), adjusting audio output of devices with a sound sensor that can determine the ambient sound level, and the original design of the iPad.
[Via Patently Apple]