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United States Patent Application 20190082563
Kind Code A1
WAH; Melissa A. ;   et al. March 14, 2019

PLATE FOR MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF AN OPERATIONAL COMPONENT IN A PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE

Abstract

This application relates to a portable electronic device. According to some embodiments, a portable electronic device is described. The portable electronic device includes a magnetically-responsive operational component capable of executing a function. The portable electronic device further includes an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, where the magnetic is capable of interfering with the execution of the function by the magnetically-responsive operational component. The portable electronic device further includes a shielding plate that includes (i) a first nickel-iron layer that overlays a first surface of the shielding plate, and (ii) a second nickel-iron layer that overlays a second surface of the shielding plate, where the second surface is opposite the first surface, and the first and second nickel-iron layers are capable of shielding the magnetic flux away from the magnetically-responsive operational component.


Inventors: WAH; Melissa A.; (San Jose, CA) ; DUNSMOOR; David J.; (San Jose, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Apple Inc.

Cupertino

CA

US
Family ID: 1000003615154
Appl. No.: 16/127055
Filed: September 10, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62557090Sep 11, 2017

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H05K 9/0075 20130101; H05K 5/0217 20130101
International Class: H05K 9/00 20060101 H05K009/00; H05K 5/02 20060101 H05K005/02

Claims



1. A portable electronic device having a magnetically-responsive operational component capable of executing a function, the portable electronic device comprising: an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, wherein the magnetic flux is capable of interfering with the execution of the function by the magnetically-responsive operational component; and a shielding plate that includes: (i) a first nickel-iron layer that overlays a first surface of the shielding plate, and (ii) a second nickel-iron layer that overlays a second surface of the shielding plate, wherein the second surface is opposite the first surface, and the first and second nickel-iron layers are capable of shielding the magnetic flux away from the magnetically-responsive operational component.

2. The portable electronic device of claim 1, wherein the magnetically-responsive operational component includes a magnetic compass, a haptic feedback module, a speaker module, or a sensor.

3. The portable electronic device of claim 1, wherein the shielding plate is coated with a nickel-phosphorous layer.

4. The portable electronic device of claim 3, wherein the support plate further includes: a copper layer that is electroplated over the first and second nickel-iron layers, wherein the copper layer is capable of electrically shielding the magnetically-responsive operational component.

5. The portable electronic device of claim 4, wherein the magnetic flux induces counter-vailing eddy currents in the copper layer.

6. The portable electronic device of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second nickel-iron layers include between about 15 wt % to about 25 wt % of iron.

7. The portable electronic device of claim 1, wherein the first and second nickel-iron layers prevent the magnetic flux from affecting the magnetically-responsive operational component.

8. The portable electronic device of claim 4, wherein the copper layer has a thickness between about 5 micrometers to about 30 micrometers.

9. A portable electronic device having an operational component that generates magnetic flux, the portable electronic device comprising: an electronic component; a magnetic operational component capable of performing a function; and a support plate that is overlaid by the electronic component, the support plate including a nickel-iron layer that generates a magnetic field capable of shielding the electronic component from the magnetic flux, the support plate including: (i) a first section that corresponds to the electronic component, and (ii) a second section that corresponds to the magnetic operational component, wherein a thickness of the support plate at the second section is less than a thickness of the first section to prevent the magnetic field generated by the nickel-iron layer from interfering with the function of the magnetic operational component.

10. The portable electronic device of claim 9, wherein the support plate is disposed between the operational component and the electronic component.

11. The portable electronic device of claim 9, wherein the support plate further includes: a copper layer that overlays the nickel-iron layer, wherein the copper layer shields the electronic component from the magnetic flux.

12. The portable electronic device of claim 11, wherein the second section of the support plate only includes the nickel-iron layer.

13. The portable electronic device of claim 12, wherein the first section of the support plate includes the copper layer and the nickel-iron layer.

14. The portable electronic device of claim 9, wherein the magnetic operational component includes at least one of a magnetic compass, a haptic feedback module, or a speaker module.

15. The portable electronic device of claim 9, wherein the support plate further includes: a nickel-phosphorous layer that prevents corrosion of the nickel-iron layer.

16. A portable electronic device including an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, wherein the magnetic flux is capable of interfering with operations of first and second operational components, the portable electronic device comprising: a shielding plate that includes a magnetic shielding layer having a variable cross-section that includes (i) a first section that deflects at least some of the magnetic flux from reaching the first operational component, and (ii) a second section that is insufficient to generate a magnetic field that impairs the operation of the second operational component.

17. The portable electronic device of claim 16, wherein the first operational component includes at least one of an integrated circuit, a circuit board, or a trace, and the second operational component includes a magnetic element.

18. The portable electronic device of claim 16, wherein the magnetic shielding layer includes: a nickel-iron layer; and a copper layer.

19. The portable electronic device of claim 18, wherein the shielding plate further includes a nickel alloy layer.

20. The portable electronic device of claim 16, wherein a thickness of the first section is between about 5 micrometers to about 30 micrometers.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/557,090, entitled "PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE," filed Sep. 11, 2017, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety for all purposes.

[0002] This patent application is also related and incorporates by reference in their entirety each of the following co-pending patent applications: [0003] (i) U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. P36577US2/27920US.2) entitled "THERMALLY CONDUCTIVE STRUCTURE FOR DISSIPATING HEAT IN A PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE" by HOOTON et al. filed Sep. 10, 2018; [0004] (ii) U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. P36577US4/27920US.4) entitled "STRUCTURES FOR SECURING OPERATIONAL COMPONENTS IN A PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE" by RAMMAH et al. filed Sep. 10, 2018; [0005] (iii) U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. P36577US5/27920US.5) entitled "SPACE-EFFICIENT FLEX CABLE WITH IMPROVED SIGNAL INTEGRITY FOR A PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE" by SLOEY et al. filed Sep. 10, 2018; and [0006] (iv) U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket No. P36577US6/27920US.6) entitled "SUBSTRATE MARKING FOR SEALING SURFACES" by HAWTHORNE et al. filed Sep. 10, 2018.

FIELD

[0007] The described embodiments relate generally to a plate for shielding operational components in a portable electronic device. More particularly, the described embodiments relate to shielding the operational components from magnetic flux lines generated by inductive charging of a coil in the portable electronic device.

BACKGROUND

[0008] A portable electronic device may include a charging coil for wirelessly charging of a battery carried by the portable electronic device. Additionally, the portable electronic device may include operational components (e.g., a display assembly, transceivers, camera modules, etc.) that are capable of executing functions. However, the wireless charging of the charging coil generates an alternating magnetic field that causes electromagnetic interference within the portable electronic device. Consequently, the electromagnetic interference impairs the functionality of these operational components. Therefore, there is a need to enable wireless charging of the battery while enabling these operational components to execute their respective functions.

SUMMARY

[0009] This paper describes various embodiments that relate to a plate for shielding operational components in a portable electronic device. In particular, the various embodiments relate to shielding the operational components from magnetic flux lines generated by inductive charging of a coil in the portable electronic device.

[0010] According to some embodiments, a portable electronic device is described. The portable electronic device includes a magnetically-responsive operational component capable of executing a function. The portable electronic device further includes an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, where the magnetic is capable of interfering with the execution of the function by the magnetically-responsive operational component. The portable electronic device further includes a shielding plate that includes (i) a first nickel-iron layer that overlays a first surface of the shielding plate, and (ii) a second nickel-iron layer that overlays a second surface of the shielding plate, where the second surface is opposite the first surface, and the first and second nickel-iron layers are capable of shielding the magnetic flux away from the magnetically-responsive operational component.

[0011] According to some embodiments, a portable electronic device is described. The portable electronic device includes an operational component that generates magnetic flux. The portable electronic device includes an electronic component, a magnetic operational component capable of performing a function, and a support plate that is overlaid by the electronic component, the support plate including a nickel-iron layer that generates a magnetic field capable of shielding the electronic component from the magnetic flux. The support plate includes (i) a first section that corresponds to the electronic component, and (ii) a second section that corresponds to the magnetic operational component, where a thickness of the support plate at the second section is less than a thickness of the first section such as to prevent the magnetic field generated by the nickel-iron layer from interfering with the function of the magnetic operational component.

[0012] According to some embodiments, a portable electronic device is described. The portable electronic device includes an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, where the magnetic flux is capable of interfering with operations of first and second operational components. The portable electronic device includes a shielding plate that includes a magnetic shielding layer having a variable cross-section that includes (i) a first section that deflects at least some of the magnetic flux from reaching the first operational component, and (ii) a second section that is insufficient to generate a magnetic field that impairs the operation of the second operational component.

[0013] Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the described embodiments.

[0014] This Summary is provided merely for purposes of summarizing some example embodiments so as to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the subject matter described herein. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the above-described features are merely examples and should not be construed to narrow the scope or spirit of the subject matter described herein in any way. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the subject matter described herein will become apparent from the following Detailed Description, Figures, and Claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The disclosure will be readily understood by the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like structural elements.

[0016] FIGS. 1A-1B illustrate perspective views of a portable electronic device that includes a plate for shielding operational components, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0017] FIGS. 2A-2B illustrate a side view and a cross-sectional view of a portable electronic device that includes a plate for shielding operational components, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0018] FIG. 3A illustrates a cross-sectional view of a conventional portable electronic device having a component that generates magnetic flux lines, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0019] FIG. 3B illustrates a cross-sectional view of a portable electronic device having a component that generates magnetic flux lines, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0020] FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded view of an operational component of a portable electronic device, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0021] FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded view of a system for shielding an operational component of a portable electronic device, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0022] FIGS. 6A-6B illustrate top views of a portable electronic device including a system for shielding operational components, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0023] FIGS. 7A-7E illustrate cross-sectional views of a plate for shielding operational components, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0024] FIGS. 8A-8B illustrate cross-sectional views of a plate for shielding operational components, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0025] FIG. 9 illustrates a flowchart for forming a plate for shielding operational components of a portable electronic device, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0026] FIG. 10 illustrates a system diagram of a portable electronic device, in accordance with some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0027] Representative applications of methods and apparatus according to the present application are described in this section. These examples are being provided solely to add context and aid in the understanding of the described embodiments. It will thus be apparent to one skilled in the art that the described embodiments may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known process steps have not been described in detail in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the described embodiments. Other applications are possible, such that the following examples should not be taken as limiting.

[0028] In the following detailed description, references are made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the description and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in accordance with the described embodiments. Although these embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable one skilled in the art to practice the described embodiments, it is understood that these examples are not limiting; such that other embodiments may be used, and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the described embodiments.

[0029] The embodiments described herein relate generally to a plate for shielding operational components in a portable electronic device. In particular, the various embodiments relate to shielding the operational components from magnetic flux lines generated by inductive charging of a coil in the portable electronic device. As described herein, the shielding plate may also refer to a support plate, or a magnetic shielding plate.

[0030] Although recent technological advances and increased consumer demand have led manufacturers to attempt to incorporate a charging coil within a portable electronic device for wireless charging of a battery such advancements are not without challenges. In particular, the portable electronic devices includes operational components (e.g., a display assembly, transceivers, camera modules, etc.) having integrated circuits, traces, or printed circuit boards that are capable of executing functions. However, the wireless charging of the battery causes the charging coil to generate an alternating magnetic field, which impairs the functionality of these operational components to transmit and/or receive electrical signals. Therefore, there is a need to enable wireless charging of the battery while enabling these operational components to execute their respective functions.

[0031] Further complicating matters is that some of these operational components refer to magnetically-responsive components that rely upon an intrinsic magnetic field to provide functions, such as a speaker module, haptic feedback module, and a magnetic compass, and rely upon these magnetic elements to execute functions. Accordingly, in addition to preventing magnetic interference of these operational components, these operational components should preferably be positioned away from any magnetic field that is generated by a ferrite material. However, positioning these operational components away may be challenging due to the lack of available space within the small cavity of the enclosure of the portable electronic device.

[0032] To cure the aforementioned deficiencies, the systems and technique described herein relate to a shielding plate having a variable cross-section so as to selectively shield different operational components from magnetic interference. In particular, the shielding plate may include sections having different thicknesses relative to each other, and therefore, different amounts of magnetic shielding. In some embodiments, the shielding plate includes at least one of a nickel-steel alloy layer or nickel-iron alloy layer or copper layer. According to some embodiments, the nickel-iron alloy may be referred to as a nickel-steel alloy.

[0033] According to some embodiments, a portable electronic device is described. The portable electronic device includes a magnetically-responsive operational component capable of executing a function. The portable electronic device further includes an electronic component that generates magnetic flux, where the magnetic is capable of interfering with the execution of the function by the magnetically-responsive operational component. The portable electronic device further includes a shielding plate that includes (i) a first nickel-iron layer that overlays a first surface of the shielding plate, and (ii) a second nickel-iron layer that overlays a second surface of the shielding plate, where the second surface is opposite the first surface, and the first and second nickel-iron layers are capable of shielding the magnetic flux away from the magnetically-responsive operational component.

[0034] These and other embodiments are discussed below with reference to FIGS. 1A-1B, 2A-2B, 3A-3B, 4-5, 6A-6B, 7A-7E, 8A-8B, and 9-10. However, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these figures is for explanatory purposes only and should not be construed as limiting.

[0035] FIGS. 1A-1B illustrate a portable electronic device that includes support structures, in accordance with various embodiments. In particular, the support structures are capable of supporting operational components that are carried within a cavity of an enclosure of the portable electronic device. According to some examples, the portable electronic device can include a computing device, a smartphone, a laptop, a smartwatch, a fitness tracker, a mobile phone, a wearable consumer device, and the like. The enclosure of the portable electronic device can also be referred to as a housing.

[0036] FIG. 1A illustrates a first perspective view of the portable electronic device 100, where the portable electronic device 100 includes an enclosure 110 having walls that define a cavity (not illustrated), where one or more operational components are carried within the cavity. The enclosure 110 includes a top wall 112-A, a bottom wall 112-B, and side walls 112-C.

[0037] FIG. 1A illustrates that the portable electronic device 100 includes a display assembly 102 that covers a majority of a top surface of the enclosure 110. The display assembly 102 can include a capacitive unit and/or a force detection unit that is capable of detecting an input at the display assembly 102 and presenting a corresponding graphical output at the display assembly 102. In some embodiments, the display assembly 102 is overlaid by a protective cover 108, where the protective cover 108 is secured with a trim structure 106. In particular, the trim structure 106 may be joined to the enclosure 110 with an attachment feature, such as an adhesive, a weld, and the like. The protective cover 108 may prevent surface abrasions and scratches from damaging the display assembly 102. The protective cover 108 may be formed from a transparent material, such as glass, plastic, sapphire, or the like.

[0038] In some embodiments, the top wall 112-A may be separated from the bottom wall 112-B by a dielectric material 116-A, and the side walls 112-C may be separated from the top wall 112-A and the bottom wall 112-B by the dielectric material 116-B. The dielectric material 116-A, B can include plastic, injection-molded plastic, polyethylene terephthalate ("PET"), polyether ether ketone ("PEEK"), ceramic, and the like. By incorporating the dielectric material 116-A, B, the walls 112-A, B, C are capable of being electrically isolated from each other.

[0039] According to some embodiments, the portable electronic device 100 includes a button 140 and a switch 142 that are carried along the side wall 112-C. The bottom wall 112-B includes a connector 120 that is capable of providing data and/or power to the portable electronic device 100. In some examples, the connector 120 refers to a bus and power connector.

[0040] According to some embodiments, the portable electronic device 100 includes a notch 122 in proximity to the top wall 112-A. As illustrated in FIG. 1A, the notch 122 is defined by a cut-out of the protective cover 108. The notch 122 includes one or more electronic components 124 (e.g., infrared detector, front-facing camera, etc.). In some examples, the one or more electronic components 124 may be utilized for facial recognition. It should be noted that the supporting structures described herein may be utilized to secure these electronic components 124 such as to prevent these electronic components 124 from becoming dislodged or misaligned when the portable electronic device 100 experiences a load event.

[0041] According to some examples, at least one of the top wall 112-A, the bottom wall 112-B, or the side wall 112-C may be formed of material other than metal. Beneficially, the use of non-metal material can reduce the amount of electromagnetic interference associated with the enclosure 110 and a wireless transceiver that is carried within the enclosure 110. Additionally, the use of non-metal material reduces the amount of parasitic capacitance between any metal support structures that are carried within the cavity and the enclosure 110. According to some examples, the non-metal material includes glass, plastic, ceramic, and the like. Although non-metal material such as glass is beneficial in permitting electromagnetic waves to pass through the enclosure 110, the glass is also more susceptible than metal to cracking or deforming when the portable electronic device 100 experiences a drop event.

[0042] According to some embodiments, the portable electronic device 100 carries one or more operational components within a cavity (not illustrated) of the portable electronic device 100. These operational components may include a circuit board, an antenna, a multi-core processor, a haptic feedback module, a camera, a sensor, an IR detector, an inductive charging coil, and the like. The enclosure 110 can include one or more types of materials such as metal, polymers, glass, ceramic, and the like. In some examples, the metal can include at least one of a steel alloy, aluminum, aluminum alloy, titanium, zirconium, magnesium, copper, and the like. In some examples, the enclosure 110 can include a metal oxide layer that is formed from a metal substrate.

[0043] FIG. 1B illustrates a second perspective view of the portable electronic device 100, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 1B, a camera system 150 is carried at least in part within a protruding trim structure 140. The protruding trim structure 140 is disposed in proximity to a corner 108 of the enclosure 110. In some examples, proximity may refer to the camera system 150 is a distance of less than about 50 mm from the corner 108. As illustrated in FIG. 1B, the camera system 150 has dual lenses (e.g., wide and a telephoto, etc.). Additionally, the camera system may include a flash module.

[0044] As illustrated in FIG. 1B, the protruding trim structure 140 is secured to and extends from a back wall 130 of the portable electronic device 100. According to some examples, the back wall 130 is formed of a material other than metal. The non-metal material enables a magnetic field to pass through the enclosure 110 in order to charge wireless charging coils 160, such as magnetic cores that include ferrites. In particular, when the portable electronic device 100 is placed in proximity to a wireless charging station, the wireless charging station may generate an alternating electromagnetic field. In turn, the wireless charging coils 160 draw power from the electromagnetic field and converts the electromagnetic field into electric current for charging a power supply unit (not illustrated) that is carried by the portable electronic device. In some examples, the inductive coupling between the wireless charging coils 160 and the wireless charging station defines a closed magnetic circuit. However, it may be desirable to prevent coupling between the wireless charging station and operational components (e.g., display assembly, sensors, camera system, etc.) having conductive elements (e.g., integrated circuit, printed circuit board, traces, etc.) in order to reduce noise. In some examples, the wireless charging coils 160 may be strategically positioned within the cavity of the portable electronic device 100 so as to increase magnetic coupling with the wireless charging station.

[0045] FIG. 2A illustrates a side view of a portable electronic device 200, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the portable electronic device 200 includes an enclosure 110 that carries operational components within a cavity. The portable electronic device 200 includes a display assembly 210 that is overlaid by a protective cover 108. The protective cover 108 is coupled to the enclosure 110 by way of a trim structure 106.

[0046] FIG. 2B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the portable electronic device 200 taken along the reference line A-A, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 2B, the portable electronic device 200 includes an enclosure 110 that carries a display assembly 210 within a cavity 240. The display assembly 210 includes a touch sensitive layer 212, a display layer 214, and a force sensitive layer 216. In some examples, the display assembly 210 further includes a chassis 218 that is overlaid by the touch sensitive layer 212, the display layer 214, and the force sensitive layer 216. The chassis 218 may be joined to the trim structure 106 such as to provide sufficient rigidity for the chassis 218. In some examples, the touch sensitive layer 212, the display layer 214, and the force sensitive layer 216 are joined together with adhesive.

[0047] In some examples, the touch sensitive layer 212 is capable of receiving a touch input when, for example, a user depresses the protective cover 108. The touch input can be relayed from the touch sensitive layer 212 to a circuit board (e.g., logic board) by a flexible circuit 222. As shown in FIG. 2B, the flexible circuit may curve around the display layer 214 and the force sensitive layer 216. Additionally, the touch sensitive layer 212, the display layer 214, and the force sensitive layer 216 may include conductive elements, such as traces (for conductive signals), a printed circuit board, an integrated circuit, and the like. According to some examples, the components (e.g., touch sensitive layer 212, display layer 214, etc.) of the display assembly 210 may be assembled together prior to the display assembly 210 being installed within the cavity 240.

[0048] As illustrated in FIG. 2B, the enclosure 110 further includes a bottom wall 230 that may support charging coils 260. The charging coils 260 may be strategically positioned within the cavity 240 so as to increase an amount of magnetic coupling with a wireless charging station that is external to the portable electronic device 200. As illustrated in FIG. 2B, the charging coils 260 are positioned below the display assembly 210.

[0049] During inductive charging of the charging coils 260, the magnetic flux generated by the wireless charging station couples with the charging coils 260 and utilizes the surrounding environment as a return path to the wireless charging station. However, this inductive coupling may cause self-heating of the operational components (e.g., the touch sensitive layer 212, the force sensitive layer 216, etc.) that receive the magnetic flux. Additionally, this inductive coupling may generate noise current loops in these operational components, which can lead to electromagnetic interference in these operational components.

[0050] To address this deficiency, the portable electronic device 200 includes a shielding plate (or mid-plate) 250 that is capable of supporting the operational components as well as magnetically shielding the operational components from the magnetic flux, as will be described in greater detail with reference to FIG. 3B. In some examples, the shielding plate 250 includes magnetic material (e.g., ferrites, etc.) that generate a magnetic field that is sufficient to deflect the magnetic flux generated by the charging coils 260. Additionally, the shielding plate 250 may also be capable of shielding the operational components from magnetic flux generated by components external to the portable electronic device, such as nearby portable electronic devices that are being charged nearby to the portable electronic device 200.

[0051] FIG. 3A illustrates a conventional portable electronic device 300-A, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 3A, the portable electronic device 300-A includes charging coils 360 that are capable of generating magnetic flux lines 320. In particular, the charging coils 360 may include ferrites that generate the magnetic flux lines 320 when the charging coils 360 being inductively charged. As illustrated in FIG. 3A, the magnetic flux lines 320 pass through operational components--e.g., a display assembly 310. The display assembly 310 includes conductive components with high gain, such as traces, integrated circuit(s), and the like that are capable of executing functions which may be interfered with by the magnetic flux lines 320. In particular, the magnetic flux lines 320 may disturb the electrical circuitry included within the operational components of the display assembly 310 by way of magnetic interference. For example, magnetic interference affects the electrical circuitry by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction, which may degrade the performance and/or lead to failure of the integrated circuit(s), traces, and the like included within display assembly 310. Additionally, other operational components--e.g., circuit boards, computer memory (e.g., RAM, ROM, etc.) may also be impacted by the magnetic flux lines 320.

[0052] In particular, the magnetic interference can be attributed to the charging coils 360 being positioned in proximity to the operational components (e.g., PCBs, IC(s), etc.). This is particular exacerbated by the charging coils 360 and the operational components being carried in a small cavity 340 of the portable electronic device 300-A. Additionally, the charging coils 360 are generously sized (e.g., between 20 mm to about 60 mm in diameter) so as to provide sufficient charging capability for the portable electronic device 300-A. However, due to the generous size of the charging coils 360, the charging coils 360 also generate numerous magnetic flux lines 320 that may unavoidably interfere with the ability of the operational components-e.g., the display assembly 310 to carry out functions.

[0053] FIG. 3B illustrates a portable electronic device 300-B that is capable of shielding operational components from magnetic flux lines, in accordance with some embodiments. In particular, the portable electronic device 300-B includes a display assembly 210 having conductive components with high gain--e.g., the touch sensitive layer 212, the display layer 214, etc.--having integrated circuit(s), printed circuit board(s), and the like that are susceptible to magnetic interference. For example, the touch sensitive layer 212 includes an array of capacitive sensors capable of detecting a position of an input at the protective cover 108 based upon determining a capacitive signal. However, magnetic interference caused by inductive charging of the charging coils 260 may negatively affect the capacitive sensors to accurately determine the position of the input at the protective cover 108.

[0054] As illustrated in FIG. 3B, the charging coils 260 generate magnetic flux lines 260 while being inductive coupled with a wireless charging station external to the portable electronic device 300-B. Although the magnetic flux lines 320 establish a closed magnetic loop with the wireless charging station, the magnetic flux lines 320 are sufficiently close to the display assembly 210 and other operational components such as to cause magnetic interference.

[0055] To address this deficiency, the portable electronic device 300-B includes a shielding plate(or mid-plate) 250 that is capable of supporting the operational components. Indeed, the shielding plate 250 may include a stiffness-promoting layer to increase rigidity of the shielding plate 250. The shielding plate 250 may be joined to the enclosure 110 so as to further increase the rigidity of the shielding plate 250. As illustrated in FIG. 3B, the shielding plate 250 is positioned between the charging coils 260 and the display assembly 210. By positioning the shielding plate 250 in this strategic position, the magnetic flux lines are forced to concentrate in the area of the cavity 240 below the display assembly 210. In particular, as shown in FIG. 3B, the shielding plate 250 deflects and/or bends the magnetic flux lines 320 to form deflected magnetic flux lines 322 that generally avoid passing into the operational components--e.g., the display assembly 210. Indeed, it is beneficial to prevent the operational components from picking up the magnetic flux lines 320.

[0056] According to some embodiments, the shielding plate 250 extends across the entire width/length of the cavity 240 such as to provide full coverage for any operational components that are susceptible to the magnetic flux lines 320. In other embodiments, portions of the shielding plate 250 may provide selective magnetic shielding coverage for operational components that are susceptible to the magnetic flux lines 320, while other portions of the shielding plate 250 may lack magnetic shielding coverage such as to avoid generating a magnetic field that may potentially impact with magnetically-responsive components and/or magnetically-sensitive components (e.g., compass, speaker module, haptic feedback module, etc.) as will be described in greater detail with reference to FIGS. 6A-6B.

[0057] FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded perspective view of operational components that cooperate to define a display assembly, in accordance with some embodiments. In some examples, the display assembly may correspond to the display assembly 210 as illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2B. As shown in FIG. 4, the display assembly--e.g., the display assembly 210--includes a protective cover 410 having mounting elements 412 (e.g., brackets, clips, etc.) that are capable of mounting the display assembly 210 to fastening elements 452 of a chassis 450. Disposed between the chassis 450 and the protective cover 410 are a touch sensitive layer 420, a display layer 430, and a force sensitive layer 440. According to some examples, the touch sensitive layer 420, the display layer 430, and the force sensitive layer 440 may include an integrated circuit and/or printed circuit board having a combination of at least one of capacitive electrodes, strain gages, Hall effect sensors, or force sensors. The operational components of the display assembly--e.g., the touch sensitive layer 420, the display layer 430, and the force sensitive layer 440 may be sensitive to magnetic flux lines--e.g., the magnetic flux lines 320.

[0058] In some examples, the chassis 450 is formed of stainless steel. In some examples, the chassis 450 may have a magnetic shielding coating (e.g., electroplated, sputter deposition, vapor deposition, etc.) such as to prevent the magnetic flux lines 320 from passing through the chassis 450 to reach the operational components of the display assembly--e.g., the display assembly 210.

[0059] FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a shielding system, in accordance with some embodiments. In some examples, the shielding system includes a shielding plate 520 that is secured to a display assembly 510--e.g., the display assembly 210. In some examples, the display assembly 510 includes the touch sensitive layer 420, the display layer 430, and the force sensitive layer 440. According to some examples, the shielding plate 520 is capable of adding stiffness to the portable electronic device 100. For example, if the portable electronic device 100 is subject to a drop event, the shielding plate 520 includes a stainless steel core that is sufficient to increase the rigidity of the portable electronic device 100. In some examples, the stainless steel core can be welded to walls of the enclosure 110.

[0060] Additionally, in some examples, the chassis 450 is joined to at least one of the touch sensitive layer 420, the display layer 430, or the force sensitive layer 440 by an adhesive. As the shielding plate 520 may be joined in direct contact with the chassis 450 (i.e., supports the chassis 450), the shielding plate 520 may prevent the chassis 450 from delaminating from the rest of the display assembly 210. In other words, the shielding plate 520 may be joined to the display assembly 210.

[0061] As illustrated in FIG. 5, the shielding plate 520 includes a reduced shielding region 522 having a size and shape that generally corresponds to a magnetic element (e.g., a compass, etc.). In some examples, the magnetic element has impaired functions as a result of magnetic field interference. Additionally, the position of the reduced shielding region 522 may correspond to a location of the magnetic element. In some examples, the reduced shielding region 522 lacks a magnetic shielding coating (e.g., nickel-iron layer, copper, etc.) or has a reduced magnetic shielding coating relative to the remaining regions of the shielding plate 520. Beneficially, the reduced shielding region 522 minimizes and/or prevents impaired functionality of the magnetic element.

[0062] As illustrated in FIG. 5, the shielding plate 520 may be joined to a support plate 570. In some examples, the magnetic element may be carried by the support plate 570. In particular, the support plate 570 includes a printed circuit board or logic board having the magnetic element. Additionally, the support plate 570 may include other operational components. In some examples, the support plate 570 includes cladded stainless steel, and the support plate 570 is welded to the enclosure 110 by way of the cladded stainless steel.

[0063] In some examples, the support plate 570 includes a charging coil region 572 having a shape and size that corresponds to the charging coils--e.g., the charging coils 260. In particular, the charging coil region 572 may correspond to a region of the support plate 570 that is cut-out/removed entirely.

[0064] Positioned between the shielding plate 520 and the support plate 570 are an SPO shield 530 formed from copper and/or graphite. Additionally, a nickel-zinc ferrite layer 540 is disposed between the shielding plate 520 and the support plate 570. Additionally, a coil flex 550 is disposed between the shielding plate 520 and the support plate 570. Furthermore, an electrical shield 560 formed from copper and/or gold is disposed between the shielding plate 520 and the support plate 570.

[0065] FIGS. 6A-6B illustrate top views of a portable electronic device 600, in accordance with some embodiments. FIG. 6A illustrates a top view of the portable electronic device 600 having a magnetic compass 622 that is overlaid by the display assembly 102. Additionally, the portable electronic device 600 includes a charging coil 660 and a speaker module 640 that are also overlaid by the display assembly 102. In particular, it should be noted that the magnetic compass 622 may be based on an integrated circuit that uses sensors (e.g., Hall effect sensors, etc.) to measure magnetic fields and calculate compass directions. Components such as the magnetic compass 622 rely upon an external magnetic field. Accordingly, the functions of the magnetic compass 622 are susceptible to being impacted by the magnetic field generated by the charging coil 660 and the resulting magnetic flux lines--e.g., the magnetic flux lines 320. In order to minimize interference of the functions of the magnetic compass 622, the charging coil 660 is positioned at a center 610-C of the portable electronic device 600 and the magnetic compass 622 is positioned at an upper corner 610-A of the portable electronic device 600. In other words, a distance according to the X-axis and Y-axis between the magnetic compass 622 is sufficient to prevent and/or minimize magnetic interference with the magnetic compass 622.

[0066] Additionally, to minimize interference of a magnetic field upon the functionality of the magnetic compass 622, the upper corner 610-A includes an amount of magnetic shielding that is reduced relative to the center 610-C of the portable electronic device 600. In particular, in some examples, a shielding plate 650 is positioned between the charging coil 660 and the operational components--e.g., the display assembly 102. However, as the shielding plate 650 may include a magnetic layer (e.g., NiFe, copper, etc.), a portion 1-1 of the shielding plate 650 has magnetic shielding that is reduced relative to the portion 2-2. In particular, the portion 1-1 of the shielding plate 650 corresponds to the location of the magnetic compass 622. In some examples, the portion 1-1 only has a copper layer (e.g., between about 5 .mu.m to about 10 .mu.m) for magnetic shielding purposes, while the portion 2-2 has a NiFe layer (e.g., between about 5 .mu.m to about 10 .mu.m) and a copper layer (e.g., between about 5 .mu.m to about 10 .mu.m). Thus, the portion 2-2 has greater magnetic shielding than the portion 1-1 due to the portion 2-2 being able to deflect the magnetic flux lines 320 with greater a degree from the display assembly 102 along the Z-axis. Additionally, because the portion 1-1 is further away from the charging coils 660 along the Z-axis, there is less risk of the magnetic field affecting the magnetic compass 622.

[0067] Furthermore, the support plate 650 may include a cut-out portion 3-3 having a position that corresponds to a position of the speaker module 640. In some examples, the speaker module 640 includes acoustic drivers having neodymium magnets that are capable of oscillating in response to receiving an electrical current. As a result, the speaker module 640 generates a large magnetic field. Consequently, any magnetic field generated by the magnetic shielding of the shielding plate 650 (e.g., NiFe layer, copper layer, etc.) may impair the functionality of the speaker module 640. In order to minimize and/or prevent disruption of the functions of the speaker module 640, the cut-out portion 3-3 lacks any magnetic shielding to minimize the magnetic field imparted on the speaker module 640.

[0068] FIG. 6B illustrates a top view of a cutaway of the portable electronic device 600 illustrated in FIG. 6A. As illustrated in FIG. 6B, the support plate 650 may be secured to the enclosure 110 with fastening elements 630 (e.g., welding nuts, etc.). It should be noted that other operational components that include magnetic elements (e.g., sensors, haptic feedback modules, etc.) may also be strategically positioned further away from the charging coil 660 along the X-axis and Y-axis to minimize magnetic interference. Furthermore, the support plate 650 may also include portions having reduced magnetic shielding to minimize the magnetic field generated in these portions so as to minimize disruption of the operational components having magnetic elements along the Z-axis. Furthermore, portions of the support plate 650 that are sufficiently close to operational components along the Z-axis so as to be affected by magnetic flux lines may be magnetically shielded to a greater degree (e.g., using at least one of NiFe layer or copper layer) relative to operational components along the Z-axis that are further away and less likely to be affected by the magnetic flux lines. According to some examples, the support plate 650 may have a width that spans a width (or substantially all of a width) of the portable electronic device 600.

[0069] FIGS. 7A-8E illustrate cross-sectional views of various embodiments of a shielding plate 700 that is capable of shielding operational components that is taken along the reference line B-B of the portable electronic device 600 as illustrated in FIGS. 6A-6B, in accordance with some embodiments.

[0070] FIG. 7A illustrates a shielding plate 700-A, in accordance with some embodiments, where the shielding plate 700-A includes a mid-plate 702. The mid-plate 702 may be formed from stainless steel, cladded stainless steel, titanium, graphite, or other material capable of providing sufficient stiffening for the shielding plate 700-A. A copper layer 704 overlays an upper surface of the mid-plate 702, and a copper layer 704 overlays the lower surface of the mid-plate 702. Additionally, a corrosion-preventing layer 706 overlays the copper layer 704 that overlays the upper and lower surfaces of the mid-plate 702. The corrosion-preventing layer includes electroless nickel or nickel-phosphorous. In some examples, the nickel-phosphorous layer may be desirable over the electroless nickel layer because the nickel-phosphorous layer is devoid of any magnetic properties. In some examples, the copper layer 704 and the corrosion-preventing layer 706 are electroplated over the mid-plate 702. The corrosion-preventing layer 706 prevents corrosion of the copper layer 704. According to some examples, the shielding plate 700-A exhibits a shielding gain (dB) of between about -10 dB to about -25 dB between 50 kHz and 400 kHz, respectively.

[0071] The shielding plate 700-A of FIG. 7A does not illustrate a nickel-iron layer that is overlaid over the shielding plate 700-A. In some examples, a nickel-iron layer may not be preferable because it generates a magnetic field that may disrupt functions of magnetic elements (e.g., magnetic compass, etc.). Instead, as illustrated in FIG. 7A, the copper layer 704 may be sufficient to deflect the magnetic flux lines 320 from impairing the functions of operational components--e.g., the display assembly 210 based on the concentration of copper wt % and/or thickness of the copper layer 704. In particular, when the magnetic flux comes into contact with the copper layer 704, the copper layer 704 induces counter-vailing eddy currents in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic field generated by the charging coils--e.g., the charging coils 660. The magnitude of the eddy currents is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field and the rate of the change of magnetic flux. Under Lenz's law, the eddy current forms a magnetic field that opposes the change in the magnetic field that formed the eddy current, thereby resisting the magnetic flux lines generated by the charging coils 660 and preventing the magnetic flux lines from penetrating through the copper layer 704. Additionally, the copper layer 704 may also be preferable in providing electrical shielding for the operational components--e.g., the display assembly 210. In particular, conductive components such as electrical traces and integrated circuits may be susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI). However, the copper layer 704 may absorb (dissipate) the electromagnetic waves so as to provide sufficient EMI shielding. According to some examples, the upper and lower copper layers 704 may be of different thicknesses. In some examples, only an upper or a lower surface of the mid-plate 702 is electroplated with the copper layer 704.

[0072] FIG. 7B illustrates a shielding plate 700-B, in accordance with some embodiments. The shielding plate 700-B includes a mid-plate 702 and multiple copper layers 704-1, 2 that are overlaid over the upper and lower surfaces of the mid-plate 702. The multiple copper layers 704 may be of similar or different thicknesses. In some examples, relative to the shielding plate 700-A, the multiple copper layers 704 impart the shielding plate 700-B with twice the effectiveness in electromagnetic shielding.

[0073] FIG. 7C illustrates a shielding plate 700-C, in accordance with some embodiments. The shielding plate 700-C includes a mid-plate 702. Additionally, a nickel-iron layer 708 is formed over upper and lower surfaces of the mid-plate 702. As described herein, the nickel-iron layer 708 includes ferrites and is capable of providing shielding for the magnetic flux lines 320. The nickel-iron layer 708 may be preferable over the copper layer 704 because the nickel-iron layer 708 is more capable of providing magnetic field shielding. Additionally, a corrosion-preventing layer 706 overlays the nickel-iron layer 708 that overlays the upper and lower surfaces of the mid-plate 702. The corrosion-preventing layer includes electroless nickel or nickel-phosphorous. In some examples, the nickel-phosphorous layer may be desirable over the electroless nickel layer because the nickel-phosphorous layer is devoid of any magnetic properties. In some examples, the nickel-iron layer 708 and the corrosion-preventing layer 706 are electroplated over the mid-plate 702.

[0074] FIG. 7D illustrates a shielding plate 700-D, in accordance with some embodiments. The shielding plate 700-D includes a combination of the nickel-iron layer 708 and the copper layer 704 that are formed over both the upper surface and the lower surface of the mid-plate 702 such as to provide enhanced magnetic shielding. Indeed, the nickel-iron layer 708 may provide enhanced magnetic flux shielding and the copper layer 704 may provide enhanced magnetic field shielding. As illustrated in FIG. 7D, the nickel-iron layer(s) 708 are innermost and the copper layer(s) 704 are outermost relative to the mid-plate 702. In particular, this configuration where the copper layer(s) 704 are outermost may impart better magnetic and/or magnetic flux shielding than where the copper layer(s) 704 are innermost due to the outermost copper layer(s) 704 generating eddy current effects. According to some examples, the shielding plate 700-D exhibits a shielding gain (dB) of between about -15 dB to about -70 dB between 50 kHz and 400 kHz, respectively.

[0075] FIG. 7E illustrates a shielding plate 700-E, in accordance with some embodiments. In contrast to the shielding plate 700-D, the nickel-iron layer(s) 708 are outermost and the copper layer(s) 704 are innermost. According to some examples, the shielding plate 700-E exhibits a shielding gain (dB) of between about -15 dB to about -35 dB between 50 kHz and 400 kHz, respectively. In other words, the order of the stack-up (i.e., innermost nickel-iron layer 708/outermost copper layer 704) is important in imparting significant shielding advantages.

[0076] According to some embodiments, the respective thicknesses of the copper layer(s) 704 and the nickel-iron layer(s) 708 of any of the shielding plates 700-A, B, C, D, E may be different or identical. According to some embodiments, the copper layer(s) 704 and the nickel-iron layer(s) 708 of any of the shielding plates 700-A, B, C, D, E may be symmetrical in shape and/or thickness. According to some examples, the mid-plate is between about 50 .mu.m to about 500 .mu.m. According to some examples, the nickel-iron layer 708 is between about 5 .mu.m to about 20 .mu.m. According to some examples, the copper layer 704 is between about 5 .mu.m to about 20 .mu.m. According to some examples, the corrosion-preventing layer 706 is between about 0.1 .mu.m to about 2 .mu.m. According to some examples, the total thickness of the electroplated layers (e.g., nickel-iron layer 708, copper layer 704, etc.) is about 30 .mu.m. Additionally, in some embodiments, for the shielding plates 700-A, B, C, D, E, the percentage of copper wt % and/or nickel wt % may be adjusted for different magnetic shielding purposes. In some examples, the nickel-iron layer 708 includes between about 35 wt % to about 75 wt % of nickel. In some examples, the nickel-iron layer 708 includes between about 15 wt % to about 25 wt % of nickel.

[0077] According to some embodiments, the shielding plates 700-A, B, C, D, E may also include the nickel-iron layer 708 and/or the copper layer 704 integrally formed within the mid-plate 702 instead of being plated along the outer surfaces of the mid-plate 702.

[0078] FIGS. 8A-8B illustrates cross-sectional views of various embodiments of a shielding plate 800 that is capable of shielding operational components that is taken along the reference line C-C of the portable electronic device 600 as illustrated in FIGS. 6A-6B, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 6B, the reference line C-C traverses the portion 1-1 of the shielding plate 650 has magnetic shielding that is reduced relative to the portion 2-2.

[0079] FIG. 8A illustrates a shielding plate 800-A, in accordance with some embodiments. The shielding plate 800-A includes a combination of the nickel-iron layer 808 and the copper layer 804 that are formed over both the upper surface and the lower surface of the mid-plate 802 such as to provide enhanced magnetic shielding. As illustrated in FIG. 8A, the nickel-iron layer(s) 808 are outermost and the copper layer(s) 804 are innermost relative to the mid-plate 802. Additionally, the mid-plate 802 has a width that is greater than the nickel-iron layer 808 and the copper layer 804. In particular, portions 810 of the nickel-iron layer(s) 808 and the copper layer(s) 804 are removed such as to accommodate fasteners, bosses, and other elements for securing operational components to the mid-plate 802. Additionally, FIG. 8A illustrates corrosion-resistive layers 806 that are formed over the nickel-iron layer(s) 808 and the copper layer(s) 804. As illustrated in FIG. 8A, a greater amount of the nickel-iron layer 808 is removed relative to the copper layer 804.

[0080] FIG. 8B illustrates a shielding plate 800-B, in accordance with some embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 8B, the nickel-iron layer(s) 808 are innermost and the copper layer(s) 804 are outermost relative to the mid-plate 802. Additionally, FIG. 8B illustrates corrosion-resistive layers 806 that are formed over the nickel-iron layer(s) 808 and the copper layer(s) 804. As illustrated in FIG. 8A, a greater amount of the copper layer 804 is removed relative to the nickel-iron layer 808.

[0081] FIG. 9 illustrates a flow diagram of a method 900 for forming a plate for shielding operational components of a portable electronic device, in accordance with some embodiments. Although the method 900 is described with reference to the portable electronic device 600, it should be noted that the method can equally apply to any one of the portable electronic devices and/or support plates described herein.

[0082] As illustrated in FIG. 9, the method 900 begins at step 902 where a nickel-iron layer 708 is overlaid over external surface(s) of a plate--e.g., the mid-plate 702. In some examples, the nickel-iron layer 708 is electroplated over the external surface(s) of the mid-plate 702. The region of the mid-plate 702 that is electroplated with the nickel-iron layer 708 may correspond to a location where an operational component--e.g., the display assembly 102--is susceptible to magnetic flux lines.

[0083] At step 904, a copper layer 704 is electroplated over the external surface(s) of the mid-plate 702. According to some examples, the copper layer 704 and/or mid-plate 702 may be electroplated over specific regions by masking adjacent regions of the external surface of the mid-plate 702. Beneficially, by masking these adjacent regions, the method 900 may not require removing portions of the nickel-iron layer 708 and/or the copper layer 704 that are not to be plated. In particular, these adjacent regions may correspond to operational components with functions that are susceptible to being interfered with by the magnetic field generated by the nickel-iron layer 708 and/or the copper layer 704.

[0084] At step 906, portions of at least one of the copper layer 704 or the nickel-iron layer 708 may be removed from the mid-plate 702. In some embodiments, these portions of the copper layer 704 or the nickel-iron layer 708 are removed when a masking process is not performed in conjunction with step 904. In particular, these regions may correspond to operational components with functions that are susceptible to being interfered with by the magnetic field generated by the nickel-iron layer 708 and/or the copper layer 704.

[0085] At step 908, a nickel alloy layer (e.g., nickel-phosphorous, etc.) may be electroplated over the external surface(s) of the mid-plate 702.

[0086] At step 910, the mid-plate 702 and its respective layers (e.g., nickel-iron layer 708, etc.) may be secured to the enclosure 110.

[0087] FIG. 10 illustrates a system diagram of a portable electronic device 1000 that is capable of implementing the various techniques described herein, according to some embodiments. In particular, the detailed view illustrates various components that can be included in the portable electronic device 100 as illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0088] As shown in FIG. 10, the portable electronic device 1000 can include a processor 1010 for controlling the overall operation of the portable electronic device 1000. The portable electronic device 1000 can include a display 1090. The display 1090 can be a touch screen panel that can include a sensor (e.g., capacitance sensor). The display 1090 can be controlled by the processor 1010 to display information to the user. A data bus 1002 can facilitate data transfer between at least one memory 1020 and the processor 1010. The portable electronic device 1000 can also include a network/bus interface 1004 that couples a wireless antenna 1060 to the processor 1010.

[0089] The portable electronic device 1000 can include a user input device 1080, such as a switch. In some embodiments, the portable electronic device 1000 includes a sensor 1070, such as a barometric pressure sensor, capacitance sensor, and the like. The portable electronic device 1000 includes a power supply unit 1050, such as a lithium-ion battery.

[0090] The portable electronic device 1000 also includes a memory 1020, which can comprise a single disk or multiple disks (e.g., hard drives), and includes a storage management module that manages one or more partitions within the memory 1020. In some embodiments, the memory 1020 can include flash memory, semiconductor (solid state) memory or the like. The portable electronic device 1000 can also include a Random Access Memory (RAM) and a Read-Only Memory (ROM). The ROM can store programs, utilities or processes to be executed in a non-volatile manner. The RAM can provide volatile data storage, and stores instructions related to the operation of the portable electronic device 1000.

[0091] The various aspects, embodiments, implementations or features of the described embodiments can be used separately or in any combination. Various aspects of the described embodiments can be implemented by software, hardware or a combination of hardware and software. The described embodiments can also be embodied as computer readable code on a computer readable medium for controlling manufacturing operations or as computer readable code on a computer readable medium for controlling a manufacturing line. The computer readable medium is any data storage device that can store data which can thereafter be read by a computer system. Examples of the computer readable medium include read-only memory, random-access memory, CD-ROMs, HDDs, DVDs, magnetic tape, and optical data storage devices. The computer readable medium can also be distributed over network-coupled computer systems so that the computer readable code is stored and executed in a distributed fashion.

[0092] The foregoing description, for purposes of explanation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the described embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice the described embodiments. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments are presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the described embodiments to the precise forms disclosed. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings.

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