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Smaller boards, bigger batteries: LG said to join Samsung in using SLP tech

SLP allows OEMs to fit more components onto smaller motherboards — a critical step as we move towards power-hungry 5G devices.

Published onMay 3, 2018

  • LG is reportedly going to start using Substrate-like printed circuit board (SLP) in its devices next year.
  • SLP allows device makers to fit more components onto a smaller motherboard.
  • A smaller motherboard means device makers can increase the size of the phone’s battery, crucial as they move towards 5G devices.

LG is reportedly going to use Substrate-like printed circuit board (SLP) in some of its devices next year. This would allow for a smaller motherboard inside the phone, meaning the device could fit in the same amount of components while taking up less space. Etnews reports that LG will start using SLP by the first half of next year, so it could be used on the potential LG G8 in 2019.

Physical space is an important commodity inside smartphones as manufacturers are tasked with fitting increasingly powerful components into their small frames. Optimizing this space is going to be even more critical as we head towards the 5G era, as the new standard will require the support of bigger batteries.

What is 5G, and what can we expect from it?
Red 5G logo

The current method for connecting smartphone components is called High Density Interconnect (HDI). According to Etnews, HDI allows parts to be connected with a line/space requirement of 30/40㎛. However, SLP uses the Modified Semi-Additive Process (MSAP) which can reduce this requirement to 20/20㎛. The end result is that the motherboard occupies less space than it would have done otherwise.

SLP is already being used by Samsung in its Galaxy S9 device and by Apple in the iPhone X and iPhone 8. According to Etnews, industry insiders have said Samsung is going to continue to use SLP in the Galaxy Note 9.

With 5G beginning to roll out, and OEMs making plans for phones that support the network, it seems like only a matter of time before more an more manufacturers begin to use SLP too.

Next up: 5G vs Gigabit LTE: the differences explained

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