The iMac unveiled at Apple latest event is a work of art. The thing that stands out most is its incredible thinness, and everyone has been wondering – how on earth did they get it down to be so slim compared to the last generation?
Wired has the answer. It essentially boils down to two main things: friction stir welding (FSW) and laminating the glass to the LCD panel.
Paul Semenza, a display expert, went into more detail:
Apple is using optical bonding (lamination) of the [LCD] panel to a sheet of strengthened cover glass. This eliminates the air gap between the panel and the glass, which reduces overall thickness, and the optical bonding eliminates the reflections between the inside of the cover glass and the outside of the panel, which improves image quality.
FSW meanwhile doesn’t melt the metal, instead it uses a high speed rotating tool to create friction between the two pieces of metal. As heat is created, the two pieces are forced together with huge pressure to create a bond. This is something developed in the aerospace indsutry, so to think something that advanced went into your iMac is pretty cool.
FSW was developed in the UK, and it is being licensed by Apple for the iMacs. It is seemingly the first consumer electronics company to use the technology.
In all the consumer electronics wars, one thing is absolutely certain: no other company puts as much time and effort into researching the best way to build a product as simply and as sturdily as possible, and it’s definitely paid off with these new iMacs.