News Column

Patent Issued for Foldable USB Connector

July 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Yu, Hong-Chi (Kaohsiung, TW); Chang, Mao-Ting (Kaohsiung, TW), filed on December 27, 2012, was published online on July 8, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8770997 is Walton Advanced Engineering Inc. (Kaohsiung, TW).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "1) Field of the Invention

"The present invention relates to a connector, particularly a foldable USB connector.

"2) Description of the Prior Art

"The portable data storage devices, particularly flash discs, have been popularized recently with the electronic industry progressively developed. Generally, a flash disc is equipped with a USB connector which can be easily connected to an electronic device's USB port for accessing or storing data. As an internationally agreed specification for connectors, Universal Serial Bus (USB) offer users several advantages such as convenience in accessing data, expandability, and high transmission speed and have been extensively applied to multiple electronic devices, peripheral devices linking a computer, Information Appliances (IA), or 3C (computer, communications and consumer electronics) products.

"As shown in FIG. 1, a flash disc (70) based on the prior art is usually provided with: a USB connector (71) welded onto a printed circuit board; an elongated body (72) behind the USB connector (71); electronic components such as flash memory, controller chip, and passive component held in the elongated body (72) and installed on a substrate (printed circuit board).

"However, the flash disc (70) based on the prior art and limited to the USB connector (71) as well as the elongated body (72) deserves to be upgraded under demands for a compact electronic product currently.

"Furthermore, the USB connector (71) or the elongated body (72) of the flash disc (70) based on the prior art still has bigger volume which is unconformable to demand for a compact device with the flash disc (70) assembled onto other relevant products and diversified functions still kept."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention is intended for providing a foldable USB connector, which effectively employs or saves space and is in conformity with current demands for design of a compact device and integrated with other relevant devices to create a composite product with multiple functions and a compact structure, as a solution to solve the above problems.

"To reach the above purposes, the present invention has the following technical measures as a major method. The present invention is a foldable USB connector comprising a first folding part, a second folding part and an elastic strap: the first folding part coordinates the second folding part to form a connective structure in between for development of an axis by which the first folding part and the second folding part are turned to become unfolded or folded; the first folding part and the second folding part have holding grooves opposite to each other for development of a through slot in which the elastic strap is compactly held; the first folding part and the second folding part on which the elastic strap applies a restoring force are quickly unfolded in accordance with the axis when a user exerts his/her strength on external end planes of the first folding part and the second folding part which have been folded; the first folding part is provided with a plurality of metal contacts on a first external surface; the second folding part is provided with a plurality of metal contacts on a second external surface; the metal contacts are extensively distributed on an end plane of the first folding part and an opposite end plane of the second folding part so that the first folding part and the second folding part which are unfolded and electrically connected become a USB connector.

"The purposes and technical issues in the present invention can be further realized by means of the following technical measures.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the metal contacts are electrically connected to an integrated circuit module which comprises a substrate and a memory unit as well as a control unit installed on an internal surface of the substrate.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the memory unit and the control unit are encased in an encapsulant body.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the first folding part and the second folding part have heights conforming to specifications of a USB connector.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the through slot is peripherally located on edges of the first folding part and the second folding part so that the elastic strap is compactly held in the through slot.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the through slot is peripherally located on outer edges of the first folding part and the second folding part so that the elastic strap is compactly held in the through slot.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the through slot is peripherally located on inner edges of the first folding part and the second folding part so that the elastic strap is compactly held in the through slot.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the through slot is peripherally located on partial inner and outer edges of the first folding part and the second folding part so that the elastic strap is compactly held in the through slot.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the connective structure comprises a convex part and a concave part.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the connective structure can be a south seeking pole and a north seeking pole.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the connective structure can be two fasteners engaging each other.

"In the above foldable USB connector, the connective structure can be a hinge and a spindle.

"In contrast to the prior art, the present invention which effectively employs or saves space is in conformity with current demands for design of a compact device and integrated with other relevant devices to create a composite product with multiple functions and advantages such as compact structure."

For additional information on this patent, see: Yu, Hong-Chi; Chang, Mao-Ting. Foldable USB Connector. U.S. Patent Number 8770997, filed December 27, 2012, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8770997.PN.&OS=PN/8770997RS=PN/8770997

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Walton Advanced Engineering Inc.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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