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iPad 2 expected to ship in April

Two days ago, our own Wilson Rothman gave you a rundown of what we know about the Apple iPad 2 —including details about the dual cameras, the body and SD card slot — and now we've got another tidbit to add to the pile: mass shipments of the highly anticipated device are scheduled in April.

The latest churn comes via Digitimes, which has passed on progress reports from its sources that claim Apple has increased the number of printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers for the iPad 2 to seven, from three. According to those sources, these manufacturers (Compeq Manufacturing, Gold Circuit Electronics (GCE), Meiko and Nan Ya PCB) of high-density interconnect (HDI) boards, which reduce the size and weight of the PCB, "will begin shipments of any-layer HDI boards in small volumes between the end of February and early March prior to mass shipments in April."

As Meiko explains it, the any-layer HDI technology "yields finer circuit patterns, (B2it technology), producing boards that are even thinner and have other advanced techniques."