FLEX007

Flex-July2018

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10 FLEX007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2018 Feature by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Bose is one of those companies that probably has 100% name recognition among consum- ers. Their initial fame was for the 901 series speakers that could make sound come from the other side of the room. I still don't understand how that worked; the speakers are here, but the sound is coming from all around the room. Bose audio engineers don't mess around. Now Bose is really going for it, making wear- ables and all kinds of cool things that have led the company into using flexible circuits. I spoke with Todd MacFadden, a component reliability engineer at Bose, about the compa- ny's experience with flex, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of flex, and how to best determine when it's time to switch from rigid to flex. Andy Shaughnessy: Todd, as a component reli- ability engineer at Bose, what's your job like, and how does it relate to flex and rigid-flex? Todd MacFadden: I've been at Bose for 14 years, and in my current role for about five years, working closely with the design teams at Bose to understand the technology needs on upcom- ing products, and at the very advanced stages of conception. What choices are they making that are going to drive the PCB design and changes? For example, BGA pitch and array size, that sort of thing. Then, I work on the other side with the PCB and FPC suppliers throughout the world, our supply chain, to make sure they have the capabilities that we need to support those technologies when we need them. Sometimes that means on-boarding new suppliers or working with existing suppliers to make investments or bring on the engineering resources that they need to optimize their exist- ing equipment. It's pretty exciting, because I work with all of the business units at Bose, which include automotive, professional, con- sumer electronics and our new wellness divi- sion. So this means many diverse form factors, from stadium speakers to wearables. I work with development teams throughout the com- pany on upcoming products, but I also interact with the whole supply chain—materials, fabri- cators, and assemblers. All of it is related. The reliability portion of that is making sure the designs are robust enough to survive our

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