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Design007-May2020

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76 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 Flex007 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Bose's Todd MacFadden is one of the many designers and en- gineers around the world who found themselves moving from the world of rigid boards into flex- ible circuits. Once famous primar- ily for their cutting-edge speak- er systems, Bose is now involved in everything from automotive electronics to wearables for the healthcare industry. I touched base with Todd recently to get his thoughts on the current state of flexible circuits. Andy Shaughnessy: Hi, Todd. For those who may have missed your earlier articles, give us a brief background on yourself and your work at Bose. Todd MacFadden: I am a PCB technology engi- neer at Bose, where I have worked for 15 years. Among my responsibilities, I develop internal electronics technology roadmaps to ensure the supply base can support the critical technolo- gies needed for upcoming products. I have a master's degree in chemical engi- neering from UMass Lowell and bachelor's degrees in political sci- ence and music from the Univer- sity of Colorado Boulder. Shaughnessy: Everyone seems to have a different reason for using flex. How did Bose wind up in the flex world in the first place? MacFadden: One word: miniatur- ization. Our latest generation of products re- quires us to incorporate ever-increasing func- tionality into ever-shrinking spaces, and the only way to do this is to work in three dimen- sions. Shaughnessy: What do you see as the biggest challenge for flex designers today? MacFadden: The impossibly small spaces allot- ted for our electronics means that we generally violate industry bend radius guidelines more than we adhere to them. We have learned—of- ten the hard way—how to achieve overly-tight bends without fracturing traces, but it hasn't been easy. Checking in With Todd MacFadden of Bose

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