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Design007-Mar2022

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80 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Article by Sean Nachnani NEXTFLEX Emerging innovations in the flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) domain are enabling new applications across multiple industries due to their highly flexible structures and additive manufacturing processes. e smaller form factor, lighter weight, and conformal capabili- ties are ideal for IoT edge devices in health and fitness monitoring, military asset identification and tracking, automotive displays and sensors, aerospace radar, and so robotics. Significant industry research led by NextFlex is optimizing the processes from design through manufac- ture for FHE products. FHE devices provide ideal solutions for many of today's conformal electronics needs. ey allow for the implementation of SWaP-C (size, weight, power, and cost) improvements over their more traditional counterparts. Because these FHE devices bend and flex, however, the design process takes on more of an electromechanical approach. e final product application dictates certain features, such as static or dynamic bending, compo- nent placement, and material choices. More- over, non-conventional flexible substrates and printed conductors require more extensive RF simulation and characterization, unique to each manufacturing process. Without proper tools or experience, these features can instead become detriments that lead to longer design cycles and increased costs. In this article, we will dive into the basics for FHE design and its requirements. Flexible Hybrid Electronics Design: Reducing Time to Market

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