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Design007-Sep2022

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74 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 Flexible circuit technology has been rising ever higher on the radar of those charged with designing next-generation electronic products for every imaginable application, from the mundane to the highly exotic. e technology is being embraced by a growing fan base as they become increasingly aware of flex circuit tech- nology's numerous benefits. ey are being driven to new heights by industry and gov- ernment collaborations such as NextFlex and FlexTech, and their laser-like focus on what was formerly called printed polymer thick film circuits—now rebranded as flex hybrid elec- tronics (FHE) and printed electronics. More than a simple technology rebranding and marketing effort, NextFlex has created an impressive operation in San Jose, California, where material equipment and process solu- tion providers can showcase their offerings to members and provide space where engineers and local students can familiarize themselves with them. Given the looming talent gap in the field of interconnection fabrication technolo- gies within the United States, this develop- ment is most welcome. e general focus on printing technolo- gies for their flexible circuit products has boosted enthusiasm among designers looking for new ways to use the technology to realize their visions—from the practical to the fanci- ful. According to a recent study and report by market research group Lucintel, the stretch- The Rapidly Expanding Realm of Stretchable Circuits Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS

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