FLEX007

Flex-Apr2018

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32 FLEX007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 Council, the largest chapter in the country. I just started my 50th year in the printed circuit world. I started when I was four. (Laughs) Scott Miller: I'm the chief operating officer at Freedom CAD Services. We perform con- tract printed circuit board design and layout services and provide prototype assemblies. I started my career with DuPont back in 1978 and it was a division of DuPont called Berg Electronics, which was a connector manufac - turer. I've been with Freedom CAD for about 15 years and I always enjoy keeping up on what's going on between the materials and the design world. Shaughnessy: All right. Give us a little back- ground, Mark. Mark Finstad: I'm the senior application engi- neer at Flexible Circuit Technologies. I've been there for about eight years. Prior to that, I was with Minco for 27 years. During that time, I was heavy into the military and avionics. Now, at Flexible Circuit Technologies, I design flex for commercial and non-implantable medical and other applications like that. I've been doing this for 35+ years. I co-chair the IPC 2223 committee and I'm on the 6013 committee, and the Flex Materials committees. I've been on those commit - tees for decades now, so I guess I'm a lifer at this point. Shaughnessy: Jonathan, what's important to you and your flex customers? Weldon: It's been kind of tough starting into the 5G world. I throw it out there just to get the words out because I know it's sort of a hot topic right now everywhere. For me, I still view it as high-speed/high-frequency materials, right? But, 5G has become the trend in all of those discussions. One thing that seems to be true is that I'm not seeing anybody break any of that down into what I'll call components. They'll talk about base stations, they'll talk about nodes, and they'll talk about handsets. But none of that trickles down to requirements, construc - tions, antenna types, material choices, and fabrication challenges, or any of those sorts of subsets that are the real meat of 5G. I don't know if other people are finding good sources for that, but everywhere I've looked it's still been a little thin or a little ambiguous. It's still very high level. So, that would be one of the first things I would add to the first flush. This would be useful for me looking at a mag - azine, getting into those sorts of details about that whole market and what that's going to look like. Shaughnessy: How about flex materials? That's one of the things we always hear. The design- ers are always saying that they need to know more about materials. Weldon: There are two sides to every story, right? I work on one side, looking at new mate- rials and how we can get our current mate- rials in. I hear a lot of talk about LCP still. I hear a lot of talk about other sorts of exot- ics that are out there. But I don't really have any field- covered reviews. If I look at an iPhone or something like that, maybe it has 10 to 20 flex circuits in there and those flex circuits all have different requirements. Different flex requirements, different mate- rials requirements. Nowhere is that really broken down. Obviously, that's proprietary to that specific fabricator, but where does LCP need to go there? Maybe that may be the kind of feed line and antenna. Where you can go with the polyimide? Where can you go with a lower performing polyimide? Where can you swap out ED copper for RA copper? That is some of the specific details that I might be looking at. Jonathan Weldon

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