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74 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of Design007 Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 19 years. He can be reached by clicking here. I think that this sort of experimentation is one reason that we're seeing companies do- ing "super flex," with engineers constantly try- ing to test the limits of the medium. I thought the old Mars Rover's 35-foot flex assembly was pretty remarkable, but Trackwise has created an 85-foot multilayer flexible circuit. Is there a length limit? With flex, there are no hard, fast rules. If you have an idea, try it out. There's so much innovation going on in the flex and rigid-flex world that it can be difficult to make sense of it all. In this issue, we pro- vide a snapshot of the flexible circuitry seg- ment. We cut through the noise and tell you what you need to know about flexible circuits. As Kelly Dack explains in our feature story, he needed to find a fabricator who could at- tach a piece of metal to a flexible circuit, with the metal acting as a heat sink. He wound up working with Guy Martindale of SEP, a fabri- cator based in Korea. Guy had the technical knowledge to get the project done, and he was also the first one to visit with Kelly in person. Kelly and Guy share some tips on designing and fabricating advanced flex circuits and dis- cuss why communication is king, especially with complex designs. Joe Fjelstad of Verdant Electronics shares some of the knowledge gleaned early in his ca- reer from technologists of the "Greatest Gen- eration," and he looks into the many disparate skill sets required to create even a simple flex or rigid board. Next, Tara Dunn of Omni PCB discusses the need for technologists to contin- ue their training and education, as well as some of the things to consider before beginning your first flexible circuit design. And Dominique K. Numakura of DKN Research shines a light on a technology that's been around for a few years but is only now beginning to catch on: trans- parent flexible circuits. It's hard to believe that New Year's Day is right around the corner. After we clean up the confetti and empty champagne bottles, we'll be heading out to cover DesignCon and IPC APEX EXPO 2020. There's a lot going on in the industry, but we'll keep you informed. Have a great holiday! FLEX007 Teresa Farris, TopLine business development man- ager of radiation hardened technology (RadHard), said the company has expanded collaboration and techni- cal cooperation with VPT Components, a JANS-certified semiconductor manufacturer. VPT Components will pro- vide CCGA column attachment services to the RadHard community, according to Joe Benedetto, CEO of VPT Com- ponents, at a recent RHET conference held in Melbourne, Florida. TopLine is a California-based manufacturer of cop- per-wrapped Pb80/Sn20 solder columns for ceramic column grid array (CCGA) packages. Martin Hart, CEO of TopLine Corporation, said, "We are pleased to extend close technical cooperation and sup- port to VPT Components, who serves as an independent contract assembler to provide column attachment servic- es to the greater defense and aerospace industries." Benedetto added, "There is a need in the radiation hard- ened IC community for faster turn-times. VPT developed a CCGA process using TopLine columns with excellent attach- ment and pull-strength test results." (Source: TopLine) TopLine and VPT Components Announce Column Attachment Services for RadHard FPGA Devices

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