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66 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 ple, biocompatible solution? This just scratch- es the surface of new materials and processes being introduced to the PCB industry. What is the best approach when searching out technology new to you but not necessarily new to the industry? Those who read my col- umn regularly can probably guess that my first piece of advice is to work with your fabrica- tor. After all, if your fabricator is working with this technology every day they have a tre- mendous amount of knowledge built over time and are always happy to share and help guide customers through what can, at times, be a steep learning curve. Flex and rigid- flex are excellent ex- amples. First, plan a deep dive before starting your first de- sign using flex or rig- id-flex construction. On the surface, it may seem that flex is not all that different than a rigid PCB, outside of the obvious benefits to space, weight, and packaging with materials able to bend, fold, and flex. Over the years, I have accumulated so many stories and exam- ples that disprove that assumption. There are the obvious examples of the "flex that didn't flex." The thickness and rigidity of solid cop- per shielding in the tail area of a rigid-flex can Communication Goes Both Ways The definition of new technology in the PCB industry varies from person to person. I have been chasing new technology for 20 years. Some of it has been new to me, while some of it is new to the industry. First, it was flexible circuit technology, which was not new to the industry but was my first experience in PCB manufacturing. This was followed by rigid- flex and then complex HDI structures, which, again, were not new to the industry but were new to me. I am also interest- ed in and eager to learn about materi- als and processes new to the industry. Among those that have caught my eye is a new material from DuPont called Pyralux® GPL Sheet Adhesive. How ex- citing to think about the possibility of eliminating the bikini-cut adhesive for rigid-flex. And from a process perspec- tive, learning about Averatek's A-SAP™ pro- cess, a semi-additive PCB process enabling 15-micron trace and space—how could I not be excited for all of the possibilities that this opens up for PCB design and simplifying com- plex HDI designs? From a medical application perspective, what about gold traces instead of copper traces applied on polyimide for a sim- Flex Talk by Tara Dunn, OMNI PCB

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