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APRIL 2022 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 103 5. "An investigation of integrated woven elec- tronic textiles (e-textiles) via design led processes" Vega, Prita (2015). This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London, Brunel University Research Archive, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences. Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an international authority and inno- vator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. Download your free copy of Fjelstad's book Flexible Circuit Technology, 4 th Edition, and watch his in-depth workshop series "Flexible Circuit Technology." the immeasurable past and future benefits of flexible circuit technology. e future has just begun. FLEX007 I would like to express my gratitude to Shelly Stein for her invaluable assistance in researching, vetting and editing the content of this month's column. References 1. 2. "Radio hat," Wikipedia entry, wiki/Radio_hat 3. (2017) AFRL, American Semiconductor create flexible system-on-chip for 'internet-of-things,' by M. Alia-Novobilski, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, USA, Air Force Research Laboratory. 4. "Wearable Cooling and Heating Patch Could Serve as Personal Thermostat and Save Energy," May 2019 press release, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. by Nicholas Marks We say we like the board that is the best fit for the job, but what does the right board for your job specifically look like? In this col- umn, I will review the benefits and design types of flexible PCBs. What is a flex PCB? A flex board is defined as a bendable board with one or more conductive lay- ers. There are different types of flex boards to fit any situation you may have. IPC defines them in five types, all are different constructions. To put it shortly these constructions are as follows: one layer of flex, double sided, multilayer flex, multilayer rigid-flex, and double or multilayer flex without electrically con- nected layers. Flex isn't too old of a concept con- sidering the history of PCBs. When first introduced these were pretty rare, however, recently the need for them has increased signifi- cantly due to the necessity to fit everything into a small pack- age. These types of PCBs bring a number of benefits where rigid PCBs just won't cut it. With the right design a flex can offer cost savings on your assemblies, save space, and cut the weight of your design. Flex are very lightweight PCBs and often very thin as well. Along with specialized FCCL mate- rial, this will allow a bend in our circuit. This bend allows us to build and assemble in an extra dimen- sion. These are just some of the benefits that can be reaped from introducing a flex into your system. Flex also allows for a more cost-effective, robust, and reliable connector instead of using wires and cables, which can lead to less failures during and after assembly. Recently a customer reached out for some help on a wearable sensor product. This design was originally done with a rigid board, however they were looking to move to a flex circuit. With the flex as opposed to the rigid board in this situation, they could inevitably increase the form fit and function. Since this was a wearable device, weight and fit make a world of difference. Lowering the weight and increasing the number of axes, we can build in yields a better, lighter-weight and overall, more natural fit than any rigid assem- bly could provide. To read this entire column, click here. Fresh PCB Concepts The Right Board for the Flex Job

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