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72 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2022 Article by Cody Stetzel CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS I have the tendency to try to replicate the delicacies I've ordered at restaurants in my own kitchen. One of my latest attempts at cre- ating restaurant-worthy dishes was a Korean pancake that's crispy on the outside but so on the inside. With my amateur cooking skills, it proved to be an impossible task—I could either make only a hard pancake or one that was total fluff. While I'm still struggling to figure out the trick to bringing together the different textures of a Korean pancake, I've had more success in bringing together the hardboard elements and flexible PCB elements of a rigid-flex PCB. Compared to making Korean pancakes, strik- ing the right balance of flexibility and rigidity on a rigid-flex PCB is easy if you abide by rigid- flex PCB design guidelines. What Is a Rigid-Flex PCB? For those who have spent their careers designing conventional PCBs on the FR-4 sub- strate, a rigid-flex PCB may be unfamiliar ter- ritory. As the name implies, a rigid-flex PCB is a PCB that combines both elements of a hard- board and a flexible PCB in a single piece. The Importance of Rigid-Flex PCB Design Guidelines Figure 1: A rigid-flex PCB is space-saving and shock-resistant.

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