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66 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 well as high speed and signal integrity require- ments. In my opinion, it is a requirement to work with your flex manufacturer to commu- nicate all aspects of the circuit, as well as the environment the circuit may encounter. Here is a list of flex material criteria that you should discuss with your manufacturer. • Approved process: What materials has your vendor run through their process and approved? All flex vendors etch copper on polyimide, but material availability, equip- ment, processes, and even humidity can affect processing flex and rigid-flex. Make sure your vendor is familiar with the mate- rials they are proposing and have approved their process. You don't want your project to become a science experiment. Feature Article by Mike Morando PFC Flex circuits have become more complex in the last decade, driven in part by shrinking designs and components' higher speeds and signal integrity requirements. Choosing the correct materials for your flex and rigid-flex circuits is a critical part of the design process. While the layout of the circuit gives us much of the electrical characteristics of the design, your choice of materials can affect the mechan- ical and electrical characteristics of the circuit. Material choices affect not only the design of the circuit for its environment, but also the manufacturing and assembly processes. Flex Material Choices: Comprehensive Your manufacturer's expertise in flex materi- als is a true asset, especially with today's com- plex multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuits, as Selecting Flex Materials: Do Your Homework

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