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16 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2023 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Z-zero founder Bill Hargin has been study- ing stackup design techniques for years. He developed the company's PCB stackup planning soware, and he wrote e Printed Circuit Desig ner 's Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design. In this interview, Bill shares his thoughts on designing rigid-flex stackups, the challenges they bring, and what rigid board designers need to know about designing stackups in 3D. "Flexperts" Mark Finstad of Flexible Circuit Technologies and Nick Koop of TTM Tech- nologies also offer insight into the many trade- offs that rigid-flex designers face. Rigid-flex Stackup: It's a 3D World Andy Shaughnessy: You literally "wrote the book" on stackup design techniques. What are some of the unique challenges designers face with rigid-flex stackups? As I oen say, the mechanical world and the electrical world are at odds with each other. We wouldn't need to concern ourselves with signal integrity if the physical/mechanical worlds weren't involved. e rigid-flex structure carries a lot of advan- tages—reliability, dynamic flexure, and the abil- ity to get things done in tight spaces. But there's the additional burden of needing to manage a mechanical world that has additional dimen-

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