I have been involved with additive electronics for the past several years, and I have seen the discussion of and demand for sub-75-micron feature sizes slowly grow. Conversations, questions, and research about SAP and mSAP increased significantly when it was announced that the mSAP process was used to create the circuitry in the more recent versions of our smartphones. While this process is available in very high volume in some areas of the world, it is still in the early stages of development in other areas.
Wiring with flexible circuits could be a practical solution. Nowadays, most mobile device manufacturers are consuming huge amounts of thin, flexible circuits to attach on the surface of the housing in limited spaces. However, the cost of flexible circuits and assembling them is another headache for device manufacturers because they are not negligible in the whole cost of the devices.
Even though they are a smaller part of the circuit board industry, flex and rigid-flex circuits have been growing in popularity over the last decade, and for good reasons. These circuits are made to be thin, flexible, and durable. However, in addition to the opportunities that come with flex and rigid-flex circuits, there are also challenges. Find out more here.
When faced with critical time-to-market situations, it is all too easy to say, “It doesn’t matter because this is just the prototype; we can fix this later.” However, if the design is perfected from the beginning, cost savings can be applied, and manufacturability can be ensured. Perhaps most importantly, the design can be adapted with reliability in mind, leaving a seamless transition from prototype to production. How do we get it right from the start?
As wearable sensors become more prevalent, the need for a material resistant to damage from the stress and strains of the human body’s natural movement becomes ever more crucial. To that end, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a method of adopting kirigami architectures to help materials become more strain tolerant and more adaptable to movement.