Everyday rigid FR-4 PCBs have a well-known layer stackup recipe: dielectrics, PCB conductor layers, plane layers, mask, and silkscreen (nomenclature or legend). More advanced layer types may include embedded or screened components or cavities with bonded bare die. Flex and rigid-flex stackups include those similar to rigid PCBs, such as dielectrics, conductor, mask, and silkscreen layers, but that is where the similarity ends. There are many additional layer types present for this genre of PCB. They include types like coverlay, adhesive, conductive film, conductive foil, conductive adhesive, bondply, and stiffener.
I recently spoke with Mike Morando, director of sales and marketing for PFC Flexible Circuits and a contributor for Flex007. I asked Mike to discuss the latest innovations at PFC, as well as some of the trends he’s seeing in flex and rigid-flex circuits now. Mike also discusses rigidized flex, a technology that is an alternative to rigid-flex circuits—one that can save customers up to 20% compared to rigid-flex. Innovation in the flex arena never seems to stop.
Nolan Johnson talks with Scott Miller about a special call for proposals which NextFlex currently has open to explore methods to dewarp 3D scans of physical boards to enable multi-image scans to be stitched together. There is the possibility of funding for viable proposals. Deadline is May 15, 2023.
I recently sat down with Joe Clark, founder, and Ray Fugitt, technical marketing manager, of DownStream Technologies to discuss trends in tool design and manufacturing, including rigid-flex design and refreshed graphical user interfaces (GUI).
These days, it’s hard to think of a consumer product that doesn’t contain an antenna. Even my garage door opener can connect to my phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Each time a new RF antenna gets added to a PCB layout, it can create a new headache for RF designers, especially as analog design skills start to become critical again. With so many RF capabilities being added to new PCBs, how can designers ensure the signals in their system are not corrupted and signal integrity is preserved?