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Breaking barriers

After many years of development, flexible circuits are emerging as a viable alternative to rigid boards. By Louise Joselyn.

Market research is saying that flexible circuits are an emerging technology, the cynics will say ‘they always have been and they always will be’. Just like hybrid circuits, multichip modules, mechatronics and many others, it is a technology that makes a lot of sense and has great potential, but has not always made it to the mainstream.
The advantages of flexible circuits include space and weight saving, increased circuit density, and elimination of bulky connections and wiring. But, arguably, the most potent benefit today is the opportunity to break the boundaries of conventional design and styling, particularly in the highly competitive and miniaturised world of portable electronics devices. The concept of a ribbon to wrap around and through small complex modules, providing both circuitry and wiring connections is proving irresistible. In many cases, design elegance is winning the trade off against cost.

Louise Joselyn

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