Design Considerations: Flexible Circuit vs. Traditional PCB


Reading time ( words)

Recent global printed circuit market research reveals that  flexible circuits still only account for about 13–15% of the overall printed circuit market (PCB 76.2B in 2015 vs. flex 12.7B in 2015). PCBs have been in existence since the 1960s and nearly anybody who designs printed circuits first designs a rigid printed circuit  board. There are many experienced PCB designers working confidently all around the world.

They understand the manufacturing capabilities and limitations very well as they have been designing these inherent components of the electronics industry for decades.

Flexible circuits, on the other hand, tend to be a little intimidating and mysterious to traditional PCB designers. Suddenly engineers in the development group are coming to their designers with questions about flexible circuits and these otherwise very experienced men and women find themselves without answers to questions they could answer in their sleep if they pertained to a traditional PCB.

It’s understandable that there are still questions about flexible circuit design vs. traditional PCB design based on the number of PCBs vs. flexible circuits manufactured worldwide, annually. However those of us in the flexible circuit fabrication market are often asked even the simplest of questions: what kind of software do I need to design a flexible circuit? 

What kind of files must I submit for quotation/fabrication of a flexible circuit? These are questions that arise from the lack of experience in flexible circuit design. Below we will address some of the common concerns we hear from PCB designers and help to clarify some of the unknowns and show that the vast experience gained as PCB designers carries over to the flexible circuit design as well.

To read the full article, click here.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine.

Share




Suggested Items

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

07/15/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
I’m getting a lot of out-of-office replies. Are you all on the beach now? It’s 91 degrees every day here in Atlanta lately, but each afternoon it rains like we’re in a horror movie, and that drops the temperature down to the subtropical arena. Still, I’ll take heat over freezing any day. Things are heating up in our industry too, as we see from my top five choices this week. First-quarter electronic design revenue is up year-on-year, but PCB revenue barely moved the needle YOY. Editor Nolan Johnson spent the week at SEMICON West and the FLEX Conference, and he brings us a review of these conferences, co-located at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As he notes, printed electronic circuits are beginning to gain a foothold in the market.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

06/03/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Things are heating up in the world of PCB design and manufacturing as well. In the past week, we published quite a bit of news—some good, some not so good. Some of the news is mixed, as we see with the EMS industry shipments rising YOY in April, but falling from the previous month. It’s nice to see NASA investing in American small businesses, but they didn’t really have a choice, did they?

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

05/27/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
I know I’m not alone in this behavior: Car advertisements during television commercial breaks are as good as invisible to me, until I’m thinking about getting a new car. Only then do I notice them. Rather, I see each one with all my attention and being. If that extends into our industry, then everybody must be itching to pick up some new equipment. This week’s must-reads includes a smattering of new product announcements, along with the news of the IPC European subsidiary.



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.