Flex pcb primers

Circuit Break Podcast #262

Flex PCB Primers

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February 3, 2021, Episode #262

Stephen gives the MEP an introduction on Flex and Rigid-Flex PCB assemblies while Parker looks at an automotive Analog Devices application note.

Parker

Stephen

  • Wurth Elektronik on Flex PCBs
    • Basically Polyimide foil with deposited copper
    • 3 ways to create a system (from page 2)
      • Heterogeneous
      • Homogeneous
      • Partial Homogeneous
    • Full flex and Semiflex
    • Much Much easier way to create a 3d system design
    • Added benefit of having a full panelized system
      • Can test a full panel of designs all at once
      • Test points can technically be on the flex
    • Break and make
      • Take the rails off of the PCB
    • Flex-rigid boards
      • Can be bonded to external layers
      • Can be internal
      • Can be rigid on one side or both
      • Can be multiple layers 
    • Layout and routing
      • Create a new layer in your EDA tool to define the Flex portion
      • No vias in flex portion
      • Use teardrops for added rigidity
      • Use wider tracks where possible for added strength
      • Do not change width in bend area
      • Distribute conductors evenly
    • Documentation
      • Do it… Do it a lot
      • In addition to the PCB gerber or ODB++ files include drawings
      • A fab drawing that defines the flex pcb is very helpful

About the Hosts

Parker dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!

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