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We now almost take for granted that computing power can be wrapped around our wrists or worn on a chain as a necklace. An array of wearable, mobile, military, and medical devices now rely on flex and rigid-flex PCBs to support the small form factor and light weight required. However, as flexible PCB fabrication technology has continued to mature, new PCB design and fabrication challenges have emerged.
Designers once integrated the flexible portion of their circuitry as a connector from one rigid board to another. But now that there are even more stringent area demands, designers are now placing components on the flexible circuit area. Ensuring that these designs are correct by construction and, thus, can be fabricated as expected calls for a variety of inter-layer checks of areas such as:
Rigid-flex PCB designs incorporate many new materials, which lead to new challenges to address.
Cadence has launched a new capability in both its Allegro 17.2-2016 and its OrCAD 17.2-2016 PCB design releases that automates inter-layer, in-design checks in rigid-flex PCBs. Using this capability, PCB designers can perform DRCs on various non-electrical flex layers, flagging errors early on and reducing iterations. Learn more about rigid-flex design challenges as well as this new rigid-flex design function in a new white paper, Automating Inter-Layer In-Design Checks in Rigid-Flex PCBs. And let us know what you think.