Flexible circuits are a high-growth technology in the area of electrical
interconnectivity and look set to deliver improved performance against the
demands of many twenty-first century products.
The compact nature of flexible circuits and the high electrical-connection density
that they can achieve offer considerable weight, space and cost savings over the
use of traditional rigid printed circuit boards, wire and wire harnesses. The
technology offers the potential of reducing the total costs of electrical
interconnections by up to 70% and reducing cable and wiring use by up to 75%
when married with an appropriate application. It is to be noted that flexible printed
circuits have replaced hand-built wire harnesses in many applications.
This review will provide a basic assessment of Flexible Printed Circuits (FPC)
technology, flex circuit construction and manufacture, flex circuit materials,
market developments, technology developments within the FPC field, along with
major applications of the technology. It is hoped these applications exemplify how
FPC has the potential to offer product developers and designers significantly
more design freedom, enabling them to meet the higher circuit-density demands
of tomorrow¡¯s electronic systems.