Flex Circuits and Rigid Flex Circuits
Smaller, Lighter, More Reliable with Ultra-Fast Prototyping
75% of your flexible circuit cost is determined during design. We’re process R&D and fast prototyping experts known for tight tolerance, fine-line flex circuits including single-layer circuits, double-layer circuits, multilayer circuits, and rigid-flex.
- 1 mil (25μm) Trace and Space…
- 25μm vias and laser drilling spot sizes down to 10μm…
- Complex 25μm 3+layer circuits other vendors won’t touch…
- And an ability to Turn Prototypes in as little as 5 to 7 days.
Plus, everything is done in house using our Lean Thinking and Lean Manufacturing Design Processes. We may be your ultimate production partners in addition to being a member of your core design team.
Whether you require sputtering thin film, laser micromachining, laser drilling, or even direct write fabrication of MEMS devices or flex circuits down to a 10μm feature size, we can do that, too – again, all in house.
Challenge us with multi-layer, sub-2 mil with tight registration and a large number of traces. Give us your toughest high-density interconnect with a specific RF performance requirement. Ask us to make a smaller, lighter and more reliable flex circuit.
We’ll get your flex circuit ready for production 20 days or less, and we’ll help you to a greater ROI as your production partners.
See if you can Challenge our Flex Circuit Team…
Why Flex Circuits?
Thickness & Package Size
Because flexible circuits use the thinnest dielectric substrates available today for making electronic interconnections, it’s possible now to produce flexible circuits with a total thickness approaching 1 mil (25μm), including a protective cover layer. Rigid circuits, on the other hand, might be three times as thick.
Smaller circuits are naturally lighter. You might see a reduction in weight of 50% or more for some applications.
Reduction in Assembly Time, Error and Cost
Flex circuits have an inherent ability to reduce the assembly time for a product because they can seamlessly integrate the form, fit and function of a design into a single circuit. A reduction in assembly cost is a natural result of the reduction in assembly time. Finally, the nature of a flexible circuit means the elimination of any human error in the assembly process, again reducing the time and cost of product assembly.
Understanding Flex Circuits and Rigid Flex
You’ll see them in industrial lasers, inductor coils and heater coils.
Medical uses include anything from hearing aids to ultrasound and defibrillators. You’ll find flex circuits in NMR analyzers, X-ray, particle counters and infrared analyzers.
Flex circuits enable things like smart phones, instrument panels, plasma displays, and even smart weapons to be built lighter, smaller, and less expensively with fewer in-field issues.
Single Layer Flex Circuits
A simple, single conductive layer with top or bottom access to the conductors. Stiffeners and connectors are optional.
Double Layer Flex Circuits
Here, you’ll find two conductive layers with insulating dielectric in between. Plated through-holes (vias) provide the connectivity between layers. (Read more about our Laser Micromachining and Laser Drilling that can create blind vias down to 1 mil) . Again, you have top or bottom access to conductors and stiffeners and connectors are optional.
Multilayer Flex Circuits
Multilayer is considered anything above 2 conductive layers with insulating dielectric in between. You can have blind vias or buried vias and top or bottom access to conductors. (A blind via is a via that extends only to one surface of a flex circuit, while a buried via doesn’t extend to either surface.)
Rigid Flex Circuits
Rigid flex is a bit different. You’ll have two or more conductive layers with either a flexible or rigid dielectric between conductive layers. The rigid parts usually contain conductors routed to pads accessed through a cover film or solder mask.
With rigid flex, you can increase the flexibility in the dynamic area or flex region of the circuit by making it a single layer entity.
- Single, double and multilayer boards
- Laser windowing and ablation
- Lines and spaces to 25 micron (1 mil) – smaller features possible, but are design-dependent
- Flying or unsupported leads
- Stiffeners (FR-4, Polyimide, Cirlex, etc.)
- Unique metalizations (all gold or iridium oxide, for example)
- Sputtered thin films
- Bump/Post Plating
- Shield layers
- Laser-drilled blind vias, buried vias, and through-hole vias with minimum 25μm diameter
- Polyimide/Kapton: 25, 50, 75 micron (and others as available)
- Metals: Copper, Nickel, Gold
- Cover layers: Laminated Polyimide, photoimagable solder mask (LPI) & others on request
- Finishes: Gold (design dependent), ENIG, ENEG, OSP, electroplated nickel, copper