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Electronics Production | December 30, 2004

Mentor launches capabilities for flex and rigid-flex

Mentor Graphics Corporation has incorporated advanced design capabilities for flex and rigid-flex boards into its Expedition™ and Board Station® RE PCB layout tools.
Mentor Graphics is meeting the growing need of customers in the telecom and consumer electronics industries who are increasingly adopting flex PCB technology for applications requiring high functionality in small, handheld form factors.

The use of flex PCBs is not new but until recently had been relegated to very specialized uses such as automotive dashboards and other flexible connection methods such as laptops. These limited applications were designed using mostly manual, layout methods. Now the use of flex PCBs is pervasive in cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras and most other space constrained, high functionality consumer products. For example, most handheld digital cameras now include a single rigid-flex board folded into the form factor. In these highly competitive markets time-to-market is paramount and product life cycles are short. Designers need the same levels of design productivity for flex that they have for their rigid boards.

"Industry statistics show that a significant portion of the growth in PCB manufacturing will be in flex and rigid-flex production," said Henry Potts, vice president and general manager, Systems Design Division, Mentor Graphics. "We anticipated this trend based on interactions with some of our major customers in the telecom and consumer electronics industries and invested to enhance our solutions to meet their needs."

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