The advantage of using FPC

The flexible printed circuits are designed to save room and improve product design flexibility, which can satisfy the design need of smaller and higher density installation, in favor of decreasing mounting steps and improving reliability, and become the only solution for satisfying the miniaturization and flexibility of electronic products.

 The flexible circuit boards are to etch the copper traces on the polymer base material, or to print polymer heavy layer circuit. In regard to thin, light, tightly and complicated structured components, their design scheme comprises from single sided conductive circuit to complex multilayer 3-D packing. The overall quality and volume of flexible packing decreases by 70% than using the traditional mega wire thread method. The flexible circuit can also increase its strength by using supporting material or lining board, so as to obtain extra mechanical stability.

 The flexible circuits can be moved, bent, twisted, without ruining the traces. They are with different shapes and special packing dimensions. The only limit is the problem of room and volume. Due to being able to bear millions of dynamic bending, the flexible circuits can be well applied in the inner connection system of continuous movement or regular movement, becoming one part of the final product function. Some products demanding for smaller shape modulus/packing dimensions because of the movement of electrical signal/power all benefit from the flexible circuits.

 The flexible circuit provides good electrical performance. Lower dielectric constant allows electrical signals to transmit quickly. Good thermal performance makes the assembly easy to cool. Higher glass transfer temperature or melting point makes the assembly work well at higher temperature.

 Because the quantity of the hardware needed for inner connection is reduced, such as the welding pots、trunk lines, base board traces and cables usually used in traditional electric packing, the flexible circuits can provide with higher installation reliability and yield. When the traditional inner connection hardware comprised of many complicated systems is mounted, higher rate of assembly out of alignment happens easier. As the emergence of quality engineering, a very thin flexible system is designed to be mounted in only one way, so as to eliminate the human error related to independent wiring installation。

 At early stage the flexible circuits are mainly applied in the fields such as the connection between the small or thin electronic products and rigid printed boards. In the end of 1970s, they were used in the electrical products such as computers, digital cameras, ink jet printers, car audio, CD-ROM and hard disk driver. Opening one 35mm camera, there are 9~14 different flexible circuits. The only way to decrease volume is smaller assembly, more precise lines, tighter spacing, and bendable objects. Heart maker, medical instruments, video camera, hearing aid, laptops, all most all the products we use comprise of flexible circuits today.

NB board and FPC: the only hope in 2009 PCB industry

Look into the prospect of 2009 PCB industry, due to the fact that the Notebook (NB) and intelligent mobile phone still have the potentiality to grow, therefore, people in the industry generally believe that there are still hope for the growth of NB board and FPC.

Because the prices of NB fall year after year, and people’s demand for PC mobility increases constantly, the tendency that NB will replace the desktop computer becomes more and more obvious. Some brokers in Taiwan expect that the worldwide turnout of NB in 2009 will be 131 million sets, increasing by 3.7% than that in 2008. Considering the additional demand for low cost NB, they estimate that the turnout of whole NB will reach 155 million sets. Annual growth rate will reach 12.58%. This growth prediction is rarely seen recently. Therefore it’s unnecessary for the NB board manufacturers to worry about. The NB turnout of Hann Star board and Gold Circuit Electronics in 2008 will increase 7% and word wide market share will rise from 63% (in 2007) to 70% which will make NB market a duopoly and there is nearly impossible for a new company entering into.

Besides, the market generally believes that the overall mobile phone demand in 2009 will decline. For intelligent mobile phones which use lot of FPC, however, the turnout in 2009 is estimated to be 186 million sets. The annual growth rate is still as high as 18.1%, which becomes the largest growth power for Taiwan FPC industry. As for the aspect of supply, because of the fierce competition, many second-tier FPC factories became bankrupt, which will be helpful to keep the  stability of FPC industry.

Definition of FPC

When we talk about the FPC in our industry, most of us know it stands for Flexible Printed Circuit, the update products of PCB. Also for the Flexible Circuits, the most broadly accepted defi nition is the one that is found in the industry standard IPC-T-50 Terms and Defi nitions for Printed Boards. In that document, flexible circuits are defi ned as “A patterned arrangement of printed wiring utilizing fl exible base material with or without fl exible coverlayers.” 

Each person in circuit industry will know its definition (meaning), but do you FPC also stands for other meanings?

 You can search FPC via Google, when you will find the top sites whom appear in the first page of searching results have little relation to Flexible Printed Circuit. For more, click here for FPC searching result.

Is it funny? In fact, it’s a popular phenomenon in our daily life. Things maybeÂare different from what we thought. We have to dig it. The follows are some definition of so called ‘FPC’ in different language(from wiki):

German:

  • Free Pascal ist ein Open Source-Projekt, das sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, einen freien, 100%ig kompatiblen Turbo Pascal-Klon zu programmieren. Das Projekt ist weit fortgeschritten.Es steht auch die Option der Nutzung unter der LGPL zur Verfügung, so dass auch ein kommerziellerEinsatz möglich ist, siehe hierzu die Lizenzbedingungen.
    de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fpc

French:

Formation Professionnelle Continue www.knowup.com/pages/ressources/lexique.cfm/ 

English:

Florida Parole Commission is responsible for making decisions on the granting and revoking of parole. FPC also reports to the Board of Executive Clemency the circumstances, the criminal records, and the social, physical, mental, and psychiatric conditions and histories of persons under consideration by the board for pardon, commutation of sentence, or remission of fine, penalty, or forfeiture. … www.fcc.state.fl.us/fcc/reports/final98/98gloss.html

  • Predecessor of FERC
    www.saludahydrorelicense.com/glossary.htm
  • Front Page Challenge (aired 1957 – 1995) was a Canadian current events-cum-history program disguised as a game show, in which notable journalists attempted to guess what past news story the hidden guest was linked with. Upon conclusion of he challenge, the journalists served as a panel of interviewers as they conversed with the guest about the story in question.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPC

Dutch: 

Portuguese:

Federa o Portuguesa de Campismo. Organismo reconhecido pelo estado Portugus, com a tutela, atravs da sua actual Escola Nacional de Montanhismo, de coordenar a pr¡tica montanhismo e escalada em Portugal.
luis-avelar.planetaclix.pt/dicionario/dicio_f.ht

At the end of this artile, remind the reader again, if you want know the real meaning of FPC in the circuit industry, please visit our homepage where you will find out what a real Flexible Printed Circuit is!