Flexible circuits (also variously referred to around the globe as flex circuits, flexible printed circuit boards, flex print, Flexi-circuits) are members of electronic and interconnection family. They consist of a thin insulating polymer film having conductive circuit patterns affixed thereto and typically supplied with a thin polymer coating to protect the conductor circuits. The technology has been used for interconnecting electronic devices since the 1950s in one form or another. It is now one of the most important interconnection technologies in use for the manufacture of many of today’s most advanced electronic products.
Flexible circuit boards are certainly useful, but they are not going to replace rigid circuit boards for all applications. Cost efficiency is the main obstacle to implementing an exclusively flexible circuit board design in a consumer product. Rigid circuit boards are less expensive to manufacture and install in a typical automated high-volume fabricating facility.
Typically, the ideal solution for an innovative product is one that incorporates flexible circuitry when necessary and employs solid, reliable rigid circuit boards where possible to keep manufacturing and assembly costs down.