As the electronics in our daily lives proliferate, they continue to be largely limited to rigid form factors with bulky packaging dictated by traditional electronics manufacturing processes and fragile components. Yet for applications ranging from wireless, low-profile medical devices to smart food labels to aircraft with embedded stress sensors, there's a need for high-performance electronics that conform to the shape of our bodies, vehicles, and consumer goods. Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE), which combine additive manufacturing processes with flexible silicon will enable these capabilities. To move these concepts from the lab to the manufacturing floor in the United States, the Department of Defense established NextFlex, America's Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute in 2015. Based in San Jose, CA, NextFlex is a $170M public-private partnership that is building a domestic FHE manufacturing ecosystem by developing manufacturing processes and tools with its member companies and universities, standing up an FHE manufacturing pilot line in Silicon Valley, and establishing education and workforce development programs to train tomorrow's workforce. This presentation will focus on the FHE opportunity, the NextFlex FHE manufacturing roadmaps, and NextFlex projects in areas such as device integration & packaging, modeling & design tools, and printed flexible components.
Electronics Outside the Box: Building a Manufacturing Ecosystem for Flexible Hybrid Electronics
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Benjamin Leever; Electronics Outside the Box: Building a Manufacturing Ecosystem for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. International Symposium on Microelectronics 1 October 2017; 2017 (S1): 000037–000080. doi: https://doi.org/10.4071/isom-2017-slide-3
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