|Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) is a term used to define electronics systems that can bend, fold, stretch, and conform to create products that fit the natural, curved form of our world while preserving the full operational integrity of traditional electronic architectures.
This chapter discusses how advanced packaging and bare die system design approaches are giving rise to a new field with a supporting supply chain. The chapter updates the trends that are pushing developments and capabilities along the supply chain and moving FHE toward larger scale manufacturing. These include the demand for novel product form factors for consumer electronics, global proliferation of handheld devices (e.g., smart phones), introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) and distributed ad-hoc sensing networks, the development of ubiquitous computing to drive toward improving efficiency using digitalization, and the demand for improved wearable and medical sensing technologies.
Detailed considerations for current and future states of manufacturing and reliability technology requirements for design, materials, components, and substrates are presented. In particular, the chapter updates information about enabling technology developments such as functional inks, substrates, thin die and ultra thin die, manufacturing processes and characterization tools, and it discusses the barriers to high volume manufacturing at the desired cost points. It also includes an update on collaborative programs and activities worldwide for developing standards and addressing gaps in technology needs and includes recommendations to the industry and research communities for continued success.