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NextFlex News – January 2023

We’re off to a quick start to 2023 with members, industry experts, and government convening here at the Technology Hub to explore opportunities for flexible and additively manufactured hybrid electronics for new and emerging areas of advanced semiconductor packaging. This workshop is designed to capture inputs from the FHE manufacturing community on these high priority technical fronts: Direct Write Interconnects, Substrates and Buildup Layers, Interposers, Bridges & Architectures, and Circuitization. Prioritized and actionable contributions collected during the workshop will inform our collective response to opportunities presented by the impending RFP for the CHIPs and Science Act.

We will follow this up with our Winter Symposium on March 28-29, also to be held here at NextFlex. This event will coincide with the release of Project Call 8.0, our eighth project call since our inception. Like previous project calls, this one will focus on prioritized manufacturing gaps identified by the NextFlex Technical Working Groups as outlined in the FHE Manufacturing Roadmap Summary, with an updated version of the published roadmaps anticipated next month. The PC 8.0 activities associated with the Symposium are open to all, while other portions of the agenda that include updates from NextFlex and funded projects will be for members only.

Now, on to kudos for the FlexFactor® kids! Last week, NextFlex hosted a FlexFactor Sprint for students at Dartmouth Middle School (San Jose, CA). During the Sprint, students toured the NextFlex facility to learn about flexible hybrid electronics, see applications of the technology, and learn how devices are designed and manufactured. Afterwards, students worked in teams to conceptualize their own FHE-enabled product ideas and presented their concepts using white board illustrations.

And in Ohio, 20 FlexFactor teams from Clark-Shawnee High School competed for two spots in an upcoming FlexFactor Finals competition at Sinclair Community College slated for April. The two winning teams developed FHE-enabled products for automotive safety. The first team developed a Speeding Prevention Electronic Device (SPED) (team pictured at left), an after-market sensor and app that sends speed limit recommendations to the driver based on current road and weather conditions. The second product, Wildlife Detection System, detects and alerts drivers about potential wildlife interactions on the road. I love the creativity of these students!

Stay well and keep the good ideas coming,

Malcolm J. Thompson, Ph.D.
Executive Director