The Challenge

Current circuit boards are rigid and cannot bend or stretch to enable electronics that are wearable or fit a desired form factor. Some solutions seek to replace the current board material with a more flexible material. However, simply using a more flexible or stretchable backing can cause interconnects to fail or components to pop off or break due to stresses transmitted during bending. Additionally, wearable electronics require circuit boards to be truly stretchable to snugly fit the human body. Many solutions seek to create flexible and stretchable circuit boards by introducing new flexible or stretchable components and interconnects, but these are still in the research stages and cannot be produced in volume today.

The Solution

ICT has been successful in developing a technology for stretchable and flexible circuit boards, because we have looked at the problem from a new angle. Instead of attempting to make the components and interconnects flexible or stretchable, we have designed a unique technology to reduce the stresses transmitted to the components and interconnects during bending and stretching. Using our patent-pending, hinge-like “strain relief features” or SRFs, we have been able to stretch our circuit boards to high strain and bend them hundreds to thousands of times while maintaining electrical functionality. ICT circuit boards can use standard components and interconnect materials and can be fabricated using conventional printed circuit board manufacturing methods, making ICT circuit boards cost-neutral and available today.