2018 PCB Development Focus

1) Environmental pressure drives PCB companies to develop circular economy


Environmental requirements tend to be strict, and the circular economy trend is irresistible. This is the basic premise for Shenzhen China PCB companies to survive. Controlling the discharge of waste water, recycling water, recovering copper, gold, nickel, tin, and waste residues from waste liquids, recycling, and controlling waste gas emissions, PCB companies have great potential for the development of recycling economy.


2) R&D and production of high-end PCB products


There is no significant increase in the shipment of many electronic products, but the functionality has changed and the PCB must go high-end. The performance of the flagship products (machine models) of a number of mobile phone plants has been increasing, and Apple iphone 8 and iphone x have begun to use Substrate Like PCB (SLP for short). The iphone 8 uses an $8 SLP and the iphone x uses 2 SLP, with an average unit price of $12 to $14. Samsung's mobile phone S9 also uses a SLP. At present, there are a number of PCB factories to invest in the development and production of Substrate Like PCB. For example, AT&S, IBDEN, ZDT, Unimicron, KINSUS, COMPEQ, and Korea circuit all have the capacity for Substrate Like PCB.


3) High-frequency high-speed printed boards are increasing


The driving force is 5G communications, which will form a communication network, base station equipment, and mobile terminals around 2020. The demand for high-frequency high-speed printed boards will increase significantly. The amount of information transmission needed for high-definition televisions increases, and the loud noise will causes the screen to be distorted. Signal attenuation causes the signals to become weak, resulting in insufficient data transmission, and requires high-frequency high-speed boards. Automotive autopilot, the ADAS (autopilot control system) necessary for future cars must use high-frequency PCBs. The Apple iPhone X uses 21pcs FPCs, which is 5pcs more than the iPhone 7 Plus, and the high-frequency board also has Added 3pcs.


4) Artificial intelligence is everywhere with printed boards


Artificial intelligence computing hardware architecture, including CPUs, graphics processors, field programmable arrays (FPGAs), as well as sensors, data transmission, power efficiency, etc., a variety of artificial intelligence solutions will bring PCB Applying increased demand. According to historical statistics, the $10 billion semiconductor IC output will be accompanied by a derivative PCB demand of approximately $1.7 billion. Artificial intelligence-driven hardware revenue will grow rapidly from 800 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 44.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, so artificial intelligence will generate about 7.5 billion U.S. dollars worth of PCB market demand.


5) The price of copper will continue to rise, and the copper-clad laminate will drive up the price of PCB.


Reasons: Countries have drastically promoted infrastructure construction. The demand for lithium batteries for electric vehicles has continued to grow. The cumulative increase in copper prices in 2017 was about 30%. At the end of last year, it exceeded US$7,000/ton, and the price of CCL creased several times, shifting the cost pressure of rising copper prices to PCB manufacturers, and the China PCB factory also adjusted prices upwards to pass the cost to customers. It is expected that the price of copper will still rise in 2018, and the prices of copper-clad laminate companies are increasing one after another. The PCB factory is faced with operational pressure to pass on costs.