PCB industry market prospect – what happens in 2022
A printed circuit board (PCB) is to adopt a printing technology, which enables to form a conductive circuit pattern or a functional board containing printed components on an insulating substrate based on a predetermined design. As an indispensable component for electronic commodities, it is used to make the interconnection and relay transmission between electronic components accessible. There are assorted types of PCBs.
- According to the flexibility of the substrate, it can be divided into rigid PCB (R-PCB), flexible PCB(FPC) and rigid-flex PCB.
- Based on the number of layers of the conductive pattern, it can be separated into single-sided PCB, double-sided PCB and multilayer PCB.
- Besides, it also has others such as high-speed and high-frequency PCB, high-density interconnector PCB (HDI), etc.
Application of PCB in different fields
The PCB plays as a key bridge that carries electronic components and connects circuits, that is to form a module or finished product with specific functions. As an indispensable electronic component in modern electronic commodities, the PCB is widely found in communication electronics, consumer electronics, computers, new energy automotive electronics, the industrial industry, medical equipment, national defense and aerospace and other fields.
In recent years, PCB is most widely used in the communication field, accounting for 32%. Then, the computer industry covers 24% and the consumer electronics field occupies 15%. The server industry makes up 10%, while both the industrial industry and the military aviation industry stand at 4%. For the medical industry, it only accounts for 2%.
Scale and growth of global PCB output value
The manufacturing quality of PCB products directly affects the reliability of electronic commodities and the company’s competition. Generally, the development level of the PCB industry reflects the development speed and technical level of the electronics industry in a country.
In recent years, the global PCB output value has shown an overall growth trend. According to a report released in March 2022, the global PCB industry output value has reached US$80.449 billion in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 23.4%.
Subdivision product structure of PCB
From the perspective of the subdivision structure of PCB products, ordinary multilayer PCB occupies the mainstream of PCB products. In 2021, the global PCB market multilayer PCB accounts for 38.6%, and single-sided PCB and double-sided PCB cover 11.6%. Then the packaging substrates make up 17.6%, and the flexible PCB and HDI PCB take up 17.5% and 14.7% respectively.
As the electronic circuit industry witnesses rapid development, the chip and integrated applications of components are becoming more and more extensive.
Electronic products have more prominent requirements for high-density PCB boards. The demand for high-end PCB products such as multi-layer boards, HDI boards, and IC substrates will increase significantly in the future.
The electronic product is expected to develop toward the direction of “integration, automation, miniaturization and low energy consumption”, which enables to promote PCB manufacturing aligned with high density, high integration, high speed and high frequency, and high heat dissipation.
PCB subdivision product structure in China
As a core basic component of the electronic information industry, the development of the PCB industry is closely related to the electronic information industry and macroeconomic prosperity.
Impact by the pandemic and international trade frictions, the economic circumstance in China is still facing greater pressure on the growth rate. Besides, the complicated international economic situation like the changes in different countries’ trade policies probably brings pessimistic effects.
From the perspective of product segmentation, multilayer PCB accounts for 47.6% of PCB products manufactured by China, and HDI PCB covers 16.6%. Then, single and double-sided PCB account for 15.5%, flex PCB takes up 15%, and packaging substrates are 5.3%.
New PCB enterprises set up in China
The focus of the global PCB industry has gradually shifted from the Occident to Asia. At present, a new pattern dominated by Asia has been formed. There are many various manufacturers in the PCB industry which make the market competition fierce. In general, it increasingly appears the trend of large-scale and centralization.
From 2015 to 2021, the number of new companies in my country’s PCB industry showed a trend of first rising and then falling. In 2021, the number of new related companies in the industry amounted to 118.
Industry development trend
The technological development of the PCB industry is closely related to the demand for electronic terminal products. The electronic products experience rapid updating, a new wave product featured with light, convenience, and multi-function, which promotes the PCB industry to high density, high performance, and environmentally friendly.
1. High density
High density puts forward higher requirements on the size of the PCB hole, layout width, number of layers, etc. High-density interconnector (HDI) is the embodiment of advanced PCB technology. Unlike common multilayer PCB, the HDI PCB precisely locates blind vias and buried vias to reduce the number of vias, which saves the PCB layout space and greatly improves the component density.
2. High performance
High performance mainly refers to the improved capability of impedance and heat dissipation on PCB, thereby enhancing the reliability of the product. Modern electronic products require fast information transmission rate and a large amount of information transmission, which promotes the development of digital signal technology in the direction of high frequency.
A PCB with good impedance can ensure the effective transmission of information and stabilize the final product performance. Because high-performance products generate more heat, PCBs with good heat dissipation performance are gained attention in the public. Under this trend, PCBs with better heat dissipation performance such as metal substrates and thick copper plates become commonplace.
3. Environmental friendly
The production process of the PCB industry is complex, some of which pollutes the environment. Moreover, its pollutant treatment process is more complicated. With the improvement of environmental protection requirements in various countries, the PCB industry has formulated a series of environmental protection specifications. Taking into account the sustainable development, the new type of PCB characterized by environmentally friendly materials and better process technology becomes the main development direction.
In conclusion, if a PCB company fails to fully seize market opportunities and timely adapt to market demands on product design, and marketing strategies, its competitive advantage may be weakened and result in being overtaken by competitors.