Overview of PCB Technology Development

1. Introduction to PCB and SMT

PCB design

The design of the printed circuit board is based on the circuit schematic diagram, combined with external connection layout, internal electronic component optimization layout, and other factors, to realize the design process of the functions required by the circuit designer. Simple layout design can be realized by hand, and complex layout design needs to be realized with the help of computer-aided design.

PCB designSMT 711x400 - Overview of PCB Technology Development


SMT refers to surface mount technology, also known as Surface Mount Technology, which is currently the most popular technology and process in the electronics assembly industry. Compared with the traditional through-hole assembly technology, this technology has the advantages of high assembly density, small product volume (40% to 60% reduction in volume), lightweight (60% to 80% reduction in weight), high reliability, strong vibration resistance, It is easy to realize the advantages of automation.


2. PCB development

2.1. Status of PCB in China

At present, the development of global printed circuit boards has embarked on a relatively stable period of development and has formed seven major production centers including Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, Germany, and Southeast Asia, of which Asia accounts for 79.7% of global GDP. Due to its advantages in industrial distribution and manufacturing costs, China has become the world’s most important printed circuit board production base. In 2013, China’s circuit board output value accounted for more than 44.2% of the global output value, but the market share of a single Chinese company The share is small, and the ability to dominate the market is not strong.

In the past two decades, through the introduction of advanced foreign technology and equipment, my country’s PCB industry has developed rapidly. In 2002, my country’s PCB output value surpassed Taiwan and became the world’s third-largest PCB producer. In 2003, my country’s PCB output value and import and export volume both exceeded US$6 billion, becoming the world’s second-largest PCB producer. In 2006, my country surpassed Japan for the first time, Has become the world’s largest PCB manufacturing base, and has become the world’s largest PCB production site for five consecutive years. In 2010, China’s PCB output value increased rapidly to 18.5 billion U.S. dollars, and its global share rose to 39.8%. In 2012, the global PCB industry was affected by the global economic weakness, and its growth rate declined. China’s PCB output value still occupies a relatively high market share in the world. With the recovery of the economy, the growth trend was maintained from 2013 to 2016.

2.2. Current status of global PCB development

Since the mid-1950s, PCB technology has been widely adopted. At present, PCB has become the “mother of electronic products”, and its application has penetrated almost all terminal fields of the electronics industry, including computers, communications, consumer electronics, industrial control, automotive electronics, LED, IPTV, digital TV, and other emerging electronic products. Emerging, the use and market of PCB products will continue to expand.

In recent years, the overall global PCB industry has shown steady growth. Affected by the global financial crisis in 2009, the PCB output value dropped. In 2010, with the gradual improvement of the global macroeconomy, the PCB industry began to recover. The annual output value reached 52.468 billion US dollars, and the large-format increase in 2009 was 27.33%.

The global financial crisis in 2008 caused a huge impact on the PCB industry, and China’s PCB industry was also affected to a certain extent. The total output value of the PCB industry across the country fell from US$15.037 billion in 2008 to US$14.252 billion in 2009, a year-on-year decrease of 5.2%. China’s PCB industry showed full recovery in 2009, with the total output value of the national PCB industry reaching 19.971 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 40.1%. From 2011 to 2012, as the global electronics industry and PCB industry entered a period of adjustment, the growth of China’s PCB industry slowed down. The total output value of the national PCB industry was US$22.029 billion and US$22.034 billion, with growth rates of 10.30% and 0.02 respectively. %. From 2013 to 2014, the total output value of the national PCB industry recovered, with growth rates of 11.62% and 6.01% respectively. The compound annual growth rate of China’s PCB industry output value from 2014 to 2019 was 5.1%. In 2016, the overall scale of the global PCB industry will reach 72.007 billion U.S. dollars, and the annual compound growth rate of the global PCB output value from 2011 to 2016 is 5.38%.

2.3. Current status of PCB development in the U.S.

The US PCB industry structure is also biased towards rigid board production, which accounts for more than 70% of the proportion of rigid boards. The proportion of high-level board production is higher than that of Japan and Taiwan. 12 to 20 layers account for 21% of the overall PCB products, and 22 layers or more account for the overall sales. Of the 13%, the above-mentioned products with 12 layers and above accounted for more than 30%, and 4 to 10 layers accounted for 17%. In the field of FPC and FPC, the main American manufacturer is Multi-Fineline Electronix, which mainly assembles FPC. Its products are widely used. Among them, mobile phones are the most important application. Customers include Apple, RIM, Motorola, etc.

In terms of product application, PCB manufacturers in the United States use PCBs for mobile phones as their main application products, accounting for 26%. Multi-Fineline is the representative manufacturer of flex boards for mobile phones, and Multek produces HDI boards for mobile phones. The secondary products of the US PCB industry are telecommunications equipment-related applications and computer-related product applications, accounting for 19% and 18%. TTMTechnologies, Inc. is the main supplier of communications infrastructure equipment applications in the United States. Its PCB products are used in aviation and defense applications. It also has a high adoption rate. In addition, the United States is also one of the main suppliers of server PCBs. Among the global server PCB manufacturers, the top one and two are American companies, and American manufacturers account for 40% of the global market. In addition, the US PCB industry also has considerable investment in automotive, medical, and military PCB boards. In recent years, the proportion of US PCB companies in the top 100 has been shrinking, but the total output value has remained stable (about 4.6% of the global total), and the average output value has increased slightly, mainly due to the merger of enterprises. It is expected to maintain in the next few years Unchanged or slightly decreased.

2.4. Current status of PCB development in Japan

According to Prismark statistics: Japan’s printed circuit board industry’s output value as a percentage of the global market has shown a downward trend in recent years. In 2014, the regional market’s output value was US$6.62 billion, accounting for 11.5% of the total global market in the same period.

Japanese PCB manufacturers focus on the production of high-end and high-unit-price PCB products, mainly flexible boards and rigid-flex boards, which together account for about 47% of their overall production of PCBs. They are mainly used in mobile phones and HDDs, with IC carrier boards accounting for 30%. %, the above two accounted for 77% of the total, and rigid board products accounted for only 21%, and they are high-tech and popular HDI boards.

In terms of product application, the most used PCB industry in Japan is in the field of IC packaging, accounting for 30%. This is also the reason for the high proportion of IC substrates produced by Japanese companies. In this field, Japanese business Ibiden has the highest revenue share in the world, and its products are FCBGA and FCCSP applications. Nissan Shinko Electric is also a leader in this application field, mainly based on Flip Chip, P-BGA, and P-CSP substrates. Japan’s PCB board is mainly used in the mobile phone field, accounting for 25% of the overall production. Nippon ranked first, with more than 30% of its product portfolio, all related to mobile phones, of which LCD flexible boards for mobile phones are the main ones. The applications on mobile phones are mainly HDI and AnylayerHDI. In terms of mobile phone customer groups, Japanese PCB manufacturers are mainly Apple and Nokia. Therefore, the continued growth of the smartphone market will also help the Japanese PCB industry. Automotive-related applications account for 13% of Japan’s PCB output value. Although the proportion is not as high as other applications, the Japanese PCB industry has led the world in the supply of automotive PCB products, such as CMK and Meiko.

PCB design 2 710x400 - Overview of PCB Technology Development

3. The development trend of PCB

3.1. The development trend of global PCB

After decades of development, the PCB industry has become a global industry. In recent years, the output value of the global PCB industry has accounted for more than 1/4 of the total output value of the electronic component industry. It is the industry with the largest proportion in the electronic component industry and occupies a unique position. In order to actively respond to the development needs of downstream products, PCBs have gradually developed in the direction of high density, high integration, fine lines, small apertures, large capacities, and lightness and thinness, with increasing technical content and complexity.

First, the global PCB industry will maintain steady growth. According to statistics and forecasts from China Industry Insight Network, the total global PCB output value in 2010 was US$52.468 billion, an increase of 27.3% from 2009. The global PCB output value in 2011 reached US$55.409 billion, compared with 2010 Increased by 5.6%. In 2012, the global PCB output value reached 54.310 billion US dollars, a decrease of 2.0% from 2011. From 2012 to 2017, the global PCB will maintain a steady growth of 3.9% annual compound growth rate, and the overall scale is expected to reach 65.654 billion US dollars.

Secondly, Asia has become the global PCB leader, and China is at the center of the Asian market. Before 2000, 70% of global PCB output value was distributed in three regions: Europe, America (mainly North America), and Japan. Since entering the 21st century, the PCB industry has continuously shifted its focus to the Asian region, forming a new industrial pattern. The PCB output value in Asia is close to 90% of the world’s total, and it is the dominant PCB in the world, especially in China and Southeast Asia. According to statistics from China Industry Insight Network, since 2006, China has surpassed Japan to become the world’s largest and fastest-growing PCB manufacturing base and has become the main growth driver for the development of the global PCB industry. In 2012, China’s PCB output value reached 21.636 billion US dollars, accounting for 39.84% of the global PCB output value. From 2008 to 2012, the average annual compound growth rate of China’s PCB output value reached 9.52%, which is higher than the global growth level.

According to Prismark’s forecast, China’s PCB output value will reach 28.972 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, accounting for 44.13% of the global output value. Third, the global PCB product structure is increasingly optimized, and the future development trend is clear. As downstream electronic products pursue the development trend of light, thin, short, and small, PCBs continue to develop in the direction of high precision, high integration, and lightness. In 2011, the global output value of single/dual panels increased by 0.4% compared to 2010. The output value of multilayer boards increased by 1.1%, and its total volume still accounted for the majority of PCB boards. HDI boards increased by 17.4%, which is among PCB boards. The type with the largest output value growth rate. The output value growth rates of package substrates and flexible boards were 6.6% and 12.4%, respectively. In 2012, the global output value of single/dual panels decreased by 8.7% compared with 2011. The output value of multilayer boards decreased by 9.1%, still occupying a dominant position. The output value of the HDI board increased by 5.8%, continuing to maintain a good growth trend. The output value of packaging substrates decreased by 4.7%. The output value of flexible boards increased by 17.2%. According to Prismark’s forecast, the global PCB industry will continue to develop steadily in the future, among which HDI boards and multilayer boards will maintain a good momentum of development. From 2012 to 2017, the compound growth rate of HDI boards will reach 6.5%, becoming the main growth point of the PCB industry. The compound growth rate of multilayer boards will reach 1.2%. Finally, there will be strong demand in major application areas in the future, and the PCB industry will have a strong pull. The good development momentum of the electronic information industry is the foundation for the growth of the PCB industry, and the continued high boom in the downstream areas of the PCB will drive the rapid development of the PCB industry.

With the development of modern technology, the downstream field of PCB is currently experiencing favorable opportunities for technological upgrades and product replacement. Among them, the replacement cycle of the top three computer, communications, and consumer electronics products is continuously shortening. New consumption hotspots make the PCB industry face a broader market space and demand scale. According to statistics and forecasts from China Industry Insight Network, the global output value of electronic system products was US$1,756 billion in 2010, US$1.909 billion in 2012, and US$2,369 billion in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.41%.

3.2. The development trend of China’s PCB

First of all, China’s PCB industry maintains a rapid growth trend. Looking to the future, the global PCB industry will continue to develop in a new round of growth cycles. The growth of terminal application market demand will continue to drive the continuous development of the upstream industry, and there will be more and more innovative application terminals. The sudden emergence of electronic products will also provide more market growth points for the global PCB industry.

For domestic purposes only, with the steady recovery and continuous transformation of China’s economy, the development of China’s PCB industry will usher in more opportunities in the next few years: First, the continuous transfer of industries and the establishment of world-renowned PCB companies’ production bases in China, China’s PCB industry’s cluster advantages will be further highlighted, and more local companies will grow and develop faster. Through fierce market competition and learning effects, the technical strength and operating level will be promoted to a new level. The development of the seven strategic emerging industries during the Second Five-Year Plan period will provide more development opportunities and policy support for the development of Chinese PCB companies. Finally, consumption is expected to occupy a more important position in the troika of economic growth. Domestic consumption The rapid development of the market will further promote the expansion of the application market and indirectly drive the development of the upstream PCB industry.

According to Prismark’s forecast, China’s PCB industry will continue to maintain a rapid growth trend in the next few years, and its global market position will continue to improve. From 2012 to 2017, China’s PCB output value will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.0%, and by 2017, the total output value will reach 28.972 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for the proportion of global PCB output value rose to 44.13%. Second, the regional distribution pattern of the domestic PCB industry has taken shape.

According to CPCA statistics, the number of domestic PCB industry companies in 2013 was about 1,500, mainly distributed in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, and Bohai Rim regions. The output value of PCB in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta accounts for about 90% of the total output value of mainland China. PCB production capacity in the central and western regions has also expanded rapidly in recent years.

The Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta are areas where domestic electronic technology products are more developed, and they are also the birthplaces of IT and PCB. They enjoy unique advantages in terms of geography, talents, and economic environment, and are currently in the stage of industrial upgrading. PCB mid-and low-end products are gradually shifting to other regions in the mainland, while high-end products and high value-added products continue to be concentrated in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta. In the future, the domestic PCB industry is likely to form a two-hour economy with the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta as high-end PCB manufacturing and equipment and materials research and development bases. The Yangtze River, including Chongqing, Sichuan, Hubei, Anhui, and other top 500 electronics companies in the world as the leading two-hour economy Industrial belt. the Bohai Bay Economic Circle led by northern Dalian, and the industrial structure of the Northwest Guangdong Processing Zone after the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Finally, the main domestic PCB product structure tends to be diversified and high-end. According to CPCA statistics, various domestic PCBs have developed significantly since 2000. Among them, the development speed of multilayer boards, HDI boards, and flexible boards are higher than the average development speed of the industry, and the development speed of single-sided and double-sided boards is relatively stable.

From the perspective of the development trend of domestic PCB products, the increase in output is slightly lower than the increase in sales, mainly due to the gradual development of the product structure to multi-layer and high-precision. my country’s multi-layer boards and HDI boards are in the growth stage of the industry, the scale is constantly expanding, and the technology is becoming increasingly mature. Multilayer boards are still the mainstream of market development, while HDI boards are in a period of rapid development driven by the demand for upgrading downstream electronic information products.

4. Technology prospects and trends

PCB production technology - Overview of PCB Technology Development
Electronic equipment requires high performance, high speed, lightness, thinness, and miniaturization. As a multidisciplinary industry, PCB is the most critical technology for high-end electronic equipment. Regardless of rigidity, flexibility, rigid-flex multilayer boards in PCB products, as well as module substrates for IC packaging substrates, they have made great contributions to high-end electronic equipment. The PCB industry occupies an important position in electronic interconnection technology. In the 21st century, human beings have entered a high information society, and PCB is an indispensable and important pillar in the information industry. Recalling the difficult course of China’s PCB for 50 years, today it has written a glorious page in the history of the world’s PCB development. In 2006, China’s PCB output value was nearly 13 billion U.S. dollars, making it the world’s largest PCB producer. Regarding the current development trend of PCB technology, I have the following views:
2. Component embedding technology has strong vitality
3. The development of materials in PCB needs to be improved
4. Optoelectronic PCB has a bright future
5. The manufacturing process needs to be updated and advanced equipment needs to be introduced