Many industries and industrial chains are now affected by the new coronavirus epidemic. Due to the impact of the epidemic, the iPhone’s production work has slowed down, causing shipments in the first quarter to fall by about 10%. However, according to industry, despite the outbreak of a new type of coronavirus flu, PCB shipments are still optimistic because China is actively constructing 5G infrastructure. The impact is limited.
5G era, PCB volume and price go up
5G puts a lot of demands on PCBs from the construction of communication networks, to terminals, to derivative application scenarios. According to industry insiders, in 5G wireless base stations, bearer networks, transmission networks, and core network hardware facilities, PCB hardware applications will increase significantly, such as 5G radio frequency boards, backplanes, high-speed network boards, server motherboards, microwave boards, and power supplies. Board, etc.
With the upgrading of communication technology, from 4G to 5G, the amount and price of PCBs required in communication base stations are rising. Due to the high-frequency microwave characteristics of 5G, the base station density is higher than that of 4G base stations. At the same time, the processing frequency, data transmission and processing speed of various devices are much higher than in the 4G era. These core main equipment, transmission equipment, and antenna / RF equipment have very high requirements for high-frequency and high-speed boards, and the unit price is higher than the PCB of 4G base stations. It is estimated that in a single base station, the demand for PCBs by 5G base stations is twice that of 4G base stations.
In addition, 5G terminal equipment, such as mobile phones and smart watches, must also be updated and synchronized with the communication technology. This part of the PCB demand is much greater than the infrastructure part.
5G mobile phone frequency drives PCB supply chain to benefit
The world’s largest mobile communications exhibition MWC was suspended due to the impact of the epidemic, but the launch of 5G mobile phones is still ready to launch. Sony, Huawei, realme and other players have adopted online live broadcast methods. Integrating various features of the new flagship machine, mainly supporting 5G, more powerful processors, multi-lens, folding screens, etc., which are not far from the market’s expected content. It is estimated that the enhancement of functions will drive class carrier boards, antenna soft boards, AiP, The PCB supply chain has benefited significantly from the specification upgrades and increased usage of BT carrier boards.
2020 is the period of growth of 5G smart phones. Apple ’s introduction of 5G in the second half of the new year will increase the unit output value of motherboards that promote the class of carrier boards by 10 to 15%. The relevant supply chain is optimistic that it will have new capacity benefits, and Yiding and efficiency are among the best. Zhending previously pointed out that in 2020, it will mainly focus on computers, feature phones, smartphones, 5G, and the Internet of Things. Among them, mobile phones are expected to grow again. Others such as flexible boards, IC carrier boards, automotive boards, server boards, HDI , Soft and hard board, backlight module board, COF, etc. also have good prospects.
5G mobile phones, tablets and other thin and light demand drive the FPC market space
IDC predicts that 5G mobile phone shipments will reach 7 (about 212 million) of total smartphone shipments by 2020, and will account for 18% by 2022.
According to industry research, at least 20 FPC material numbers in the new Apple mobile phones have a value space of more than $ 20, and tablet products are also expected to be thinner and lighter, and will use a large number of FPC products. At the same time, domestic leading brands Huawei, OPPO, vivo, etc. have also increased their FPC usage to 10-12 blocks.
The 5G era provides huge markets and opportunities for the PCB industry
According to estimates, the economic benefits of direct output of 5G in 2020, 2025, and 2030 are 484 billion yuan, 3.3 trillion yuan, and 6.3 trillion yuan, while the economic benefits of indirect output are 1.2 trillion yuan and 63,000 yuan, respectively. Billion yuan and 10.6 trillion yuan.
5G era, PCB meets technical challenges
While 5G brings opportunities to the PCB industry, it also puts forward higher and more stringent requirements for technology. Its speed, integration, heat dissipation, frequency, and multi-layered indicators have all improved a lot compared to 4G.
Insiders said that full-spectrum intervention, Massive MIMO, and ultra-dense networks will be the core technology of 5G networks. Correspondingly, technical challenges have been raised for PCBs.
First of all, the structure and function of the base station radio frequency unit and antenna have undergone major changes, mainly manifested in the increase in the number of radio frequency unit channels (8 channels to 64 channels), corresponding to the increase in PCB area. 4G base station equipment RRU plus antenna unit The structure is changed to a 5G AAU structure (with integrated RRU and antenna functions), which corresponds to a higher degree of PCB integration.
Secondly, in order to achieve ultra-dense network coverage, in addition to spectrum applications below 6GHz in the 5G spectrum, 28G, 39G and other millimeter-wave spectrum resources used for hotspot coverage and large-capacity high-speed transmission will be widely used. Therefore, high-frequency microwave base stations Demand for high-frequency PCBs used will increase.
Finally, under the network architecture of 5G independent networking, in order to meet the technical requirements for high-speed transmission, the PCBs required for data transmission equipment such as baseband units, slabs, backplanes, and servers will use higher-level high-speed copper-clad laminate materials.
In addition, thermal management of PCB products may become even more important in the future. Not only are there reasons for adapting to high-frequency devices, but also heat dissipation requirements brought by high power and high power density. With the application of new high-thermal-conductivity materials, special heat-dissipating PCB needs will emerge.
The focus of the PCB industry has shifted to Asia, China has become the most important player in the global PCB
The global PCB industry is moving closer to high precision, high density, and high reliability. It continues to reduce volume, reduce costs, improve performance, reduce weight, increase productivity, and reduce pollution in order to adapt to the development of downstream electronic equipment industries. Means that the company’s investment in technology research and development and equipment will further increase.
According to Prismark data, the global PCB industry has maintained an average compound growth rate of about 4% in the past 10 years. In 2017, the global PCB output value was US $ 58.8 billion, a year-on-year growth rate of 8.60%, and China’s PCB output value was US $ 29.7 billion, a year-on-year growth rate of 9.70%, which was higher than the global growth rate. From the regional distribution of PCB output value, the focus of the PCB industry has continued to shift to Asia. China has become the world’s most important player in PCB, accounting for more than 50% of the global PCB output value.