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Opportunity For Multilayer Boards in the 5G Era

What is Multilayer Board?

Multilayer boards refer to the circuit boards that are laminated by 3 or more copper layers. Except for the 2 outside copper layers, more copper layers are sandwiched between the insulating materials. Although the manufacturing abilities of a few suppliers are claimed beyond 40+ layers, 99% of the current market demand is concentrated in 2-16 layers multilayer boards.

Multilayer boards


Benefits of Multilayer Boards to The Communication Industry

Compared to 1 or 2 sided circuit boards, multilayer boards support denser design and layoutsaving more spacing, which are in line with the trend of smaller and smaller communication products. Multilayer boards reduce the demand for wires, efficiently shorten the distance between signal lines, reasonable inner layer design can greatly reduce EMI, which meet the high-frequency communications. Nowadays, communication products are frequently needed to play various roles, which always requires multilayer boards with more functions, furthermore, the multilayer circuit boards are generally high quality, providing quality assurance for communication terminals.

Multilayer circuit boards are mainly used in the wireless, transmission network, data communication, and fixed broadband equipment in the field of communication. According to a report, the proportion of PCBs with more than 4 layers in communication equipment accounts for more than 70%, of which 8-16 layers account for 35.2% of the total usage.

Multilayer circuit boards, including HDI boardsFPC, are expected to be benefited much from the upcoming 5G era.

The Opportunity for PCB Industry

In 2019, it is the first year of 5G commercialization. After the 5G official license is issued, the base station laying market space is accelerated, which drives the upstream multilayer boards.
Industries such as base stations and smart terminals have provided growth drivers for the PCB industry. The communication multilayer boards used by the base station first benefited, and the price and price increased. The terminal equipment and AR/VR equipment subsequently exerted force, and the volume and price increased. The demand for automobile and industrial control broke out simultaneously.
In terms of communication multilayer boards, according to calculations, the total investment space for domestic communication PCB brought by 5G macro base station construction is about 30 billion yuan. With reference to the construction experience of 4G and 3G, the peak of single-base base station market space will be after construction starts. Appeared in about the 3-4th year, that is, around 2021-2022, the market increment for single-year contribution is about 9.7 billion yuan.

For the terminal PCBs, 5G will drive the change of the machine, bringing the smartphone shipments to pick up; in the era of 5G mobile phones and folding screens, the consumption of FPC and HDI will also be greatly increased.

5G construction accelerates the domestic replacement of medium and high-end PCB production capacity. In the 5G era, China is in a leading position. The relevant industrial chain starts with communication equipment vendors and terminal manufacturers, and domestic PCB companies are currently in a state of technology and capacity with transfer conditions, and the transfer trend will accelerate. The new regulations and environmental protection policies of the PCB industry have enhanced the industry’s competitive threshold, and the future competition pattern is better, and the leading benefits are obvious. Upstream raw material prices are expected to be transmitted to the PCB industry, but industry leaders are able to shift cost pressures due to their close relationship with the downstream.

5G technology brings a new round of electronic innovation cycle, and the industry chain gives birth to a large number of investment opportunities. The characteristics of 5G communication technology bring about the broadening of PCB downstream applications. The downstream market in the new era is mainly derived from three application scenarios: eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra High Reliability and Ultra Low Delay Communication), mMTC (Large Connection) Internet of Things).
eMBB drives smartphone upgrade iterations, combined with the trend of thin and light, driving the terminal FPCHDI and other sub-plate prices to rise. URLLC is expected to solve the market bottlenecks such as autopilot and industrial control automation that have extremely high response speed requirements, catalyze the automation of industrial control equipment and the development of intelligent vehicles, and increase the demand for subdivided PCBs and increase the potential of multilayer boards market. mMTC brings a huge increase in storage data, opening up the vast market demand for the Internet of Things and data centers, and also bringing the PCB sub-platform investment market.

The 5G construction greatly expands the downstream application scenarios, and the terminal PCB investment opportunities can be expected. 5G communication technology breaks the original bottleneck of the original Internet of Things, industrial control medical industry, etc. It is the engine of intelligent and automatic development of terminal applications; the value of 5G technology will eventually be implemented in the application scenario of the terminal, and PCB is the mother of electronic components. The terminal market has great potential.

The market generally believes that 5G’s pull to the PCB industry is only reflected in its pull on the communication multilayer boards. And we believe that the PCB industry is a base-to-terminal application, spanning 5G investment cycles, multilayer boards for communication,  terminal, and automotive, will become the driving force for the growth of the PCB industry.


A Prepared Manufacturer for 5G Era

The 5G era will have an impact on the entire PCB industry. As an experienced PCB solution provider while an actual manufacturer, we have mastered the production technology and updated knowledge for the new era, and are capable to manufacture 4-20 layers multilayer boards. From front-line employees to company leaders, everyone keeps competitive and pass this through the product to our customers, help them to pass this transition period with ease.

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