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Analysis of PCB and ceramic substrate industry development

The development of PCB industry

The scale of the global PCB market has steadily expanded

As an indispensable electronic component in modern electronic products, PCB is widely used in consumer electronics, communication electronics, computers, automotive electronics, industrial control medical, aerospace and other fields. With the continuous emergence of new application scenarios such as the Internet of Things, AI, and smart wearable in the 5G era, the PCB industry is ushering in a new round of development cycle.

Benefiting from the continuous diversification of the downstream industry and the expansion of downstream demand, the global PCB market has grown steadily. According to the report, affected by the tightening of the global financial environment, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, US export controls, energy market turbulence, exchange rate changes caused by the appreciation of the US dollar, etc., the output value of the global PCB market in 2022 will reach 81.740 billion US dollars, an increase of 1% year-on-year.

In the medium and long term, the global PCB industry will still show a growth trend in the future, it is predicted that the global PCB market size in 2027 is expected to reach 98.388 billion US dollars, the compound growth rate of global PCB output value in 2022-2027 is about 3.8%, and the compound growth rate of China’s PCB output value is about 3.3%, slightly lower than the world, and it is expected that China’s PCB output value will reach about 51.133 billion US dollars by 2027.

China is still the largest production region, with steady growth

At present, Chinese mainland dominates the world’s PCB industry with a market share of more than 50%, becoming the largest output area in the global PCB industry.

In terms of regional performance, the PCB industry in all regions of the world will show a sustained growth trend in the future. Subject to the impact of China’s overall economic growth and sluggish demand in 2022, the output value of Chinese mainland PCB in 2022 is expected to be 43.553 billion US dollars, down 1.4% year-on-year; However, in the medium and long term, it is expected that the size of China’s PCB market is expected to reach 51.133 billion US dollars in 2027, with a compound growth rate of 3.3% from 2022 to 2027, which will maintain a steady growth trend.

Development of multilayer PCB and package board

Development of multilayer PCB and package board
Development of multilayer PCB and package board

Multilayer PCBs occupy the mainstream position of PCB products, and the growth rate of package carrier boards and HDI boards is eye-catching

According to statistics, in the global PCB product category in 2022, multilayer boards account for up to 37%, accounting for a leading position. With the replacement of consumer electronics, the rise of automotive electronics, and the landing of 5G Internet of Things, PCB products are gradually developing in the direction of thinness, high performance, high density, high frequency and high speed, and the proportion of packaging carrier boards, flexible boards and HDI is gradually rising, and the proportion of these three types of products in 2022 is 21%, 17% and 14%, respectively, constantly crowding out the share of multilayer boards and single/double panels.

In terms of product structure, IC package carrier boards and HDI boards will still show better performance than the industry growth rate. It is predicted that from 2022 to 2027, package carrier boards, HDI boards, high-layer boards with 18 layers and above, and high-layer boards with 8-16 layers will still maintain a relatively high growth rate, with compound growth rates of 5.1%, 4.4%, 4.4%, and 3.9% in the next five years, respectively.

In the future, markets such as wireless communications, servers and data storage, new energy and intelligent driving, and consumer electronics will remain important long-term growth drivers for the PCB industry. In order to meet the needs of different fields, PCB is developing in the direction of high speed, high frequency, integration, miniaturization and thinning, and high-end PCB products such as high multi-layer, high frequency and high speed, and HDI will maintain a strong growth trend.

The development of the ceramic substrate industry

The development of the ceramic substrate industry
The development of the ceramic substrate industry

The ceramic substrate market and the AMB

The ceramic substrate market and the AMB
The ceramic substrate market and the AMB

At present, electronic packaging technology is developing in the direction of miniaturization, high density, multi-power and high reliability, and the commonly used substrate materials mainly include plastic substrates, metal substrates, ceramic substrates and composite substrates.

Ceramic substrate with its excellent thermal properties, microwave properties, mechanical properties and high reliability advantages, in the application of high-frequency switching power supply, semiconductors, IGBT, LD, LED, CPV, VCSEL packaging plays an important role, including high-end ceramic substrate electronic components module is widely used in mobile communications, computers, household appliances and automotive electronics and other terminal fields.

In recent years, with the rapid development of high-power semiconductor components such as LEDs and IGBTs, the demand for ceramic substrates has increased. According to reports, the global ceramic substrate market size was valued at $7.02 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $12.03 billion in 2028, with an average annual compound growth rate of 8.0% during the period.

The global supply of ceramic substrates is highly competitive

The global ceramic substrate market is highly competitive. According to the data, in 2019, Murata and Kyocera ranked first and second in market share, and their combined revenue accounted for about 33.15% of the global total. Japan is the world’s largest ceramic substrate production market, dominated by core manufacturers such as Murata, Kyocera and Maruwa. Europe is the world’s second largest production market, and the core manufacturer is Rogers, ranking third in the global market. China is becoming the world’s largest producer and exporter of electronic components.

With the rapid development and use of high-power semiconductor components LED, IGBTs, etc. in recent years, high-end ceramic circuit boards have broad development prospects. Due to its special technical requirements, coupled with large equipment investment and complex manufacturing process, the current global core manufacturing technology is mainly controlled by a few well-known enterprises such as Rogers, KCC, Shenhe, and Bosch.

Ceramic substrates are increasingly used in artificial intelligence, IGBT power devices, automotive, concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), communications, aerospace and other markets.

AMB, IGBT and semiconductor module packaging

AMB leads the new trend of high-power IGBT and third-generation semiconductor module packaging

The ceramic liner produced by the AMB process is mainly used in power semiconductor modules as the substrate for silicon-based and carbonization-based power chips, and most of the IGBT modules still use DBC process. However, with the continuous improvement of working voltage and performance requirements, the ceramic liner of AMB process technology can better solve the above pain points.

In contrast, AMB technology realizes the coating of aluminum nitride and silicon nitride ceramics and copper sheets, which has better thermal conductivity, copper layer bonding, reliability, etc. than DBC liners, which can greatly improve the reliability of ceramic liners, and is more suitable for high-power and high-current application scenarios, and gradually becomes the main application type of high-end IGBT module heat dissipation circuit boards, which are widely used in automotive, aerospace, rail transit, industrial power grids and other fields.

In addition, due to the high thermal conductivity (〉90W/mK) of AMB silicon nitride substrates, very thick copper metal (up to 0.8mm thick) can be soldered to relatively thin silicon nitride ceramics with high current-carrying capacity. Moreover, the thermal expansion coefficient of silicon nitride ceramic substrate is close to that of the third-generation semiconductor substrate SiC crystal, so that it can match with SiC crystal material more stable, so it has become the first choice for SiC semiconductor thermal conductive substrate material, especially in high-end new energy vehicles above 800V.

IGBT and SIC

New energy demand boosts the development of IGBTs, and 800V high-voltage platforms bring new opportunities to SiC.

IGBTs, 800V high-voltage and SiC
IGBTs, 800V high-voltage and SiC

IGBT is widely used in industrial control, new energy vehicles, photovoltaic wind power, inverter white power, smart grid and rail transit and other fields. At the same time, the silicon carbide 800V high-voltage platform brings new development opportunities for silicon carbide. At present, the drawback of users of pure electric passenger vehicles is that the charging speed is slow, and further increasing the voltage can improve the energy replenishment speed of pure electric passenger vehicles.

At present, many OEMs are accelerating the layout of 800V high-voltage platforms, and it is expected that 2023-2024 will usher in a period of rapid development of 800V high-voltage platforms. After the vehicle is upgraded to the high-voltage platform, the most important component is the electric drive, and the use of silicon carbide devices in the power module is the core of the electric drive upgrade.

Therefore, driven by the application demand of new energy vehicles, the silicon carbide device market will grow rapidly. It is predicted that the global silicon carbide device market will grow from $1 billion in 2021 to more than $6 billion in 2027, with a compound growth rate of 34%; Among them, the market for automotive silicon carbide devices will grow from $685 million in 2021 to about $5 billion in 2027, with a compound growth rate of up to 40%.

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