PCB | August 15, 2007

Examine the advanced<br>PCB Market announces that a new market research report related to the worldwide microelectronics industry is now available to its catalogue; Advanced PCB (Printed Circuit Boards) Industry Report, 2007.
In this report, the advanced PCB (printed circuit boards) mainly refers to non-traditional PCB including mobile phone board and photoelectric board; only hard board is set as the research object without involving soft board. Besides, 40% of the world's PCB is produced in the uppermost manufacturing bases - mainland China and Taiwan.

Japan majors in high-end products like IC board and flexible board, and that of Korea in IC board, memory module and mobile phone boards. In recent years, Taiwan has made rapid progress in IC board; Nanya has exceeded IBIDEN, ranking first globally, and the overall production value of IC boards has surpassed South Korea. Besides, Taiwan also acts as the world's another largest mobile phone board producing area, sharing over 60% of the global market. In mainland China, there are 1200 plus PCB enterprises, most of which are engaged in single-sided PCB and multilayer PCB with low technology content as well as downstream products usually including computer motherboard and inferior consumable electronics. Furthermore, only a few of PCB enterprises in military and aerospace fields survive in North America. In Europe, PCB industry has been gradually shrinking due to the strict demand in environmental protection and weak competitive ability caused by workers' unwillingness towards overtime; hence in the future, Europe-based PCB enterprises will all disappear, or be transferred to mainland China.

As for the traditional PCB field, owing to the lower threshold and furious competition, manufacturers are successively seeking new profit points, which can be concluded into the following three directions:

The first is IC board. As the capital intensive investment, IC board covers semiconductor packaging industry and PCB industry, requiring manufacturers to own technologies in the two fields. So IC board has the highest threshold, yet with the largest profit. All of the top PCB manufacturers show great interest in IC board, such as the world largest PCB enterprise - IBIDEN, the world second largest PCB enterprise - Shinko Electric, Taiwan-based largest PCB enterprise - Nanya PCB and Taiwan's second largest PCB enterprise - World Wiser Electronics.

The second is the special fields, including mobile phone board, photoelectric board, laptop computer PCB and memory module. Taiwan is the world largest supplying region in mobile phone board, and over 65% of the world's mobile phone boards come from Taiwan.

In the photoelectric field, due to the costliness of horizontal electroplating equipments and the superior demand on interlayer registration accuracy and electroplating level up degree, the entry threshold is comparatively high despite being 4-6 layer board. Taiwan-based Tripod Electronic and Wus Printed Circuit Co., Ltd. are the two giants in this field, while Dynamic Electronics and Taiwan PCB TechVest Co., Ltd. are regarded as the rising stars; besides, Yang An Electronics and Gold Circuit Electronics have also made progress, and the breakthrough in vertical electroplating technology made by Yang An Electronics is worth mentioning. In the laptop computer PCB area, over 60% of the market share goes to HannStar Board Corp. and Gold Circuit Electronics, Wah Toon, Tripod Electronic, Vertex Precision Electronics and Cadac Electronic also share certain market, especially Wah Toon which is trying to gain more market margin in this field. As for memory module, though being PCB similarly, the electromotive and shaping equipments needed by memory PCB all have exclusive devices, unable to be widely used manufacturing other PCBs, so this part requires special investment. Meanwhile, due to the low profit margin of memory module, the scale should be large enough so as to make a gain. Tripod Electronic, SIMMTECH, Dade Motor, South Korea Circuit and Copam Electronics invested by Brain Power predominate in this field. South Korea, is acting as not only the memory base but also the memory module PCB base. However, Taiwan-based Tripod Electronic has unique features as well, ranking second globally with Samsung and Qimonda as its clients.

The third direction is to develop towards EMS manufacturers. The crucial strategy for PCB manufacturers and EMS manufacturers is cost control. These manufacturers usually manufactured LCD-TV, DVD, and PDP-TV circuit board in the past, and afterwards began to assemble these products, such as Ya Hsin. Additionally, Meiko Electronics also has similar intention, and Viasystems Group, the largest PCB manufacturer in North America, also orients itself at an EMS manufacturer.


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