Flexible Circuit Board Market Forecast

Posted on Dec. 2, 2018

The flexible circuit board market has grown substantially over time, and has advanced exponentially over the last 25 years. The concept of a flexible PCB was thought of in the 1900s, and it entailed of conducting electrical paths that were mainly on boards and insulated surfaces. These boards were used primarily in the development of gramophones and radios.

Royal Flex Circuits is one of the leading companies in rigid flex boards and quick-turn flex. We've had involvement in this particular market for the last 30 years, and we specialize in quick-turn, top quality, and flexible circuit board services.

Over the years, we've noticed a couple consistent trends in the flexible PCB market:

I. Market Areas Facilitating Demand

The health industry is one of the leading industries in the expansion of flexible electronics. For example, the shrinking in size of the electronic packaging has resulted in the need for flexible and superior packaging, increasing awareness for flexible circuit boards.

Advancement in disposable electronics for flexible PCBs have added to the already vast amount of opportunities available for these boards. In another case, the technical improvements in flexible ceramics aid industrialists in reducing substrate materials size.

Flexible circuit board demand is brought by various sectors, such as auto end-use. For instance, there have been multiple discoveries encouraging applications in fundamental economics and haptics areas.

II. Technological Drifts in the Manufacturing and Design of Flexible Circuit Boards

Usually, the conventional, multilayer flexible circuit boards hold a more extensive market share when viewed from a technical point of view. However, there is a global trend facilitating Rigid-flex, HDI, and Flex technology, due to the shrinking of electronic products. Therefore, manufacturers are facing challenges, such as designing flexible, ultra-thin circuit boards, and ones containing EMC and signal entry provisions.

Manufacturers are performing experiments for new substrates, such as Resin Coated Film, Resin Coated Copper, flexible circuit Vacuum-laminated Films, and Liquid Crystal Polymer. These tests are aimed at providing cost-effective solutions with extraordinary performance, and ultra-low loss of dielectric.

Flexible circuit board engineering usually demands that the layer count should be increased within the circuit thickness, reducible as per the manufacturer's description. In most cases, manufacturers have been shifting towards passives, embedded within the board substrate material. For instance, manufacturers are integrating various passive constituents - such as capacitors and resistors - into the substrate solid, while maintaining the IPC-2316 standard. Such provisions are aimed at signaling integrity, enhancing the way the arrangement works, and reducing parasitic and EMI.

III. Market Trends

According to the Global Industry Analysts Inc. figures for flexible circuit boards, the international market projection is expected to be US $15.2 billion by the year 2020. This market trend is facilitated by various factors, such as the polymer plastic solar cells, wearable electronics, and rollable/foldable smartphones. This has resulted in a relentless focus on the design, performance, and manufacture of exceptional flexible circuit boards.

In brief, the various developments experienced in multiple technological areas have been facilitated by the advantages of traditional flexible circuit boards with computing and sensing capacities.

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