Are Regional Differences in PCB Technology as Great as We Think?


Reading time ( words)

We keep hearing that Asia is all consumer and automotive electronics and North America and Europe are all high reliability/long life. The findings in IPC’s PCB Technology Trends 2018 study show that these regions are not as different as expected, and the differences we do see are interesting.

There are small differences in rigid board layers, line widths and materials. A bigger difference shows up in flexible circuits where there is more low-layer count flex going into consumer electronics. True, North America and Europe have more rigid construction boards going into long-life (11 to 25+ years) products, pushing reliability. HDI construction is larger in Asia, as expected, but certainly not unknown in North America and Europe. 

North American and European OEMs specified significantly more buried vias than Asia. This could reflect either better acceptance of sub-laminations or more “any layer via” construction(not needing sub-laminations) in Asia. But, as Asia produces eight times as many boards as North America and Europe, Asian fabrication is quite capable of meeting the buried via needs of the other regions.

The study also shows that investment in direct imaging and AOI are the top two capital equipment investment priorities of the industry in both regions for the next two years. Likewise, reliability and cost were the top two technical challenges for the industry in both regions.

Are these findings consistent with your experiences of making or specifying PCBs in different regions? Do you think the regional differences are getting smaller? We welcome your comments.

 

Share

Print


Suggested Items

CES: The Main Halls

01/28/2020 | Dan Feinberg, Technology Editor, I-Connect007
CES 2020 is now over, and the next round of shows is underway (NAMM is also over now, IPC APEX EXPO is next week, followed by AWE and others). CES displayed electronics related to gaming, monitors, computers, smartwatches, TVs, vehicles, cellphones, etc. However, the effect on the industry and the way we live will be felt until the next CES. The largest and most influential participants are usually found at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Fresh Thinking on the Logistics of Laminate Distribution

01/28/2020 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Mark Goodwin, COO of Europe and the Americas for Ventec International Group, sits down with Barry Matties to explain his approach to supply chain management, efficient distribution, and maintaining definitive product identity at every stage.

IPC APEX EXPO Technical Session Preview

01/27/2020 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
Brook Sandy-Smith, IPC technical conference program manager, previews the technical side of IPC APEX EXPO 2020, which includes the customary technical sessions, but also some new wrinkles like the fundamentals program and “sessions @ the intersection” to encourage more interaction.



Copyright © 2020 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.