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

Meet Chris Mitchell, I-Connect007 Columnist

08/14/2019 | I-Connect007
Chris Mitchell is vice president for global government affairs at IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries—where he is responsible for development and implementation of the organization’s global advocacy efforts and public policy agenda with a focus on electronics industry business improvement, environment, health and safety, and defense initiatives.

Avoiding CAF Failures at the IPC High-reliability Forum

07/31/2019 | Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
Foresite CEO Terry Munson recently spoke with Andy Shaughnessy during the IPC High-Reliability Forum and Microvia Summit in Baltimore about his presentation on the causes of conductive anodic filament (CAF), the dangers of resin starvation, and what advice he'd give to PCB designers to avoid those types of failures.

Focusing on Surface Sensitivity for Reliability

07/26/2019 | Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
At the recent IPC High-Reliability Forum and Microvia Summit, Customer Applications Scientist Elizabeth Kidd and Sales Engineer Alex Bien, both of BTG Labs, discuss with Andy Shaughnessy their presentation on the challenges of working with highly sensitive surfaces, such as the risk of contamination. They also talked about the various surface characterization techniques that BTG Labs uses to identify such contaminants.



Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.