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Taiwan-based PCB suppliers are expected to see their HDI board production lines running at full capacity through the end of 2019, bolstered by upgrades in smartphone mainboards.
In recent years, leading PCB makers such as Zhen Ding Technology, Unimicron and Compeq Manufacturing have focused their capacity expansions on SLP (substrate-like PCB) products to meet demand from main clients Apple and Huawei, rather than on HDI boards caught in oversupply for years. Even second-tier makers Unitech and Dynamic Electronics have been conservative in expanding HDI capacity.
But the oversupply has been reversed in the second half of 2019 thanks to Chinese handset vendors upgrading their mainboard specs for both high- and mid-tier models. This has significantly boosted demand for large-area HDI mainboards with higher number of layers, leading to increasingly tight supply at PCB makers.