Because PCBs are versatile, even small changes in consumer trends and emerging technologies will have an impact on the PCB market, including its use and manufacturing methods.
Although there may be more time, the following four main technology trends are expected to maintain the leading position in the PCB market for a long time and lead the entire PCB industry to different development directions.
1. High-density interconnection and miniaturization
When the computer was first invented, some people might spend their entire lives doing work on a computer that occupies the entire wall. Nowadays, even the computing power of a calculator watch is orders of magnitude larger than those behemoths, let alone a smart phone.
The entire manufacturing industry is currently in the sight of a whirlwind of innovation, most of which serve miniaturization. Our computers are getting smaller and smaller, and everything else is getting smaller and smaller.
In the entire consumer group, people seem to be gradually inclined to smaller electronic products. Miniaturization means that we can build smaller and more efficient houses and control them, as well as cheaper and more efficient cars, etc.
Since PCB is a very important basic component in electronic products, PCB must also pursue miniaturization unremittingly.
Especially in the PCB market, this means the use of high-density interconnect technology. The further improvement of HDI technology will further reduce the size of PCB, and in the process touch more and more industries and products.
2. Advanced materials and green manufacturing
Nowadays, the PCB industry is being affected by some very practical effects such as climate and social pressure. The PCB manufacturing process needs to keep up with the trend of the times and evolve in the direction of sustainable development.
In fact, when it comes to the crossroads of development and environmental protection, PCB manufacturers have always been a hot topic. For example, the introduction of lead-free solder requires more energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Since then, the industry was forced to find a new balance.
In other respects, PCB has been in a leading position. Traditionally, PCBs are made using glass fiber as a substrate, and most people regard it as a relatively environmentally friendly material. Further advancements may allow glass fibers to be replaced by materials more suitable for high data transmission rates, such as resin-coated copper and liquid crystal polymers.
As all types of manufacturing efforts continue to adjust their footprints with the ever-changing planet, the link between social needs and production and business convenience will become a new norm.
3. Wearable devices and ubiquitous computing
We have briefly introduced the basic principles of PCB technology and how they can achieve greater complexity on thinner circuit boards. Now we put this concept into practice. PCBs are reducing thickness and increasing functions every year, and now we have many practical applications for small circuit boards.
In the past few decades, consumer electronics as a whole has been an important driving force for PCB manufacturing and use. Now wearable devices have entered this field and have begun to become a reliable type of consumer-grade products, and related PCBs will follow.
Like smartphones, wearable technologies require circuit boards, but they go a step further. Their emphasis on design efficiency far exceeds what the past technology can achieve.
4. Health and medical technology and public supervision
The introduction of modern digital technology into medicine has been one of the biggest developments in modern human history. Current technology means that we can safely store patient records in the cloud and manage them through apps and smartphones.
However, the rapid development of medical technology has also affected PCBs in some very interesting ways, and vice versa. The onboard camera is a new development, and it is even possible to fix the ultra-high fidelity camera to the PCB itself. The medical significance is huge: when the camera needs to be inserted into the human body, swallowed by the human body, or introduced into the human body in other ways, the smaller the camera, the better. Some on-board cameras are now small enough to be swallowed.
As for public supervision, on-board cameras and smaller PCBs can also provide assistance. For example, dash cams and vest cameras have shown useful effects in mitigating violations, and many consumer technologies have emerged to meet this demand. Many popular mobile accessory companies are exploring ways to provide drivers with increasingly smaller, less compelling dashboard cameras, including and including a connected hub to interact with your phone while you are driving.
New consumer technologies, medical advancements, manufacturing breakthroughs and strong trends of the times are fascinating. Incredibly, PCB has the opportunity to be the core of all this.
This means that entering the field is an exciting time.
In the future, what other technologies will bring new development to the PCB market? Let us continue to find the answer.