Hot-selling iPads and iPhones to Strain PCB Supply
Hot selling consumer electronics like iPad, iPhone, and e-books are expected to strain supplies of high density interconnection printed circuit boards (HDI PCBs), according to Taiwan`s PCB makers.
Executives of PCB makers Unimicron Crop., Tripod Technology Corp., and Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corp. said they fear the shortage will escalate to include flexible-board production.
According to market consulting firms, the smartphone market will rise to 504 million systems by 2012 worldwide, up from next year`s estimated 384 million systems and this year`s projected 265 million systems. Consumption of iPads is estimated at 10 million systems a year.
In light of iPhone adopting any layer HDI board, Unimicron executives pointed out that supplies of the high-end PCBs will likely run short in two to three years as the iPhone will inspire other smartphone makers to embrace the boards.
Flexible boards are also feared to be running short soon as iPad uses 50% more of the board than typical netbooks, which normally use four to six boards. iPhone is also a board guzzler, calling for at least 10 boards vs. three to six boards used by typical smartphones. E-book uses around 16 flexible boards, on average.
Upbeat market future has inspired Unimicron to consider venturing into flexible-board production.
[CENS / by Ken Liu / October 25, 2010 ]