What is FPC?
FPC, is also known as flexible printed circuit board. It is a key electronic interconnection of electronic products. It connects various electronic components through circuits to play the role of conduction and transmission.
FPC has the characteristics of static bending, dynamic bending, curling, folding, and thinness. It can embed electronic components and can be used for the interconnection of three-dimensional space IO arrays. It solves the problem of complex and diverse line layouts in the system. It plays an important role in the development of high-density electronic products. It is an important basic component for the development of high-density, high-speed, and foldable electronic products.
FPC development status
FPC has the characteristics of high wiring density, light weight, thin thickness, and good bendability, which perfectly fits the development trend of miniaturization and thinning of electronic products. With the development of intelligent and thinner mobile electronic devices, FPC has been continuously updated and applied.
With the continuous growth of China’s FPC market demand, China’s FPC production is growing rapidly. In 2021, the output of China’s FPC market was 96.433 million square meters, and the demand was 86.604 million square meters; it is estimated that the output of China’s FPC market in 2023 will be 112.459 million square meters, and the demand will be 99.854 million square meters.
The FPC industry originated in the United States and other countries with developed electronic information industries in the 1960s, and was initially used in the field of military aviation. After the 21st century, with the development of the PC and smart phone industries, global FPC sales have risen rapidly.
The market concentration of the global FPC industry is relatively high, and the market share of the TOP 4 manufacturers is nearly 70%. Among them, Japan’s Nippon Mektron and Avary Holding are the global Top 2 FPC suppliers, and their shares are 24.5% and 19%, respectively.
FPC competition fields
The application in fields such as automobiles will expand, which will stimulate the vitality of the industry and make the global FPC market in good condition. Especially the rapid development in the field of chips will also drive the technical update of FPC, and their application will be implemented in the entire industry.
In the past two years, the global economy has faced greater downward pressure, and there are structural differences in the demand of the electronics industry under the influence of various factors. In the medium and long term, the global printed circuit board industry is developing in the direction of high precision, high density, high integration and high reliability.
Among them, product technology upgrades such as 5G communication, autonomous driving, smart wearables, and the Internet of Things put forward higher requirements for advanced packaging of semiconductors; the rapid iteration and application expansion of new artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT has increased the demand for global computing power growth, and the downstream areas of PCB such as cloud computing and edge computing are also ushering in vigorous development. The proportion of high-end products such as high-layer, high-frequency and high-speed boards, and HDI PCB continues to increase. In the future, as the marginal impact of inflation gradually weakens and the economy and consumer demand recover steadily, the PCB industry is expected to usher in a new round of growth again.
Future development trend of FPC industry
The FPC industry is constantly evolving and here are some future development trends to keep an eye on:
1. Miniaturization: FPCs will continue to become smaller and more compact, allowing for greater flexibility in design and integration into various devices.
2. High-Density Interconnects: As electronic devices become more complex, FPCs will need to support higher data rates and increased functionality. High-density interconnects will enable the transmission of signals and power efficiently within a smaller footprint.
3. Flexible and Stretchable Electronics: FPCs will push the boundaries of flexibility and stretchability, enabling the creation of innovative products like wearable devices, flexible displays, and even electronic textiles.
4. Advanced Materials: The development of new materials with enhanced thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties will drive the future of FPCs. Materials like polyimide, liquid crystal polymer, and graphene will find increased application in FPC manufacturing.
5. Automation and Industry 4.0: The FPC industry will embrace automation and smart manufacturing techniques, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, to improve production efficiency, quality control, and customization capabilities.
6. Sustainable Practices: With a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability, the FPC industry will focus on reducing waste, energy consumption, and the use of harmful substances. Recycling and eco-friendly manufacturing processes will be integrated into the industry’s best practices.