The PCB industry is entering a golden age!

Views: 4     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-07-11      Origin: Site

          From a functional perspective, PCB plays a bridging role in electronic components. Especially in servers, it serves as the server chip base, data transmission, and connection of various components, ensuring safe and stable electrical connections and insulation between each component. As the base of various chip modules in the server, it is widely used in various motherboards, backplanes, and network cards, and is undoubtedly a key component to ensure the stable operation of the server.

         The arrival of the artificial intelligence era has further expanded the application field of PCBs, and in the server field, PCBs are showing a development trend of "high-speed and high-frequency, miniaturization, portability, and multifunctional". Because for the computer and server industries, the high-speed and high-frequency 5G era and the wave of AI technology have put forward higher requirements and standards for PCBs. The comprehensive improvement of communication frequency and transmission rate requires greater computational power support, and PCB must ensure high-speed and stable operation, inevitably meeting the technical requirements of low dielectric constant, low dielectric loss factor, and low roughness. Therefore, the process requirements for PCBs in AI servers are much higher than traditional PCBs, and large-sized, high-rise, high-order high-density boards, as well as high-frequency and high-speed PCB products will gradually become the mainstream in the market.

         From the perspective of the changes in the number of layers of PCBs, AI models need to improve their computing power to manage an increasing amount of data. Currently, mainstream server and memory packaging substrates generally have 6-16 layers. Entering the era of large-scale commercial use of artificial intelligence, high-end servers with 16 or more layers will become the mainstream of the market. Even with the continuous improvement of technological demand, the number of layers of PCBs will continue to increase, and products with more than 20 layers of backplanes will gradually increase the market supply. Among them, during the AI training phase, the PCB of the server will generally reach more than 20 layers.

           From the development process of the PCB industry, developed countries such as Europe, America, and Japan have started early, mature industries, and obvious competitive advantages. Data shows that before the 21st century, the United States, Japan, and Europe accounted for over 70% of global PCB production value. Since 2000, the PCB industry in Asia has started to rise comprehensively, especially in China. With its comprehensive advantages in resources, policies, and industrial clusters, China has begun to fully develop the PCB industry. In the process of transferring global industrial centers to Asia, China has become a global manufacturing center for PCBs. Data shows that since 2006, China has officially surpassed Japan as the world's largest PCB production base. In 2022, the total output value of China's PCB industry has reached 44.2 billion US dollars, accounting for 54.1% of the global total. In recent years, with more enterprises increasing technology R&D and industrial investment, the cluster advantage of China's PCB industry is more obvious, and many PCB manufacturers have formed their own competitive advantages and Bargaining power in various subdivisions.


          The rapid development of cutting-edge technologies such as AI and the continuous deepening of artificial intelligence in industrial applications are sparking an industrial revolution worldwide. With the continuous expansion of demand for computing power, high-performance computing chips have become a market demand. It is expected that by 2025, the size of China's AI chip market will reach 178 billion yuan, with a compound growth rate of 42.9% between 2019 and 2025. This huge incremental market will undoubtedly drive multiple industries to advance together, and the PCB industry is the biggest beneficiary.

          From a technical perspective, AI servers have higher requirements for chip performance and transmission rate. The upgrade of server platforms naturally puts forward higher requirements for PCB layers, materials, etc. In the future, new materials with high-frequency, ultra-low loss, and ultra-low loss levels will be the main materials for board materials, laying a prerequisite for the simultaneous increase in PCB production volume and price. Market research shows that the value of Purley platform PCBs that currently support the PCIe 3.0 standard is approximately 2200-2400 yuan, while the value of AI server PCBs will be as high as 10000-15000 yuan.

Driven by market expansion, more Chinese enterprises are accelerating their entry into the PCB industry. In 2021, the annual list of Chinese enterprises among the top 100 global PCB manufacturing enterprises has achieved over 60% of the total number of top 100 enterprises. With the continuous increase in the proportion of PCB output value in China, the    government's empowerment and support efforts are also increasing. Because the PCB industry belongs to the branch of the electronic information industry, which has always been a strategic, fundamental, and leading pillar industry in China's key development. In addition to a series of favorable policies, New Infrastructure represented by 5G, the Internet of Things, and the Industrial Internet is developing in full swing, which brings new development impetus to PCB enterprises. In the long run, China's core leading position in the future global PCB market development trend is very stable. The industry assessment shows that the Compound annual growth rate of China's PCB industry is expected to be 4.3% in the next five years. It is expected that by 2026, the total output value of the industry will reach 54.605 billion US dollars.

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