Friday, August 26, 2016

IPC-4101D-WAM1 Brings Significant Changes and Clarifications

If you need the most current specifications for PCB materials used in rigid or multilayered printed boards, then it is time to upgrade to IPC-4101D-WAM1. This newly revised standard brings critical updates to the already valuable IPC-4101D, Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards.

Why wait? Upgrade to the IPC-4101D-WAM1 today!

IPC-4101D-WAM1 delivers key updates for board designers, specifiers of board materials, and OEM’s who use and keep boards current with base materials used in PCBs.

This revision:

  • covers requirements for laminate or prepreg base materials used primarily for rigid and multilayer printed boards for electrical and electronic circuits

  • contains 64 individual, keyword searchable specification sheets, including a brand new sheet that expands offerings for commercially available laminates and prepregs

  • clarifies what is stated in the original release of IPC-4101D for the FR-4.0 materials as “None” for inorganic filler content, now states “<5%” is allowed

  • adds table 3-10, Permissible Laminate Substitutions for Specification Sheets /21, /24, /26 and /30



This revision brings significant changes and clarifications. Learn more about how these updates can benefit you. Order IPC4101D-WAM1 today!



IPC-4101D-WAM1 Brings Significant Changes and Clarifications

The East European Electronics Industry Report

In the context of the global electronics industry East Europe, at US$57.3 billion, accounted for 3% of electronics output in 2014 and held a 4.5% share of the global market at US$81.2 billion. To the east Russia and the Ukraine accounted for 12 % and 34% of production and the market, respectively in 2014. The current conflict in the region has impacted both production and the market and is expected to continue to subdue demand over the short-term. In the longer-term and assuming the current situation is resolved the market will gradually rebound and in turn lead to an upturn in foreign investment.

East European Electronics

East European Electronics Production 2010-2015 (excludes Russia & Ukraine). Source: RER, Yearbook of World Electronics Data Volume 4 2015/2016 East Europe & World.


The electronics industry in the remainder of Eastern Europe accounted for 88% of electronics production and 66% of the market in 2014. The region’s position as an emerging market, the close proximity to Western Europe and lower manufacturing costs has resulted in significant foreign investment by some of the world’s leading electronics groups, with the focus on computing, communications and consumer electronics. Production within the core 3C segment is focused on the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. In 2014, the share of 3C accounted for of overall production ranged from 60% in Hungary, to 81% in the Czech Republic, 83% in Slovakia and 84% in Poland.

However, with volume manufacturing in the hands of a relatively few companies the region has been vulnerable to decisions made by individual companies as they look to align production to demand and utilise their global manufacturing operations to reduce costs. In the case of TV manufacturing production has fallen from a peak of 41.0 million in 2010 to a forecasted 32.1 million in 2015.

The production of computer related equipment peaked in 2010 and although output edged up in 2014 on the back of stronger demand output is expected to have declined by 7.6% between 2010 and 2015. The decline in the communications segment has been more pronounced primarily due to the sharp decline in the production of mobile phones. Between 2010 and 2015, output has declined by 32.2%.

The decline in 3C production will be partially offset by an increase in output of industrial and high-end communications equipment. This will be led by foreign investment as companies look to move production from higher cost West European locations or in the case of non-European companies look to establish a low-cost manufacturing base to serve the European market.

Details of the East European Electronics Industry Report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site. View the report: Yearbook of World Electronics Data Volume 4 2015/2016 East Europe & World.

The East European Electronics Industry Report

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Commercially Significant Market for Graphene Products to Develop Between 2015 and 2020

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, announces the availability of a new report entitled “Graphene: Technologies, Applications and Markets“. Although the nascent commercial market for graphene-based products currently is very small, between 2015 and 2025 the market should achieve unprecedented growth rates through technological advancements. New report reveals that increasing patent activity suggests technology trends are under way, ripening the market for explosive future growth.

Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms bound together with double electron bonds in a thin film only one atom thick. The atoms in graphene are arranged in a honeycomb-style lattice pattern, an arrangement that provides strength, flexibility and electrical conductivity. The basic structural element of several forms of carbon, including graphite, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, graphene has opened up new horizons for high-energy particle physics research and electronic, optical and energy applications.

Potential electronics applications of graphene include ultra-small transistors, super-dense data storage, touchscreens and wearable electronics. In the energy field, potential applications include ultracapacitors to store and transmit electrical power as well as highly efficient solar cells.

Global Market for Graphene

BCC research group expects a commercially significant market for graphene products to develop between 2015 and 2020, when the market is projected to be worth more than $310.4 million. The graphene market should continue to grow rapidly after 2020, approaching $2 billion by 2025.

Graphene printed electronics currently account for virtually all of the (very small) commercial market for graphene technologies. By 2020, structural materials should lead the market (23.2% market share) followed by displays (16.9% market share), graphene capacitors (16.9% market share) and high-performance computing applications (10.5% market share). Capacitors are projected to account for the largest share (31.6%) of the market for graphene technologies by 2025.

One challenge of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) for the production of graphene is removing the graphene film from the metal substrate without contaminating it or ruining it. Several groups of researchers are working on solutions to this challenge. One of the most promising potential applications foreseen for this technology is the production of transparent electrodes for electronics screens.

In a field where many products and applications are still under development, an analysis of recent patents granted is a useful indicator of technology trends that will affect the graphene market in the mid-to-long term.

The number of U.S.patents granted for graphene-related inventions has been growing over the last 10 years, from four patents in 2005 to 309 in 2014 and 386 in just the first 10 months of 2015. Among the 355 patents issued for graphene applications, structural materials account for the largest number of patents identified. This trend is a clear indication of the growing interest in graphene.

Graphene: Technologies, Applications and Markets examines markets for graphene, with specific coverage of graphene technologies and applications. Analyses of global market drivers and trends, with data from 2014, estimates for 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020, and through 2025, are provided.

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site. View the report:Graphene: Technologies, Applications and Markets“.

Commercially Significant Market for Graphene Products to Develop Between 2015 and 2020

What Benefit Do IPC Standards Have For The Electronic Hardware Supply Chain?

For more than 50 years, IPC has developed industry standards for the production of electronic hardware. After having been long considered North American standards, IPC standards over the past two decades have spread globally. The question now is: what benefit do IPC standards have for the electronic hardware supply chain?

Providing answers to that question, several companies in Europe representing electronic design, CAD, bare board production, assembly and soldering explain how they use IPC standards in their daily business routines.

This first article covers electronic design/CAD company, GED GmbH, located 30 km southeast of Cologne in Germany.

First experience with IPC standards

GED offers PCB design and engineering and, through the assistance of external subcontractors, bare board, assembly and test services. Currently the company has 14 employees and CAD systems from six different layout vendors. With these resources, the company produces 160 new PCBs and 80 updates per year for rigid, flex, flex-rigid and HDI boards for customers in Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and the Czech Republic.

From its establishment in 1986 to the middle of the 1990s, the company used its customers’ internal standards from companies such as Siemens, Philips, Rheinmetall and Thyssen. This meant that a different standard was used for every customer. An example of this frustrating situation, says Hanno Platz, owner and managing director, “was when we received an inquiry from Hewlett Packard in Germany with an attachment of 100 pages of requirements for the PCB in question.” At that time, the staff did not know about IPC and its standards. In 1995, the company had a U.S. customer that demanded that the assembly and soldering of a back plane, developed and produced in Germany, be conducted at their U.S. premises according to IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies, Class 3 acceptance criteria.

Technology focused on standards

GED found IPC standards through FED, a local German organization with a long-time relationship with IPC, and bought first set of IPC standards. The back plane could now be designed and produced according to IPC standards. Having standards from different areas of the production chain that linked together was a new and positive experience for the company. The staff now regularly discusses how to use IPC standards in their own designs as well as in the purchasing process of bare boards plus assembling and soldering.

Currently, all employees have passed CID (Certified Interconnect Designer) and CID+ (Advanced Certified Interconnect Designer) and are familiar with nearly all IPC standards for electronic design and CAD. All of their order acknowledgments for designing a complete PCB include the following statement, “If nothing else has been agreed upon, PCBs will be manufactured according to IPC standards and its Class 2 acceptance criteria.”

At GED, designers also create PCB layouts. Today, most new PCBs are HDI (high density interconnected) with a high SI (signal integrity) level including high EMC (electromagnetic compatibility). IPC standards have an important influence on these complex boards. The company uses the following IPC standards in their design work:

  • The IPC-2220 PCB design series for mechanical properties of track, isolation and PTH (plated-through holes)

  • IPC-2223B, Sectional Design Standard for Flexible Printed Boards for flex-rigid PCBs and questions like adhesive type, placement of a flex layer into the rigid part and coverlay dimensions

  • IPC-7351A, Generic Requirements for Surface Mount Design and Land Pattern Standard for footprint (land) design, which is even more important than before because of lead-free processes, especially when components like CSPs (chip scale packages) and QFNs (quad flat no leads) are specified in the BOM list.

  • IPC-A-610F, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies for acceptability of solder joints and assemblies

  • IPC-2251, Design Guide for the Packaging of High Speed Electronic Circuits and IPC-2141A, Design Guide for High-Speed Controlled Impedance Circuit Boards.With the need to comply with EU Directive 2004/108/EC, and its requirements for high EMC on all PCBs placed in the EU market, SI has become more critical. These standards assist GED designers in selecting microstrip or stripline build up for impedance.

Tool with benefit

The company’s ISO 9002 certification states that Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN) and IPC standards serve as the foundation for quality work. IPC standards are required as a tool when the company uses external vendors for bare boards and assembly. For all potential suppliers in Europe, the staff conducts company visits that include an audit of the bare board supplier and their use of IPC standards, especially the IPC-6010 board manufacturing series and IPC-A-600H, Acceptability of Printed Boards. According to Platz, “After visiting hundreds of bare board suppliers, we’ve concluded that the majority of suppliers understand IPC standards but very few can make boards according to IPC Class 3 acceptance criteria. This is absolutely something that needs to improve.”

According to GED, IPC standards are the basis of electronic product quality and reliability. In the design process, technical parameters like choice of base material, pad sizes, spaces/traces and isolation distances between layer and component pitches are constant considerations. The use of IPC standards makes it much easier to find solutions. Without IPC standards, the alternative can involve high repair/touch up costs and lots of scrap but also an imperfect electronic product from a quality and reliability point of view. In some cases, this has been a very costly experience for the company’s customers that have not used IPC standards. Platz gives two examples:

Example 1: Working to improve EMC capabilities on a PCB, a designer placed via holes directly in surface mount pads. The result was years of solder and wetting problems with only an 80 to 90 percent yield and difficult repairs. The designer, by not following the standard, placed vias in a pad that was too tight. The profit loss over several years was estimated to be 50,000 to 60,000 Euros. The company was ultimately able to solve the problem by redesigning via hole placement that improved EMC properties.

Example 2: A complex 12-layer HDI board with BGA components on both sides needed to be manufactured using a lead-free process. After the transfer, yield went down to 50 percent. The reason: wrong design parameters and bad layer configurations were used and pads too small for via holes were created. With a higher lead-free solder temperature, many irreparable barrel cracks were created in via holes. The total loss due to the 50% yield in the lead-free process was more than 100,000 Euros.

For GED, IPC standards have been an invaluable tool over the past two decades. IPC standards not only save money, they also make it easier to communicate with bare board suppliers and assembly companies across the world. IPC standards can significantly reduce mistakes and improve end-product quality and reliability.

What Benefit Do IPC Standards Have For The Electronic Hardware Supply Chain?

Global Printed Circuit Boards Market Data 2015 Publications unearths interesting findings that may reveal golden opportunities for electronics manufacturers. Here are some of the latest discoveries of interest to PCB fabricators:

According to “Monthly IPC North American PCB Market Report” Flexible circuit orders in North America are booming this year and the forecast for the next year is for double-digit sales growth. The North American flex market has grown over the past 3 years while the rigid PCB market has shrunk. Globally, the flex market is now estimated at over $10.2 billion. Yet, U.S. production accounts for only 3.4 percent of the world’s flexible circuits.

The monthly North American PCB Market Report provides timely data on PCB market size, sales and order growth, book-to-bill ratios and near-term forecasts. Data are reported for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits separately. The rigid PCB data are further segmented by company size tiers, and flex data includes trends in bare circuit versus assembly revenue sources. Trends in sales of boards to the military and medical markets are reported for both rigid and flex, as well as trends in prototype sales.

According to Global and China FPCB (Flexible Printed Circuit Board) Industry Report, 2014 was a bumper year for most FPCB companies, and the output value of the entire PCB industry reached USD12.5 billion, rising by 10.5% from the previous year. In 2015, the prices of bulk commodities (particularly the copper price) plummet, which will greatly reduce the raw material costs of PCB companies and help raise their profitability. Larger screen size of mobile phone requires larger FPCB. The FPCB market is expected to grow 8.6% in 2015 as the smartphone market can not continue its rapid growth and the tablet PC is in recession.

In 2014, the euro, the NTD and the yen significantly devalued, while the South Korean won appreciated, which not only hit a serious blow to the competitiveness of South Korean FPCB enterprises, but minified the profit of South Korean PCB enterprises. The revenue and profit margin of all South Korean PCB companies declined, for example, Flexcom’s revenue slumped by more than 50%, the giant Interflex’s revenue dropped 33% and its operating margin turned to be the negative 14.2%, which showed the power of the currency war.

Benefiting from the currency depreciation, Taiwanese and European companies witnessed soaring profit margins. More than half of Japanese companies did not benefit from the depreciation of the yen because they set up production bases overseas, but still better than South Korean companies.

In the downstream market, the biggest change in 2014 lied in: HDD saw the first growth after three consecutive years of decline. The global HDD shipment amounted to 564 million units, an increase of 2.4% from 2013. Previously, insiders were optimistic about the prospect of SSD instead of HDD; but actually, the SSD price remained high, the tablet PC market decayed, while the laptop computer market recovered to growth after three consecutive years of downturn. At the same time, the development of SSD did not restrict HDD; the new network economy and the big data era stimulated the demand for servers and HDD. HDD will still be the mainstream in the next three to five years, and the HDD shipment is expected to reach 621 million units in 2019. Japanese companies focusing on HDD-use FPCB performed exceedingly well in 2014, for example, the leader NOK (Mektron) achieved the revenue growth rate of 28% and the operating margin of 8.7% (rising from the negative 10.6%), Nitto’s revenue surged by 31%.

The competitiveness of South Korean and American companies weakened significantly. The strong USD made MFLEX’s revenue fall dramatically. The depreciation of NTD facilitated Taiwanese companies to grow by leaps and bounds; meanwhile, Apple greatly reduced orders from South Korean companies, while placed more orders with Japanese and Taiwanese companies in accordance with the principle of the nearest supply. The revenue of ZDT under Foxconn soared 60% in 2014.

Global Printed Circuit Boards Market Data


Global Printed Circuit Boards Market Data 2015

Monday, August 22, 2016

U.S.A. Electronic Security Product Demand to Exceed $16 Billion in 2019

Demand for electronic security products in the US is projected to rise 7.0 percent annually through 2019 to $16.2 billion.

Strengthening new construction expenditures following the recession-impacted 2009-14 period will drive gains. A heightened perceived risk of crime due to widespread media coverage will also support gains, even as the actual number of crimes has declined in recent years. Technological advances will promote sales gains in all segments, both by providing a boost to value demand via the incorporation of value-added features and by increasing market penetration.

These and other trends are presented in the new study Electronic Security Products. This study represents a unique combination of the research skills and resources of The Freedonia Group and the security industry insight of the Security Industry Association (SIA) and its members.

Demand for video surveillance products and systems designed for use in security-related settings will advance 8.2 percent annually, the fastest growth of the five primary electronic security product categories. In 2014, there were approximately 35 million total video surveillance security cameras installed and in use in the United States. That number will continue to expand for the foreseeable future as market penetration increases and as locations add more cameras to their existing surveillance systems.

Access control systems will see strong gains as smart card-based systems gain traction over less secure technologies such as proximity and magnetic stripe cards. Access control systems that integrate increasingly advanced layers of credentials, such as mobile phones and biometrics, will support further gains. Rising consumer familiarity with biometric systems, driven by the use of biometric technologies in identification applications, will help promote demand for the small but rapidly growing biometric access control segment. Improvements in reliability and efficiency of biometric devices, coupled with falling prices, will further aid adoption.

Interoperability as well as innovations in mobile monitoring will boost demand for alarms, which accounted for the largest share of sales in 2014. “The increasing array of plug-and-play electronic security devices that are self-monitored will expand the potential market base of consumers willing to purchase supplemental security measures,” notes analyst Katherine Brink. “These smart products are controlled and accessed via mobile devices, aiding security equipment sales as interest in smart home automation systems also rises.” The alarm segment will further benefit from innovations in personal emergency response service (PERS) alarms.


% Annual Growth




Security Product Demand944511550162004.17.0
Access Controls2850314544702.07.3
Video Surveillance2135307545557.68.2
Contraband Detection1140135516753.54.3
Electronic Article Surveillance426400485-1.33.9

electronic security productsSource: Freedonia Electronic Security Products study

(published 11/2015, 424 pages) is available from Publications.


U.S.A. Electronic Security Product Demand to Exceed $16 Billion in 2019

Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers to Lose Market Share in 2015

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers: Markets, Market Shares, Market Forecasts”. According to this report, semiconductor equipment suppliers headquartered in Asia will drop from 36.6% of the global wafer front end (WFE) market in 2014.  Revenues generated in U.S. Dollar terms were $10.6 billion out of a global market of $29.2 Billion.

Listed below are the top 10 Asian semiconductor suppliers and their revenue.

SupplierCountry2014 Revenues


Tokyo ElectronJapan4.7
Screen Semiconductor SolutionsJapan1.1
Hitachi High-TechnologiesJapan0.9
Hitachi Kokusai ElectricJapan0.6
NuFlare TechnologyJapan0.3
Tokyo SeimitsuJapan0.3
Murata MachineryJapan0.3
Source: The Information Network

“Share of revenues will drop to 33.4% in 2015, noted Dr. Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network, primarily due to the strong U.S. dollar, which has appreciated nearly 15% from 2014 levels.”

The report notes, for example, that Japan’s Tokyo Electron exhibited revenue growth of 16.3% in Yen for the first three quarters of CY 2015.  However, when converted to US Dollars, the universally accepted currency historically used for market share data in the semiconductor industry, revenues show a revenue growth of just 1.2%.

“The strong US Dollar not only impacts the Japanese suppliers, but other Asian suppliers and even European suppliers,” added Dr. Castellano.

Asian Semiconductor Equipment SuppliersDetails of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site.  View Report Contents:Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers: Markets, Market Shares, Market Forecasts“.

Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers to Lose Market Share in 2015