Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Conductive Inks and Pastes Markets - New Battlegrounds are Emerging

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Conductive Ink Markets 2016-2026: Forecasts, Technologies, Players“. Conductive inks and pastes remains one of the largest sectors in all of printed electronics. The conductive inks and pastes market will reach nearly $1.7b in 2026 at current metal prices. Micro-sized silver conductive pastes will dominate the market, controlling nearly the entire market in 2016. Silver nanoparticles will however become increasingly competitive, finding use in a range for emerging applications sectors to become an $80m market in 2026.

Copper will remain a comparatively immature technology but will achieve limited success as novel curing systems are installed to open the door to copper ink sales.The solar panel industry will be 1.5 k tonne market in 2016 for screen-printed firing-type conductive pastes. At the paste level, a new group of suppliers will soon come to dominate this business whilst at the powder level the users will force through a more diversified supplier base.

The touch screen edge electrode market will continue its decline. The linewidth-over-spacing (L/S) has decreased to 20/20, pushing screen printing with standard PTFs beyond its limits and opening the door to photocurable pastes. Etching-based techniques will find additional opportunities as the bezel is further narrowed whilst standard PTFs will retain some share in the low-cost end of the market.Sensors such as car occupancy sensors, printed piezoresistive sensors and some versions of glucose sensors will remain a substantial niche market for conductive pastes, as will the automotive sector with its mixed grouping of stagnant traditional and high-growth emerging applications. HF and UHF RFID antenna markets will grow but will see the relative market share of ink types transform over the coming decade. 3D antennas made using aerosol printing will continue gaining traction.

This approach will compete head-on with MID (molded interconnect devices) techniques and will become a substantial player in the consumer electronics market. Metal mesh as an ITO alternative will make slow inroads despite the pending consolidation period in the TCF industry, creating demand for silver nanoparticle used in filling or printing fine lines.New markets will emerge and create new performance requirements. In-mould electronics will demand inks that can stretch and survive the thermoforming/molding process.

Electronic textiles will require inks that are truly stretchable and withstand repeated washing cycles. 3D printed electronics and desktop PCB printers will need the high conductivity and low temperature inks to open vast new prototyping possibilities for 3D printers and circuit designers. All these markets are poised for rapid growth provided technology innovations can satisfy the market pull.Ten-year market projections split by application. Please contact us for the exact values. Note that ink selling prices have declined thanks to a decline in raw metal prices but also pressured margins, resulting in a decrease in our revenue forecasts.

Conductive Ink/Paste Market Report Provides:

1. Ten year market forecasts by technology market share, volume demand and market value in 14 market segments including:

  • automotive

  • touch

  • photovoltaics

  • RFID

  • sensors

  • smart packaging

  • logic and memory, etc.

2. Comprehensive technology assessment, benchmarking and competitive landscaping for silver flake pastes, silver nanoparticle inks, copper nano and flake pastes and inks, graphene and carbon nanotubes, PEDOT, and silver nanowires.

3. Detailed application assessment including dynamics and drivers.

4. Competitive business intelligence on all key industry players including over 50 profiles based on direct interviews and/or visits.

10-year CAGR rates for conductive inks and paste market

Conductive Inks Market

Source: Conductive Ink Markets 2016-2026: Forecasts, Technologies, and Players

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site.  View the report: Conductive Ink Markets 2016-2026: Forecasts, Technologies, Players.

Conductive Inks and Pastes Markets - New Battlegrounds are Emerging

Printed Electronics Equipment Sales: Companies Look to Asia

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Printing Equipment for Printed Electronics 2015-2025”.  According to this report, the printed electronics equipment and consumables supplier base consists of over 100 global organizations . The majority of these are based in Europe, followed by a roughly even share of US and Asian based companies. Within Europe itself, Germany is home to more equipment makers than other European countries.

While initially the printed, organic and flexible electronics industry was driven by significant investment and technological development from the fine chemicals industry, the equipment sector followed soon after. Those involved in screen printing and screen printing consumables have had the largest market so far in printed electronics given that the equipment is used in commercial products such as solar cells and glucose test strips.

For more emerging printed electronics processes, such as inkjet printing, specialist coating systems applied to printed electronics, gravure and flexo, the market has been smaller but quickly growing. Most of the sales of such systems have been into Europe. This has been due to a high and consistent level of funding made available from European funding sources in addition to country specific funding programs.

Printed electronics is in most European countries a relatively high prioritization category for funding. Many of the funding sources have found that one of the most useful things to kick start the industry in Europe would be to make equipment available so that people can develop, prototype, pilot and even make low quantity product without the need for them to buy their own equipment which is capital intensive and high risk as development still has to occur.

As a result, many printed electronics centers have been set up, as shown in the image below. Those in light green are in the process of being set up, darker green are more established centers. Some represent numerous centers.

Printed Electronics Equipment Sales

Source: Printing Equipment for Printed Electronics 2015-2025


However, through many interviews IDTechEx Research has found that the equipment demand has mostly been met for the government funded programs. Of course, outside the government funded projects companies are buying equipment but the main funding until now has come from governments. For equipment supply companies, many of whom have enjoyed a good profitable period with top line sales growth, there is now a void as European companies’ appetite for equipment lags the government funded programs.

The US equipment market has seen steady growth but until now has not been as big market as it is in Europe, due to lesser government funding. This has changed due to the recently announced $75 million funding for a printed electronics manufacturing hub, but this is one project unlike the European market which consisted of many.

Now, therefore, equipment makers are turning to Asia. There is an impending transition from equipment for development and prototyping purposes to buying equipment for higher volume manufacture. Here the equipment focus is different – it is not making state of the art transistors using printing, but doing simpler things but reliably that can be in commercial products today. For example, this includes using inkjet printers for the polymer planarization layers for barriers on OLEDs or printing the bezel edge electrodes for touch screens, often which are then patterned with a laser.

So now the wave of new printed electronics capability truly becomes applied to product, with equipment companies sending their sales people out to Asia.

This new report assesses the applications, technologies and opportunities for equipment that is enabling printed electronics including looking at the main government centers and geographic trends. It covers the different types of printing, curing/sintering and other key manufacturing equipment, providing assessment of the manufacturing requirements for different applications, growth areas, ten year forecasts for each printing method by application and detailed company assessments.

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site.  View the report: “Printing Equipment for Printed Electronics 2015-2025“.

Printed Electronics Equipment Sales: Companies Look to Asia

Monday, July 25, 2016

Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Analysis

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Global Semiconductor Equipment: Markets, Market Shares, Market Forecasts“, extending The Information Network’s semiconductor manufacturing industry analysis. This report profiles key semiconductor equipment suppliers such as Applied Materials, Axcelis Technologies, KLA-Tencor, Lam Research, Mattson Technology, Nanometrics, Rudolph Technologies, Ultratech, Veeco, Aixtron, ASM International, ASML. Carl Zeiss, Camtek, EV Group, LPE, Mycronic, Nova Measuring Instruments, Oerlikon/Evatec, Semilab, Advantest, Canon, Canon Anelva, Daifuku, Ebara, Hermes Microvision, Hitachi High-Technologies, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, JEOL, Jusung Engineering, KC Tech, Lasertec, Murata Machinery, Nikon, Nippon Sanso, Nissin Ion Equipment, NuFlare Technology, Screen Semiconductor Solutions, Tokyo Electron, Tokyo Seimitsu, Topcon Technohouse, Toray Engineering, Ulvac, Ushio, Wonik IPS.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Analysis

According to this report, the front end equipment market, which grew 18.4% in 2014 based on revenues converted to dollars, the 2015 market will be essentially flat as shown in the table below.

Top 10 Semiconductor Front End Equipment Suppliers

2013 (a)2014 (a)2015 (f)
Applied Materials (AMAT)5.466.336.61
ASML (ASML)5.305.635.02
Tokyo Electron3.064.664.74
Lam Research LRCX)2.943.814.70
KLA-Tencor (KLAC)
Screen Semiconductor Solutions1.221.130.94
Hitachi High-Technologies0.800.940.80
Hitachi Kokusai Electric0.500.600.64
ASM International (ASMI)0.460.560.58
Source: The Information Network

A number of technical and operational trends within the semiconductor manufacturing industry are strengthening the need for more effective advanced equipment solutions.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Trends:

  • Development of Smaller Semiconductor Features. The development of smaller features, now as small as 20nm in production and 10nm in R&D, enables semiconductor manufacturers to produce larger numbers of circuits per wafer and to achieve higher circuit performance.

  • Transition to 3D device structures. Foundries are adopting 3D FinFET transistors starting at 14/16 nm technology nodes to get improved performance and use less power in 1x technology nodes. Memory makers will move to 3D NAND and vertical structures for next generation NAND technology

  • Transition to 3D Integration Technology. Three-dimensional (3D) integration of active devices, directly connecting multiple IC chips, offers many benefits, including power efficiency, performance enhancements, significant product miniaturization, and cost reduction. It provides an additional way to extend Moore’s law beyond spending ever-increasing efforts to shrink feature sizes. A critical element in enabling 3D integration is the Through-Silicon Via (TSV); TSV provides the high-bandwidth interconnection between stacked chips. The TSV process is beginning to enter production. In the case of TSV, since multiple chips are connected, the process has to achieve and maintain very high yield levels in order to be economically viable.

  • Shortening of Technology Life Cycles. The technology life cycle of integrated circuits continues to shorten as semiconductor manufacturers strive to adopt new processes that allow a faster transition to smaller, faster and more complex devices. In the past, the technology life cycle was approximately three years; it is now only two years.

  • New materials. Copper metal layers continue to be the key material for the back end of line for advanced integrated circuits in order to increase performance and reduce the cost of integrated circuits. The Industry is continuously searching directions to reduce the effective K of the low K materials and to reduce the barrier thickness and material types. These changes require new processing and metrology equipment and thus represents challenging developments for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In addition, in order to overcome limitations in the continued shrink of transistor dimensions, leading edge integrated circuit manufacturers are introducing new materials in the transistor gate stack. The adoption of high-k dielectrics is a key element for gate control in the most advanced technology nodes of 28nm, 20nm and 14nm currently in production, while R&D work to implement the next gate control material being done with III-IV materials. These new materials, combined with metal layers, require new processing and metrology equipment and thus represent a challenging development for the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

  • Increasing use of multi patterning lithography. The continuous need for scaling to meet reduced transistor costs combined with delays in EUV lithography is pushing the industry to develop alternative lithography techniques such as multi patterning, DSA and E-Beam. These alternative technology are increasing the Etch and CMP process steps and thus increasing the process control and metrology steps in these areas accordingly.

  • Increase in Foundry Manufacturing. Asa result of the rising investment needed for semiconductor process development and production as well as the proliferation of different types of semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing is increasingly being outsourced to large semiconductor contract manufacturers, or foundries. A foundry typically runs several different processes and makes hundreds to thousands of different semiconductor product types in one facility, making the maintenance of a constant high production yield and overall equipment efficiency more difficult to achieve. This trend of shifting to foundries for manufacturing needs has progressed even further during recent years.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry AnalysisSemiconductor Manufacturing Industry AnalysisDetails of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site. View Report Contents:Global Semiconductor Equipment: Markets, Market Shares, Market Forecasts“.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Analysis

Global Semiconductor Industry is Headed for a Monumental Transformation to Usher in IoT Revolution

The upcoming IoT Revolution hopes to connect 50 billion devices by end of 2020. The IoT Revolution aims at transforming Retail Sales industry, Aerospace and Defense IndustryWholesale Distribution industry, Utilities industry, Oil and Gas Industry, Mining and Metal Industry, Industrial Machinery and Component manufacturing, Chemical Industry, Automotive Industry, etc.

Every aspect of IoT seems to be revolutionary. There is also a good chance of IoT Revolution to improve the quality of life for entire human society. While the technology has an important role to play in creating ample job opportunities in global economy, if care not taken by policy makers, IoT market growth would be restricted.

Internet of Things has an  important role to play in the progress of today’s knowledge based economy. If the global economy cannot transition to a sustainable economy, IoT Revolution cannot become a reality. Additionally, IoT Revolution should not only come through increase in consumer purchasing power that gives increased consumer demand for goods but it should also ensure that the higher purchasing power comes through hard work and not by means of providing any dole-outs.

The IoT Revolution is very much feasible for every economy in this world as long as the playing field is leveled and the competition between them is fair. A true free market economy is essential for bringing about this next big thing. These free markets should be beneficial for not only producers but also consumer of goods. Sustainable manufacturing is essential in order to transition to next generation ecological fab. IoT Revolution also has the capacity to bring the environmental pollution under control by means of ushering a balanced economy which results in neither overproduction of goods nor underutilization of available resources.

For IoT Revolution to happen, wide range of macroeconomic principles have to be applied to existing industrial policies that helps transition the top-down hierarchical corporate culture to a more flatter organization having less rigid hierarchy. Such an organization with decentralized power and authority has a capability to increase collaboration amongst its employees through a consensus in decision making process as well as boost the efficiency of organization in order to be able to contribute towards a strong local economic development. While ensuring a success of IoT Revolution, care needs to be taken that the trade policies do not encourage counterfeiting of electronics. Majority of IoT applications will be human centric and hence counterfeits have to be not only minimized but completely eliminated from supply chain to avoid life-threatening situations from the use of IoT products.

Both producers and consumers have to prosper for a robust growth of IoT sector. The worker productivity is the main source of supply while wages are the main source of demand. If productivity rises faster than wages, then supply rises faster than demand. This results in overproduction and forces the manufacturer to fire workers. Producers are the suppliers of goods, and consumers generate the demand for these goods. Consumer demand, being dependent on wages, is sustainable only if the consumers as workers earn higher salaries. If the wages of consumers do not catch up with increased supply of goods, the supplier of goods is unable to sell all that he/she has manufactured. Hence, the monetary policy of any country needs to ensure that wages catch up with productivity. By ensuring wages catch up with productivity; it is very feasible to create plenty of jobs in economy and maintain the incentives to work hard. In this way, there is no need of excessive government spending and hence deficits, which would also reduce the direct and indirect taxes on citizens. A lower income tax on citizens would also further boost citizens’ consumer purchasing power in economy.

A sustainable economy should not only create more manufacturing jobs but also creates a number of service sector jobs catering to these manufacturing facilities.  The virtual offshoring of most facilities from the United States in order to increase corporate profits, has produced the progressive diminishing of the employment base to most Americans in both intellectual and economic terms.  The increasing Mergers and Acquisitions happening in semiconductor industry are not going to help but hurt this industry. Indeed, the lack of liquidity in the last seven years has not helped this situation either and hence the ownership of companies catering to the IoT market should be with the employees of those companies, as being the arbiters of their chosen investment locales and facets.

While ushering the IoT Revolution, businesses can play an important role in eliminating global poverty and unemployment through a productive use of technology. An unproductive use of any technology makes the progress of that technology unsustainable and hence ‘Sustaining Moore’s Law’ advocates a productive use of technology to eliminate the present uncertainty of ushering an IoT revolution due to a global macroeconomic crisis. It would help sustain the progress of Moore’s law and will bring an end to wage stagnation, and hence, the living standard will start to rise for all.

As is common knowledge, all indications are that the Western economy is in for a very rough ride, in particular because the Western individualized world has sacrificed so much of its social, cultural, and industrial base to external interests, and in the process has outsourced large chunks of its technical skills and know-how to foreign agencies and lands. Life on other continents on the other hand seems to have retained more of a traditional structure. Therefore it seems probable that a sinking global economy and the eventual collapse of crony capitalism, as we know it, would harm the First and Second Worlds infinitely more than the Third. However,  ‘Sustaining Moore’s Law’ presents a blueprint to usher in the next big thing of IoT Revolution for not only developed economies but also for developing economies like India.

The semiconductor industry in United States has been on the downhill along with many others. It is well known that manufacturing is fast becoming an endangered species in the United States, employing less than 10 percent of the labor force now. Semiconductors have been hit especially hard by low-wage competition from China and some other Asian nations. Dallas/Maxim just announced they are closing their production facilities in Dallas and the Failure Analysis lab along with it. Many of my ex-colleagues that were layed off from Kilby/Process Development a year ago have not found a job yet. Qualcomm is laying off 15% of its workforce and the Broadcom/Avago merger is going to create a wave of restructuring layoffs too. Hence, the Uncertainty of ushering about an IoT Revolution seems insurmountable to the industry at large.

Internet of Things

A Management Crisis in High Tech Industry

Since the 1960s the semiconductor industry has been a driver of global economic growth and social change. Each country involved wants a large, viable semiconductor industry that provides high paying jobs. The ongoing technical and managerial crises needs a detail analysis to examine the industry from a macroeconomic perspective, helping readers understand how global competitive advantage can be won or lost unless good macroeconomic policies are implemented. This study is very relevant in today’s world and the highly dynamic semiconductor industry, since things move so fast in this digital age. Though a US-centric book, it will be very useful for the developing world as well. There is also a chapter dedicated to semiconductor manufacturing in developing economies like India.

Global Semiconductor Industry Is Headed For A Monumental Transformation To Usher In Iot RevolutionThis is the first book for which world renowned Professor of Economics and author of six international best sellers, Professor Ravi Batra, has written the Foreword. Professor Batra considers the solutions presented in this book to be both monumental as well as practical to implement. In 1978, To the laughter of many and derision of a few, Professor Ravi Batra authored a book “The Downfall of Capitalism and Communism: A New Study of History“. While his forecasts about collapse of communism earned him a gold medal of honor from Prime minister of Italy, he thinks that unless US Capitalism reforms towards a free market economy, US Capitalism is going to meet the fate of Soviet Communism due to huge concentration of wealth in the economy.

It is another interesting book as it not only focuses on technological growth but also offers solutions to make that growth sustainable by a sustainable macroeconomic growth. The book is published by Morgan and Claypool Publishers and will be available as an e-book as early as end of August 2015.

By Apek Mulay.

Global Semiconductor Industry is Headed for a Monumental Transformation to Usher in IoT Revolution

Friday, July 22, 2016

How Negative Interest Rates of Central Banks are Collapsing Global Economy?

The origin of negative interest rate of central banks lies in the neutral rate identified by Knut Wicksell almost a century ago. Negative interest rates meant that the rate of interest required to bring an economy back to full employment with a stable inflation, which could be even negative. The real job creators in any free market economy are not only producers but also consumers. Hence, both producers and consumers have to prosper for a robust economic growth.

On macroeconomic level, there is a huge income inequality in global economy because of the reluctance of their central banks to follow a monetary policy which would usher a true free market economy. The Fed has also printed several trillion dollars in its ambitious Quantitative Easing (QE) program after 2008 stock market crash. As a result, the economy stabilized in 2009 and began to grow in 2010. However, real wages of Americans fell, while the corporate profits sky-rocketed. How did that happen? Because, the entire increase in government spending from rising budget deficit went into the coffers of already wealthy producers. This is how Goldman Sachs alone could give bonuses of over $20 billion to its executives in 2009, while millions of ordinary Americans were still being laid off from their jobs. While the consumer debt actually fell, the government spending and hence its debt actually rose so much that executives received hefty extra compensation.

Due to absence of a free market economy where wages keep pace with productivity, the central banks have to print dollars just to sustain deficits in respective economies. The trade deficits of the US are a result of offshoring of manufacturing Low Labor Cost (LLCs) Asian countries to increase the corporate profits of US based MNCs. With a lost domestic manufacturing in developed economies to countries in Asia, the citizens in developed countries are relegated to low paying service sector jobs. Hence, the real wages of majority of citizens in the U.S. have actually decreased with rising trade deficits. These trade deficits however have benefited the external share holders of corporations who have reaped huge profits from the rising share prices resulting from a practice of offshoring.

The growing economic disparity has also reduced the ability of low wage earning citizens to pay a fair share of their taxes. Additionally, the tax cuts that are offered to corporations have added further to national budget deficits. Now, the growing trade and budget deficits can be sustained only by means of printing more currency. With their monetary policies, the central banks like Federal Reserve (Fed) or European Central Bank (ECB) prints more money to bring down the rate of interest, and lower interest rates induces people to increase their borrowing or it increases consumer debt. As the wages fall with rising productivity resulting from technological progress, the wage-productivity gap keeps rising so fast that even the government has to raise its own spending and debt constantly to sustain an economic demand from the growing gap between wages and productivity. In this way, even the national debt keeps rising because of increased government spending.

Hence, Central banks keep printing more and more money and all the printed money keeps entering into the pockets of already wealthy individuals and corporations but such policies do not help boost domestic consumer purchasing power in economy. Hence, the real economic demand keeps stagnating and even falling in some cases. Since, wages contribute to economic demand and productivity contributes to an economic supply, wage-productivity gap contributes to demand-supply gap.

The Fed’s benchmark interest rates are already close to zero percent and just to keep the value of the dollar high in order to be able to export more goods to the U.S., the ECB entered into negative interest territory in June 2014. This unprecedented step of imposing a negative interest rate on banks for their deposits is in effect charging lenders to park money with the banks. Additionally, the monetary policies of central banks let wages trail productivity resulting in a lack of economic demand. This causes all the money that is not put into the bank accounts to not get invested into the economy due to a poor economic demand. In fact, negative interest rates are causing money to get stashed underneath mattresses, thereby steadily shrinking of the consumer credit in the economy.

When Fed hiked its benchmark interest rate by only 0.25 percent in early 2016, there was a net inflow of funds from developing economies into the U.S. This move has strengthened USD as compared to its other trading partners. The Asian trading partners like Japan are also following an unconventional monetary policy and Japanese central banks are moving into a negative interest rate territory just to maintain a net trade surplus with the U.S. Hence, any reluctance by the Fed to hike its benchmark interest rate is undone by a decision of US trading partners to enter into a negative interest rate territory.

A rising value of US dollar from all these policies is not good for the US economy as U.S. is unable to export its goods to other countries due to high value of USD. Hence, US trade deficits are steadily rising and could rise further if the Fed hikes its interest rates further in 2016. Rising USD combined with falling US exports are crashing the profits of US MNCs. All of this causes an inability of the U.S. to be able to balance its budget in order to retain its AAA rating. The corporate bonds can no longer retain an excellent credit rating when corporate profits keep crashing because of falling consumer demand in the economy.

A net inflow of capital from developing economies into the U.S. has also triggered a panic in the developing economies as they are dependent on the capital arriving from developed economies. The US based MNCs have neglected consumer demand in US economy, in search of a better RoI from Asian economies and this is crashing MNC profits in both developing as well as developed economies. Everything depends on the ability of the U.S. to service its sovereign debt which would no longer retain its AAA rating as corporate profits start crashing. The end result of all this would be exactly like what has happened with the housing market crash of 2008, but this time the crisis will be much more severe than the housing market meltdown. Once the U.S. defaults on its debt, the global economy would collapse like a ‘Fire Cracker’.

This article is a sequel to Apek Mulay’s two published articles on LinkedIn viz:

  1. Negative interest rates of central banks could burst debt bubble like a fire cracker? ( published on 5th June 2014 when Negative Interest rates went into effect in Europe.

  2. Negative Interest Rates of Banks – Part 2 (

Author’ Bio

How Negative Interest Rates of Central Banks are Collapsing Global Economy?Apek Mulay is Business and Technology Consultant at Mulay’s Consultancy Services. He is also a senior analyst and macroeconomist in US Semiconductor Industry. He is author of book Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival. Mulay has also authored another book Sustaining Moore’s Law: Uncertainty leading to a Certainty of IoT Revolution with Morgan & Claypool publishers. He pursued undergraduate studies in Electronics Engineering (EE) at the University of Mumbai in India and has completed master’s degree in EE at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. Mulay authored a patent “Surface Imaging with Materials Identified by Colors” during his employment in Advanced CMOS technology development team at Texas Instruments Inc. He has also chaired technical sessions at International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis (ISTFA) for consecutive years. USCIS approved his US permanent residency under the category of foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in science and technologies even though he did not pursue a PhD degree in engineering or economics. He has been cited as an ‘Engineer-cum-Economist’ by superstar economist Professor Ravi Batra in his 2015 Volume ‘End Unemployment Now: How to Eliminate Poverty, Debt and Joblessness despite Congress’. He has appeared on National Radio shows, made Cover Story for Industry Magazines, authors articles for newspapers as well as several reputed blogs & industry publications, as well as has been invited on several Television shows ( because of his accurate macroeconomic forecasts ) for his ideas about Mass Capitalism. He is also an investing partner in an ecommerce business which he started to envision his ideas about Mass Capitalism.



How Negative Interest Rates of Central Banks are Collapsing Global Economy?

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

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