IPC Releases PCB Technology Trends 2016 Report

Stretchable materials on the rise, and more.

IPC has released the PCB Technology Trends 2016 study. The association polled 118 electronics assembly companies and PCB fabricators to investigate how PCB manufacturers are meeting today’s technology demands and what industry changes are expected by 2021.

The study focuses on five key applications: automotive, defense and aerospace, high-end systems, industrial, and medical electronics.

Key findings include:

• More than 50 percent of companies surveyed currently produce or assemble through-hole boards engineered to meet the tolerances required by the use of press-fit assembly technology.
• Thirty-three percent of those companies producing standard through-hole boards anticipate the need to achieve these tolerances by 2021.
• Companies primarily utilize subtractive etch processes to create fine lines and spaces, but expect a shift to additive and semi-additive processing and imprint patterning over the next four years.
• Just 1 percent of companies currently use stretchable materials, but more than 20 percent anticipate using them by 2021.
• Participants predict an increase in the proportion of PCBs that are chip packages or modules through 2021.

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