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Rigid-flex PCBs used in smartphones to grow significantly in 2H10

18 September 2009 995 views No Comment

Nippon Mektron CDO Hirofumi Matsumoto
Photo: Ingrid Lee, Digitimes, September 2009

Demand for rigid-flex PCBs is expected to see significant growth between the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 due to increasing penetration of smartphones, according to an analyst at Taiwan’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) under the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The analyst, speaking a technology forum in Taoyuan on September 17, estimated 180 million smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2009.

Flexible PCB (FPCB) makers are the first to make rigid-flex PCBs, while Taiwan PCB makers, including Uniflex-KS, Unitech Printed Circuit Board, Career Technology and Gold Circuit Electronics (GCE), have also entered the rigid-flex PCB market.

By adopting rigid-flex PCBs, makers can reduce the number of connectors to reach a faster transmission speed. However, the price of rigid-flex PCBs is still high, and the yield rate is hard to control due to a longer manufacturing process.

In the related news, first-tier FPCB supplier Nippon Mektron has announced volume production of ultra-thin six-layer FPCBs for use in handsets. Nippon Mektron CDO Hirofumi Matsumoto was also at the forum.

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