Material Advancements and Design & Packaging Flexibility Drive the Flexible Printed Circuit Boards Market

The global market for Flexible Printed Circuit Boards is projected to reach US$28.4 billion by 2024, driven by material and design advancements enabling stretchable interconnects in flexible circuits; superior packaging flexibility; and miniaturization needs in circuit designing.

Printed circuit board (PCB), a key technology playing significant role in advancement of various electronic components that power electronic devices, handles the job of routing electric signals between components as well as connecting RF and analogue circuits for efficient passage of electricity to perform intended functions. While the technology has existed and improved over several years, designers of electronics devices face the challenge of squeezing more and more functionality into as limited space as possible. Flexible printed circuit boards (FPCs), also known as flexible circuits or flex circuits, have over the years become the preferred PCB technology variant to address growing miniaturization as well as superior functionality needs of electronics products. Flexible circuitry is an enabling technology that plays a pivotal role in addressing current and future design requirements of the end-use electronic goods. A key driver behind the growth of FPCs is the emergence of new technologies as well as applications that surface virtually on a daily basis. Once used mainly in devices such as cameras, laptops and smartphones, flexible circuits now feature in a range of other devices that are visible in cars, on human body and in space, virtually everywhere.

While metallization of circuits and other issues remain, the future of the technology appears brighter and their use is likely to become more widespread in usage as technology advances. Factor driving growth in demand for FPCs is that designers and fabricators have the option of choosing from simple to advanced forms of versatile interconnects, providing them with various assembly possibilities. The growing demand for hand held devices and smartphones, increasing interest in Internet of Things (IoT) and growing adoption of FPCs in diverse sectors such as automotive, consumer electronics, industrial electronics, healthcare, telecommunication, aerospace and defense is driving the global market growth. Technological advances in substrate and conductive materials, and developments in fabrication such as copper etching techniques are also helping drive growth in the market. With growing focus on improving capabilities such as better clock speeds, higher processing power and lower power usage, manufacturers of flex circuits are migrating towards the use of board stack-ups that are more complex in structure and function. Stretchable circuits are emerging in the market with the promise of enabling reliable design of electronic wearables.

Asia-Pacific represents the largest market worldwide, supported by its dominance as the global hub for the production of electronic products. The region is also home to a vast majority of major flexible circuit producers. Asia-Pacific also ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 11.2% over the analysis period, driven by encouraging gains in electronics production against the backdrop of digitalizing lifestyles of the growing base of affluent middle-class population and the ensuing robust appetite for consumer electronics. Other major markets include the US, Europe and Japan.

Major players in the market include 3M Company, BHflex Co., Ltd., Career Technology (MFG.) Co., Ltd., Daeduck GDS Co., Ltd., Flexcom Inc. , Flexium Interconnect, Inc., Fujikura Ltd., Ichia Technologies, Inc., Interflex Co., Ltd., MFS Technology, Multi-Fineline Electronix, Inc. (MFLEX), Newflex Technology Co., Ltd., Nippon Mektron, Ltd., Nitto Denko Corp., SIFlex Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Xiamen Hongxin Electron-Tech Co., Ltd., and Zhen Ding Technology Holding Limited (ZDT), among others.

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