Apple Leads the Trend for Global PCB Innovation
Apple is the technology leader in the mobile industry and the entire consumer electronics industry. Apple’s every technological innovation will bring a significant impact on the industry chain. For the upstream suppliers, Apple's driving effect on the industry chain is reflected in two aspects: first, Apple's own huge order needs, and second is its demonstration effect on non-A manufacturers.
Focus on the PCB industry, the outbreak of FPC and any layer of interconnected HDI is firmly introduced by the Apple, attracting other manufacturers to follow up.
As the main driving force for FPC growth, intelligent machine benefits more from Apple and its demonstration effect. FPC penetrated fast, maintaining a high growth rate annually since 2009. Especially in 2015, FPC was highlighted in PCB industry thanks to its positive growth—the only category achieved this.
When electronic products became smaller and thinner, mobile motherboard also experienced an upgrade process from traditional multi-layer board to ordinary HDI to any layer HDI. Ordinary HDI is drilled directly between PCB layers during the drilling process, while any layer HDI uses laser drilling to drill the connectivity between layers, which make the product lighter by using copper foil as the middle substrate.
Upgrading from ordinary HDI to any layer HDI is led by Apple. IPhone 4 and iPad 2 used any layer HDI for the first time, which largely improved the degree of product light. Take iPad 2 as example, compared to iPad 1, its thickness is reduced from 1.34cm to 0.88cm, mainly because iPad 2 used 3 +4 +3 any layer HDI instead of ordinary HDI. This technological innovation led by apple quickly attracted non-Apple camp to follow up, thus any layer HDI burst quickly, and soon became the new generation of mainstream high-end intelligent machine component.
The 10th anniversary phone--iPhone 8 will much possibly apply substrate-like PCB, may be a new motherboard revolution will be started. Based on the HDI technology, substrate-like PCB is a new generation of fine line printed circuit board, utilizing M-SAP process to further refine the line.