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PCB design of 5G products, 5G and PCB board
2019-08-01
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Author:ipcb

5G changes the world and is the only way for the next development of the information wave. It can be seen from the competition among countries in the world, especially the United States; 5G technology is characterized by large bandwidth, low latency and ultra-large-scale connections; 5G and artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things will form a new network infrastructure and give birth to More new social operating modes. Intelligent automatic production lines will further improve production efficiency. 5G's most direct benefit sectors: communications equipment, radio frequency semiconductors, and PCBs. 5G will also promote structural growth opportunities in multi-layer PCBs, mobile phone antennas and other sectors.


5G cannot do without hardware support, and hardware cannot do without PCB. 5G changes the world, and PCB wins the future.

1. The changes brought about

The upgrading of structural parts such as 5G PCB&CCL and antennas brings structural growth opportunities. The main changes that 5G brings to communication equipment include: 5G's demand for high-speed transmission and high-frequency communication, which promotes the upgrade of PCB and CCL materials and the increase in unit prices. The application of large-scale active antenna array technology in 5G has led to an increase in the number of antennas and filters, as well as changes in their respective materials.


5G's main changes to communication PCBs: The amount of high-frequency materials has increased, and the number of PCB layers has continued to increase. In 5G, traditional FR-4 materials can no longer meet the needs of high-frequency transmission, so new materials such as PTFE and HydroCarbon are often used instead. In the future, the mixed compression method of high-frequency material + composite board + high-speed material will be adopted, and its unit price is also significantly higher than that of traditional products. The increase in carrier frequency has further increased the demand for PCB/CCL product materials in the base station AAU. Because high-frequency signals are more prone to attenuation and shielding, the Dk (dielectric constant) and Df (loss factor) of PCB products must be small. Generally, the Dk value must be less than 3.5, and the Df should be less than 0.003. No matter whether the 5G base station is in Sub-6GHz or mm For the wave frequency, AAU will use PTFE and hydrocarbon materials suitable for high-frequency and high-speed applications to meet the high-frequency and high-speed requirements.


Due to 5G's demand for data processing, the number of PCB layers is expected to increase from 16-20 layers to more than 20 layers, driving the increase in product unit prices. For the demodulated baseband signal, high-frequency materials are no longer needed. However, due to the increase in the amount of data processing in the 5G era, PCBs will develop in two directions: increased number of layers (multilayer boards) and increased density (HDI).

PCB design of 5G products, 5G and PCB board

2. 5G increases market size


5G drives the steady growth of the industry. From the perspective of classification, its growth is mainly due to the growth of multilayer board applications. We believe that the growth of multilayer board applications stems from the rapid growth of data centers and communications applications. From a global perspective, according to Prismark's 2016 data, downstream applications mainly include 28.8% in the communications field, 26.5% in computers and 14.3% in consumer electronics, a total of 70%. From the perspective of downstream distribution in mainland China, according to forward-looking data, the PCB downstream communications business in mainland China accounts for 35%, with an output value of about 10 billion U.S. dollars, becoming the PCB application with the highest proportion. The computer application is only 10%. This is mainly due to the rapid growth of China's communications due to Huawei and ZTE. However, the main manufacturers of high-speed sheet applications such as servers are in Taiwan and Japan, and mainland China has a relatively low proportion. Prismark predicts that the global PCB market is expected to reach US$76 billion by 2022. I think 5G will bring positive benefits to the demand for communications, computers, and consumer electronics. For mainland China, its benefits are particularly reflected in applications in the communications field.


3. FPC, HDI penetrate the industry


FPC has the characteristics of high wiring density, light weight, thin thickness, flexibility and high flexibility, and it adapts to the trend of miniaturization and thinning of smart terminals. It can be freely bent, wound, and folded, arranged arbitrarily according to the space layout requirements, and moved and stretched arbitrarily in three-dimensional space to achieve the integration of component assembly and wire connection. FPC has an increasing market share in the trend of miniaturization of smart terminals. FPC substrates may be iterated in the 5G era, and LCP may become the mainstream in the future. At present, FPC is mainly made of flexible substrates such as polyimide or polyester film. According to the type of substrate film, it can be divided into PI, PET and PEN. Among them, PI cover film FPC is the most common type of soft board, which can be further divided into single-sided PI cover film FPC, double-sided PI cover film FPC, multilayer PI cover film FPC and rigid-flex combined PI cover film FPC.


To adapt to the development of 5G mobile phones, the HDI market is expected to be further strengthened; the increase in the use of 5G frequency bands will drive the radio frequency modularization and miniaturization of smartphones in the 5G era. At the same time, the emergence of dual or even multi-camera and the demand for thinner and lighter mobile phones drive the miniaturization of smartphone terminal PCBs And high-density. PCB technology levels continue to improve. Take the development of PCB technology for mobile phones in Taiwan, China as an example. From the early one-time forming of the entire board through the interconnection method, it has developed to the application of buried vias with internal connections between local layers and blind vias connected with outer layers. Technology-manufactured blind/buried vias, all the way to high-density interconnect substrate HDI manufactured by non-mechanical vias. The line width/line spacing of mobile phone boards has also been iterated from the early 6/6 (mils/mils) to the current HDI 3/3-2/2 of the board (mils/mils).


As a 5G network in the new era, 5G not only opens the door for PCB construction in 5G, but also provides a larger platform for downstream mobile terminals and new applications of mobile terminals, and also opens up new horizons for the PCB market. Therefore: 5G changes the world, PCB wins the future.