Trend forecasts for the early 2021s center on smaller and more flexible computing options. The push among PCB manufacturers to meet these demands has spurred certain trends within the market, like:
1. High-Density Interconnect
One of the most significant trends in the PCB market is the spread of high-density interconnect, or HDI, which was developed in response to the growing demand for faster and more compact means of interconnectivity between devices. With HDI, manufacturers can mass-produce smaller wireless products with greater routing capability and faster signal transmission.
Thanks to the power of HDI, manufacturers can now develop units with simpler PCB stackup. HDI has been developed in tandem with anti-interference technology like every layer interconnect (ELIC) and any layer interconnect (ALIC).
2. High-Power Boards
As computer technology becomes more advanced and devices require more energy and processing power, manufacturers are turning out higher-powered PCBs. Some of the latest boards operate at 48V and higher. These developments have been inspired by the spread of solar energy, as solar panels usually run on high-range energy levels. These higher-powered PCBs are essential in today’s computer devices for the mounting of battery packs. High-power boards are also more capable of resisting interference.
3. The Internet of Things
An ongoing development throughout the 2010s has been the rapid spread and increased sophistication of the Internet of Things, which combines all the devices of everyday living into an integrated network that can be remotely controlled by wireless technology.
Examples of IoT technology have been implemented in smart homes and offices. In the near future, the technology could extend to smart automobiles. To meet the challenges posed by IoT, PCB manufacturers are facing heightened security standards.
4. Flex PCBs
One of the more novel developments in printed circuit technology has been the appearance and expansion of flex PCBs, which can be bent and curled into various shapes and used in more arcane computing and wireless devices.
The development of flex PCBs has occurred in tandem with increased demand for smaller wireless devices. With flex PCBs, device makers have the potential to manufacture more compact and flexible computing products.
5. Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Components
The 2021s are expected to see a vast increase in Commercial-Off-the-Shelf, or COTS, components as increased numbers of organizations seek a more generalized set of technological solutions.
In the past, private companies sought unique and customized solutions for their business computing needs. As more and more companies operate in unconventional environments, the wide range of options and features provided by COTS are becoming a more practical option. The trend has also been encouraged by recent developments in space manufacturing.