In this modern era of technology, IOT (Internet of Things) devices are becoming more prominent every day. The overall trend for devices is toward, thinner, lighter, more flexible, portable, and smarter. With everything from smart coffee mugs to smart fridges, most devices are requiring increasingly complex PCB designs as well as more compact designs to fit into the smaller formfactors. This trend has led to increased demand for PCBs, specifically flexible and rigid flex PCBs.
According to research, the PCB industry is expected to reach an estimated $72.6 billion by 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 3.2% from 2017 to 2022. The major drivers of growth for the industry is the strong demand for IOT devices as well as growing automation in industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and defense. Within the PCB market, the communication industry is expected to remain the largest source of sales. Continuous innovations in smartphones and increasing demand for cellphones, even in developing countries, are expected to spark growth for this segment over the forecasted period. While the PCB market in its entirety is expected to have a CAGR of 3.2%, Flexible and Rigid Flex PCB is showing much higher levels of growth and promise for the future. Varian Market Research estimates a CAGR of 10.6% through the year 2024. TMR analysists also predicts that “The global flexible printed circuit boards market is expected to witness an 11.0% CAGR between 2017 and 2025.” Further validating these high growth projections for flexible PCBs.
In 2016, the market was worth $13.51B and by the end of the forecast period it is expected to be $33.39B based purely on revenue. Multi-layer Flex circuits led the Flexible PCB market in 2016 and it is expected to remain on top of the charts. The global flex PCB industry can also be broken up by market share and region. According to studies by Variant Market Research, over 50% of the global market share for PCBs will be held by Asia Pacific by 2024, with a large portion of the remaining market share going to North America and Europe.