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Impact of 5G Development on PCB Industry

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Impact of 5G Development on PCB Industry

January 12
20:57 2022

The PCB industry is the basic industry of the electronic information industry and is indispensable in electronic products. Its downstream applications are extensive, covering communications, home appliances, industrial medical, aerospace, automotive electronics, computers and other fields. Among them, communication electronics, computers, and consumer electronics have become the top three application areas of PCB. The pull of 5G communications to the PCB industry spans the entire 5G cycle from base stations to terminal applications. Communication PCB, terminal PCB and automotive PCB will successively become the driving force for the growth of the printed circuit board industry.

The base station antenna is a converter for information exchange between the base station and 5G users. In recent years, 5G base stations have developed rapidly. In the future, 5G base stations will continue to increase, and the single value of 5G base station antennas will increase simultaneously, which will boost the investment scale of 5G base station antennas and promote the development of the entire base station antenna. Mobile communication information is transmitted using electromagnetic waves as the medium. The main function and role of the base station is to receive and send wireless signals, and to convert wireless signals into optical/electrical signals that are easy to transmit, so as to realize the transmission of information between different terminals. The frequency of the signal identification distinguishes it.

The basic principles of 3G, 4G, and 5G base stations are similar, but there are certain differences in specific designs. 4G base station equipment mainly includes three parts: BBU, RRU and antenna system. At present, in 4G communication base stations, both the antenna system and RRU use high-frequency PCB and high-speed PCB, and BBU mainly uses high-speed PCB. One of the changes in the 5G access network architecture relative to 4G is to support DU (distributed unit) and CU (centralized unit).

Different from 4G base stations, in the 5G era, in order to meet the three major requirements of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), large-scale Internet of Things (mMTC) and low-latency and high-reliability Internet of Things (uRLLC), and to improve resource utilization, the base station structure has been made to a certain extent. Changes. From 4G to 5G, the base station structure and base material requirements have not undergone essential changes, but the amount and parameters have been significantly upgraded. Therefore, the 4G base station structure and the application of high-frequency PCB will have reference significance for 5G.

5G construction brings an increase in the number of base station PCB and printed circuit board materials. With the development of 5G base stations towards high frequency board, the number of base stations will increase significantly. The number of 5G base stations may be 1.5-2 times that of 4G. The PCB used in 4G base stations is mainly divided into antenna system, RRU and BBU. The AUU PCB area of ​​the base station in the 5G era is about 4.5 of the RUU PCB area in the 4G era.

Printed circuit board is an industry with a relatively low technical threshold. However, 5G communication has high-frequency and high-speed characteristics. Therefore, 5G PCB requires higher technology, the industry threshold is increased, and the output value is also increased. 5G PCB communication boards must comply with high-frequency, High-speed and other characteristics, so there are higher requirements for multi-layer high-speed PCB boards, metal substrates, etc. The PCB industry generally believes that the price of 5G single base station PCB has greatly increased, and the value of each large base station printed circuit board is about three times that of 4G base stations. The 5G era stimulates the demand for communication PCB, and is dominated by 8 layer PCB to 16 layer multilayer PCB and super-high-level circuit boards above 18-layer PCB. High-frequency, high-speed, large-inch and multi-layer characteristics make PCB not only relying on increasing the input of raw materials to complete the terminal demand. To manufacturing these high-frequency PCB and high-speed circuit board production lines not only require high technology and equipment investment, but also require the accumulation of experience of technicians and production personnel.

Driven by multiple factors such as the accelerated construction of 5G base stations, the construction of data centers, the rapid improvement of automotive electrification and intelligence, and the rapid growth of electronic consumption, the upstream raw materials of PCB have continued to rise since the end of 2020. Many problems such as limited source supply continue to interfere. It is normal for customers to overbook, grab production capacity, and grab raw materials from PCB manufacturers.

In order to meet the needs of customers, IPCB has built a new high-frequency PCB and high-speed PCB factory. The new factory line has highly automated equipment. The high-quality PCB manufacturing under high standards allows IPCB to stay in the industry and customers Gained a good reputation.

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Website: https://www.ipcb.com/

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