Weiner International Associates Consultants- Boards & Advisory Boards of Directors Technology: Commercial Viability Assessment Product Introduction/Marketing
           Weiner International AssociatesConsultants- Boards & Advisory Boards of DirectorsTechnology: Commercial Viability Assessment Product Introduction/Marketing 


February 2023


More support for 3D additive manufacturing


The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has awarded $1.6 Million to Mercury Systems, Raytheon, Charles Stark Draper, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin to produce a prototype that will further Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Technology Protection (TP) collaboration through enhanced capabilities focused on novel sensors, secure packaging, and integrated board-level protection. Through the AMP HTP prototype project, the DoD Anti-Tamper experts are seeking to build upon 3D structures. The focus tech areas in this prototype project include advancements to additive manufacturing (AM), technology protection (TP), 3D printing, hybrid printed electronics, printed electronics, hardware protection, and volume protection.


Texas Instruments will invest $11 billion to build a 2nd semiconductor plant in Lehi, Utah. The new 300mm fab will create 800 new jobs. TI will also put anoher $49 million toward improving "student opportunities and outcomers." The announcement of the new Utah plant is the latest large domestic IC investment since the signing of the CHIPS and Science Act last year.


General Motors has signed a long-term agreement with GlobalFoundries to establish exclusive production capacity of U.S.-produced semiconductor chips.

The deal, which they’re calling an industry first*, comes as automakers continue to battle through supply chain problems, including a years-long global shortage of semiconductor chips that has sporadically idled factories during the Covid pandemic.

The chip manufacturer will establish dedicated production capacity exclusively for key auto suppliers of the Detroit automaker at its semiconductor facility in upstate New York.

* In November 2022, Ford said that it had signed a nin-binding agreement to ciollabiorate on oriduction and technology advabncements with semicionductor supplier GlobalFoundries.


From India


India's commerce department has initiated investigation into dumping allegations on imports of certain printed circuit boards (PCBs) originating from China and Hong Kong. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), part of the Commerce and Industry Ministry, in a notification on Tuesday said the Indian Printed Circuit Association (IPCA) had alleged material injury to the domestic PCB industry owing to the dumping of these electronic goods and sought the imposition of anti-dumping duty on such imports from the two jurisdictions.

India imported PCBs worth $478 million from China and Hong Kong during the April-October 2022 period.


From the TPCA (Taiwan Printed Circuit Assiociation)


In 2023, the PCB market will face the big environmental challenges, consumer electronics, PC/NB, mobile phones have not yet warmed up, but the industry expects the second half to improve. 

For the electronics supply chain, if the economic and consumer demand resumes growth in the second half of the year, it is estimated that the global PCB output value still has the opportunity to maintain a slight growth of 3%, and the total output value is $90.84 billion. However, if one-third of the world’s economies fall into recession, the overall PCB output value does not rule out facing a contraction dilemma, and it is prudent to predict that it will bring a recession resulting in a global PCB value of about $90.01.


January 2023


I am sad to announce that the industry has lost another icon this month. John T. (Jack) Fisher's long career at IBM, the IPC, the HDPUG (High Density Packaging Users Group), and noted iNemi roadmap chairman greatly impacted the printed circuit industry. Jack was a mentor and friend to many. He shall be greatly missed. He was a inducted into the IPC's Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame in 2006.

RIP, my friend, Jack.


Are we headed for fewer than 100 PCB fabricators ibn the U.S.?


2022 ended with a whimper with Gartner reporting a major drop in PC sales in Q4 of 28.5% while 2023 began with the announced acquisition of Advanced Circuits by ACPT for more about $220 million. 


Dell Technologies is planning to stop using Chinese-made chips next year and has told suppliers to reduce the amount of other made-in-China components in its products. Source: Nikkei

Dell has also asked suppliers of other components, such as electronic modules and PCBs, as well as product assemblers to help prepare capacity in countries beyond China, such as Vietnam, the report said.


Taiwan PCB makers and suppliers such as Taiwan Printed Circuit Board Techvest (TPT), Taiflex Scientific, Elite Materials, Iteq, Flexium Interconnect, and Chin Poon Industrial are reported to be planning to initiate or increase their investments in Vietnam to meet the future needs of global suppliers  Foxconn, Qisda, Luxshare, and possibly even Dell.


December 2022


This month, Dr. William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainability (USD (A&S)) said at the 2022 Reagan National Defense Forum, "We need all hands on deck - everyone from the large primes to the small start-up."

He also stated, "We need our designers and innovators on the front end to help us out on the back end to consider production."


One More time!


The HKPCA's International Electronics Circuit Exhibition (Shenzhen) has announced a rescheduled show date of 24 – 26 May 2023 (Wednesday to Friday) at Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center (Bao’an) - if the Government and Covid do not postpone it again.

Wu's on the March


WUS Printed Circuit, which supplies printed circuit boards to Huawei Technologies and others, and had earlier announced plans to spend $280 million building a new PCB production base in Thailand to help overseas clients sidestep geopolitical and trade risks announced another major move that will strengthen its global reach. 

Schweizer Electronic AG successfully concluded negotiations to sell around 57% of the shares in its subsidiary Schweizer Electronic (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. based in Jintan/China (“SEC”) to WUS Printed Circuit (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. WUS currently holds a stake of around 13% in SEC and will hold 70% of the shares in SEC upon closing of the transaction.

WUS subsequently intends to carry out a capital increase at the Jintan site, which will provide SEC with sufficient funds to ensure further growth investments without restrictions. As a result, WUS’s share in SEC will increase to approximately 80%.


Sustio Sdn Bhd (SSB), a Malaysia-based subnsidiary of South Korea's Simmtech is spending $50 million to fast-track an expansion of its Penang production lines. Completion is expected during the first quarter of 2023.

Simmntech is a leading global manufacturer of semiconductor substrates, and a high density interconnect (HDI) PCBs. The expansion will double its HDI production capacity while creating 400 jobs.


Fastprint Circuit Tech, a Shenzhen-based maker of printed circuit boards said it will pay $129 million to acquire a Chinese subsidiary of Japan's Ibiden

Ibiden, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of PCBs, established its China subsidiary in 2000. The unit, which has more than 1,300 employees, makes motherboards for leading smartphone suppliers, according to its website. 


Better late than never


The Indian government has cleared a $10 billion package to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing. The program aims to provide attractive incentive support to companies / consortia that are engaged in Silicon semiconductor fabs, display fabs, compound semiconductors / silicon photonics / sensors (including MEMS) fabs, semiconductor packaging (ATMP / OSAT), semiconductor design. Additionally, incentives worth $30.16 billion will be available to position India as global hub for electronics manufacturing.

The US deputy assistant secretary, South and Central Asia, Afreen Akhter, is leading a trade mission of semiconductors industry to India and has had meetings with India’s top government officials. The US intends to support India overcome challenges in the semiconductor supply chain and boost its local semiconductor manufacturing capacity. The US publicly seeking to strengthen its partnerships with “like-minded countries” like India and Taiwan.

ISMC’s proposed $3 billion semiconductor fab may begin construction in Karnataka by February 2023, as per media reports. It will be 4-5 years till ISMC’s plant becomes operational.

The government in India is committed to building the entire electronics ecosystem in India. The Union minister of state for entrepreneurship, skill development, electronics and technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, while addressing a session on ‘India’s role in Electronics & Semiconductor Manufacturing -said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target to increase production in the electronics sector to $300 billion by 2025-26, a “26 times” increase in a period of 10 years. 


November 2022


From the TPCA


November 7, 2022: The Hehong high-density printed circuit board project with a total investment of $137.8 MILLION has officially started construction!build a new plant and auxiliary buildings of 78,000 square meters, and build a fully automatic printed circuit board production line with new automatic LDI exposure machine, semi-automatic exposure machine, X-ray inspection machine, automatic drying film line, automatic grinding machine, semi-automatic printing machine, super large table 6-axis drilling machine and other equipment.

With the accelerated evolution of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial revolution, high-density printed circuit boards will be widely used in new energy vehicles, 5G communications, industrial control and other fields, and are the core and cornerstone of the electronic information terminal industry.

After the project is fully completed and put into operation, it is expected to produce 1.2 million square meters of automotive and 5G high-density printed circuit boards per year, achieve invoice sales of $165 million, and profits and taxes of  $19.3 million.


October 2022


The IPC's Advanced Packaging Symposium: Building the IC Substrate & Package Assembly Ecosystem held in Washington, D.C. was reported to be a resounding success with more than 90 companies and 150 industry and government leaders discussing substrates, OSATs and other critical issues facing American companies engaged in advanced electronic packaging. There seemed to be a consensus that when considering what is important to future domestic markets that there should be a focus on developing high mix-low volume systems materials, processes and equipment - especially for medical, defense and communications needs. A spirit of cooperation was highly visible amongst attendees.


Have you read US House of Representatives HR7677 "Supporting American PCB's Act of 2022"? Do you think it supports the development and manufacture of advanced electronic packaging and interconnects of the future? Or do its clauses relegate the U.S. to the past, remaining dependent on offshore suppliers for advances in materials, processes, PCBs, substrates and chip packaging?
In our opinion, at a first reading, corrective and broadening/enlightening amendments seem to be urgently required.


Fuji introduced the FPM-Trinity 3D printer at Techblick in Holland. It has 3 functions: Resin printing, circuit printing, and part placement. It is currently underdevelopment, and the company states that it plans to bring it to market in a year or two.


September 2022


Dateline September 30 - source The IPC


"Two of the electronics industry’s most far-sighted and innovative leaders have been named to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s new Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), which will provide guidance to the Secretary of Commerce on a range of issues related to CHIPS for America Act programs. 

Meredith LaBeau, the Chief Technology Officer at Calumet Electronics in Calumet, Michigan, and Carol Handwerker, the Reinhardt Schuhmann, Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering and Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University, are among the first batch of nominees to be named. Both Handwerker and LaBeau have participated in IPC’s Thought Leaders Program, standards development and other IPC activities. They were chosen for their expertise in semiconductor fabrication and advanced packaging.

IPC and the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE) jointly nominated the pair, and electronics manufacturing is well represented on the panel in other ways. Several other panel members are associated with IPC member companies Analog Devices, Microsoft, and Intel

The IAC, established by Congress under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, will provide federal officials with advice on the science and technology needs of the nation’s domestic microelectronics industry; the research and development programs funded through the CHIPS for America Act, including an advanced packaging program that IPC has advocated for; and opportunities for new public-private partnerships."


The IPC's Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Council supports IPC’s Advanced Packaging Initiative. As a member of the Hall of Fame, I understand the importance of meeting the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s advanced packages. Learn more at IPC’s first Advanced Packaging Symposium: Building the IC-Substrate and Package Assembly Ecosystem, Oct. 11-12, Washington, D.C. Registration is now open: https://hubs.li/Q01kR-D70

Gene H. Weiner


How times have changed!


The September edition of NEPCON JAPAN concluded with just 183* exhibitors and 16,247* visitors  - a good showing but a mere fraction of pre-Covid NEPCON Japan (Tokyo) events.

*Including concurrent shows: RoboDEX, SMART FACTORY Expo, and AUTOMOTIVE WORLD.


Granite Partners has merged its holdings in Printed Circuits and All Flex into one company named All Flex Solutions, Inc. 


COVID continues to shut down electronic events in China


The Taiwan Circuit Board Association (TPCA) announced the postponement of the International Circuit Board Exhibition - Shenzhen, better known as TPCA Show-Shenzhen. The trade group cited the "current severe situation of epidemic prevention and control in Shenzhen," and said it is taking the measures "in order to maximize the health and life safety of exhibitors, visitors and partners." TPCA Show Shenzhen was originally scheduled to be held Sept. 14 to 16 at the Shenzhen World Convention and Exhibition Center.


It's a prime time for skilled retirees and consultants! UPWORK states that businesses that engage independent talent are already seeing the benefits of embracing a more adaptable strategy while countering the skilled labor shortage. This may become necessary as more enterprises move towards advance packages. Chips with a 40 nanometer (nm) node typically require 1 layout engineer per 4 design engineers. Developing a package with a 5 nm node IC requires 4 layout engineers per 4 design engineers. This also raises the question as to when is such an advanced chip needed (e.g., MUST use less power?) - especially when there is a shortage of qualified engineers. Other (less expensive) design solutions that meet the required performance are often available. It's up to the package provider to fully discuss this topic and alternatives with the (OEM or Tier 1) buyer!


August 2022


Sound familiar?


A PCB fabricator company president asked his purchasing manager to investigate someone with new processes and materials so that he would have a better chance of becoming a qualified vendor for an overseas OEM that was seeking American sources of its boards. The board-maker's first submitted samples had failed testing by the OEM and the company president wanted to prevent this reoccurance.

The buyer's first question to the new potemtial supplier was reported to be, 'What's the price?'' - not, "What process changes should we make? What can this new material do for us?Can it help us qualify and increase first pass yields? Improve our quality? Reduce rework or inspection? Lower our total costs?"

When asked why he needed the price before obtaining technical, process, or product information he responded, "We are not going to let our engineers evaluate new materials unless priced competitively to those that we are now using!"

All in all, a very discouraging saga. Discouraging because the President's philosophy and desires to improve so that his company can survive and profit in a competitive environment where geographical distinctions are continuing to blur, do not appear to be accepted or understood by his company's key interface to its supply chain. Discouraging because the loss of profit by sub-optimization could, in this case, be so easily rectified, but is not. We are saddened by the buyer's myopia. "Weiner's World", March 1990.


July 2022


Betting on the come?


SkyWater Technology announced plans to build a $1.8 billion U.S. semiconductor R&D and production facility in Indiana through a dynamic public-private partnership with the State and Purdue University to pursue CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) for America Act funding. The Indiana facility, to be located on the Purdue campus in the Discovery Park District, will provide access to SkyWater’s development services, volume production and heterogeneous integration solutions the company currently offers in its Minnesota and Florida facilities.“This endeavor to bolster our chip fabrication facilities will rely on funding from the CHIPS Act. Federal investment will enable SkyWater to more quickly expand our efforts to address the need for strategic reshoring of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater president and CEO.


What do YOU think?


Did you see the featured article "Two Reasons Why Tech Companies Should Look To Expand Into The China Market" in the July 22 EMS NOW written by Carl Hung, Season Group president and CEO? Season, founded in Hong Kong and now headquartered in the UK is a global EMS company with other related electronic services.

Good news, but - This does not help America's supply chain issues or alleviate dependency by domestic printed circuit on foreign on foreign sources


Denkai America, America's only manufacturer of high-quality electrodeposited (ED) copper foil used in printed circuits, will locate its new manufacturing facility and North American Headquarters in Georgia. The company’s initial investment will be $150 million to establish an ED copper foil production facility, with a focus on electric vehicle (EV) battery foil, on a 115-acre site, with a goal to invest a total of $430 million and create 250 new jobs over the next five years.


I am excited to be presenting "An Additive, Semi-Additive, and Fully Additive 3D Circuit Manufacturing UpDate" at the AME Academy in Boston, MA on July 29th! Progress on many fronts is rapidly advancing.  You can join me in person at the Northeastern SMART Center or online. Just register your participation here: https://ame-academy.com/july-2022-summer-session?hsLang=en


Taiwan-based Nan Ya PCB reported unaudited sales of $184.7 million in June 2022, up by 5.6% from the previous month and by 30% year-on-year. Total sales for the first half of the year was $994.9 million, up by 27.45% over the same period last year. For the 2nd quarter, Nan Ya's sales totaled $507.9 million, up by 21.6% for the same period last year.


June 2022

Do you have anything related to additive or semi-additive manufacturing of electronic circuits/packages that you would like mentioned in my *AME Academy presentation at Northeastern University in Boston next month? If so contact me ASAP as I am currently finalizing the presentation. A few Power Point slides would be helpful.
* (Additively Manufactured Electronics)
A growing China alternative

Vietnam and its 94 million people are becoming a leading electronics manufacturing center outside of China for many first-tier IT companies. During the period 2015-2020, Vietnam's manufacturing industry saw foreign direct investments  totaling $376 billion with Samsung Electronics contributing one-fourth. 

Intel established its largest chip packaging factory in Vietnam, while LG Electronics, in 2021, announced a $1 billion in Vietnam's Haiphong for expanding its OLED display capacity. Samsung Electronics is also constructing an R&D center in Hanoi. Qualcomm's only testing laboratory in Southeast Asia is also in Hanoi.

So far, Vietnam has a total of 335 industrial parks and is expanding these to satisfy rising demand from foreign investors.

More merger mania

Denmark's GPV and Enics announced a pending merger to form the continent's second-largest EMS company with more than 7,500 employees and annual revenue of more than $990 million.

Bo Lybæk, CEO, GPV said, "In 2018, we successfully acquired the Swiss electronics manufacturer CCS, which had revenue of DKK 1.6 billion. That lifted GPV into the top 10 of EMS companies in Europe."

Enics has seven factories in Europe and Asia across Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Slovakia, China, and Malaysia, while GPV has 12 factories located in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Enics is focused on electronics manufacturing and test, while GPV also specializes in product application design, in-house mechanics, and cable-harness assemblies. 


To the rescue!


Taiwan’s GlobalWafers will invest $5 billion in a new Texas plant to provide silicon wafers to Intel, TSMC. It will create 1,500 U.S. jobs. GlobalWafers will also be eligible for a piece of the $52 billion for the IC industry being negotiated in Congress - if and when it passes. Where are the American investors?


Shenzhen SwaySure Technology, a newly created chip start-up owned by the Shenzhen government has recruited Yukio Sakamoto, former chief executive of Japanese DRAM maker Elpida Memory and more recently at Tsinghua Unigroup, as its chief strategy officer to help China take a bigger share of the global DRAM market dominated by US and South Korean players.

Samsung Foundry announced a massive investment plan of around $355 billion that could help it overthrow TSMC as the world’s biggest chip fabrication firm. To counter those moves, TSMC has announced an investment of around $120 billion. As a part of that plan, it is building four new fabs worth $10 billion each in Taiwan. According to Nikkei Asia, all 4 new fabrication plants are intended for 3nm chips. Both TSMC and Samsung Foundry are trying to attract AMD, Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and MediaTek with their advanced nodes, including 3nm and 5nm. Both firms are already manufacturing 4nm chips. Samsung Foundry and TSMC have announced their plans to manufacture 3nm chips later this year. By 2025, both firms are planning to mass-produce 2nm chips. While Samsung is bringing advanced GAA technology with its 3nm process, TSMC will bring it with its 2nm process. Only time will tell which brand will be the market leader.

Nero, Rome is burning !!! 
Meanwhile, S. 1260 The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 which includes $52 billion in support for America's chip industry seems to be languishing in DC.
On the march
Lenovo (China) opened a new assembly plant in Hungary capable of producing more than 1,000 servers and 4,000 workstations a day-each one built specifically to customer requirements.

Da Nang's government has approved an investment of $59 million by the US's Vector Fabrication for a PCB and micro-electro-mechanical systems factory. Construction of the 40,000-square-meter factory will start this year, with production to begin in 2025.

Vector Fabrication's customers include Apple, Logitech and Tesla Motor. This will be Vector's 2nd factory in Vietnam.


VFP Ink Technology has entered into a license and m,anufacturing agreement with Nazdar to produce and distribute VPF's electronic ink for the conductive printing market in the US.


The printed electronics market is expected to grow from $10.02 billion in 2021 to $39.54 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 19.1% during the forecast period 2022-2029 according to a new GreyViews (India) report. The report cites Samsung Electronics, LG Display, Molex, LLC, Agfa-Gevaert Group, Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated, DuPont de Nemours, Nissha, BASF, NovaCentrix, and E Ink Holdings, among others, as significant players operating in the global printed electronics market. 


High entry barriers (costs) are not detering even mid-sized Taiwan companies from expanding HDI capacity to meet demands greater than supplies for maturing processes for mobile phone motherboards, high-end laptop (NB), automotive electronics, and other growing applications.  Bocheng, Dynamic and Teding will increase HDI production capacity this year to meet the burgeoning market demand.


Meanwhile, S 1260 The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021


MAY 2022


Can you imagine this in America?


China has ordered central government agencies and state-backed corporations to replace *foreign-branded personal computers with domestic alternatives within two years, marking one of Beijing's most aggressive efforts to eradicate key overseas technology from within sensitive institutions. Source: Taipei Times

*The number one brand in China is Lenovo which was once owned by America's IBM.


A gem from Jennie


"The bottom-line is to not rely on unreliable sources; and the ultimate challenge is to not create solutions that are worse than the problems." - Dr. Jennie S. Hwang


From the HKPCA


After a series of negotiation with Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center (Bao’an Hall), the Organizing Committee was finally given a date. The International Electronics Circuit Exhibition (Shenzhen) can now be rescheduled to 27 – 29 June 2022 (Monday to Wednesday) at Halls 13 – 16 of the Bao’an Hall. The event will also be conducted virtually.


It ain't over until ....


Bosch has suspended production at two sites in Shanghai and Changchun as it follows government policies to contain a surge of COVID-19 cases. It has "paused" production at a Thermotechnology factory in Shanghai and an automotive components site in Changchu. Two other auto parts plants in Shanghai and neiarby Taicang are maintaining “closed-loop” operations, in which workers sleep, live and work in isolation from the rest of society to prevent virus transmission. Source: Reuters


APRIL 2022


Couple chiplets with additive manufacturing processing and packaging and you may have a new industry segment. Who will do the 3D designing? Who will establish reliabilities? Who will write the new standards?


PCB East was reminiscent of the Phoenix rising from the ashes (of the Covid epidemic). Its resurrection as the PCEA's (Printed Circuit Engineering Association) first regional event successfully drew attendees from as far as the West Coast and Florida. It was great to see so many old friends in the real world while being brought up to date by the many design and engineering programs conducted during the 3-day meeting and exhibition by such notables as Susy Webb, Rick Hartley, and Steve Chavez. Our imaginations were stirred by a 2-hour introduction to 3D additive manufactured electronics presented by Dr. Jaim Nulman of the AME Academy. Our presentation of "From Possibility to Reality" held the filled lecture hall at rapt attention as new technologies from Israel, Germany, the U.S. and Japan were described. IPC industry legend Laura Turbini (retired) came to join notable attendees which included Dr. Hayao Nakahara, Anaya Vardya, John Vaughan, Chrys Shea and Peter Bigelow - CEO of IMI and President of the Boston Chapter of the SMTA.


Washington, are YOU listening?


The Chinese government will increase its funding for technology innovation and to ensure the security and stability of its product supply chains, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.


The move, which is expected to help China remain competitive with other rivals in technology, especially the United States, was announced by President Xi Jinping


COVID lockdowns in Kunshan


China, which has for the past two months experienced its worst outbreak of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, has shut down entire cities and multiple tech manufacturing factories in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.  COVID lockdowns in Kunshan and other high-tech manufacturing centers have impacted PCB makers, disrupting their production and shipments.


Taiwan-headquartered PCB manufacturers and suppliers such as Elite Material and Nan Ya were among those to confirm plans to stop production at their Kunshan facilities. Elite Material’s production volume in Kunshan accounts for 30% to 40% of the company’s total, while 40% of Nan Ya’s production ordinarily happens in the city. Kunshan is also home to a large number of semiconductor manufacturers. The Taiwanese PCB operations in Kunshan of Nandian, Taiwan Optoelectronic and Xinxin also had closures early on the month.


Across the Atlantic River


Europe’s largest PCB manufacturer, Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology, and Luminovo, Europe's fastest growing software provider for the electronics industry, are connecting their products to enable their customers to adapt a much simpler, faster and more accurate PCB prototype costing and quoting process.


Using the Würth Elektronik API (application programming interface), Würth Elektronik’s PCB online shop gets directly connected to LumiQuote, Luminovo’s RfQ software. LumiQuote automatically extracts all relevant technical parameters of required PCBs using the modern PCB engine. The technical information is now sent directly to the PCB online shop via the interface and prices as well as delivery times are sent back to the users in real time.


Luminovo was one of the featured companies in our Keynote presentation at PCB East earlier this month.


Taiwan & automotive PCBs


According to Dr. Hayao Nakaharaautomotive PCB output of just one maker in in Taiwan is estimated to be larger than the entire automotive PCB production in the US. 


Although global automakers will suffer from insufficient supply of chips in 2021, and unfavorable news of production line shutdowns have been reported, the actual shipments of Chin Poon and Tripod, the major auto board suppliers in Taiwan, increased by 18.78% and 23.79% respectively last year.


Chin Poon’s revenue in 2021 is NTD, $659 million, the same below, an annual increase of 18.98%. Judging from the actual shipment amount of Taiwan-based automotive boards in 2021, Chin Poon’s shipments last year was still is first among Taiwanese manufacturers. Chin Poon will increase the price of automotive boards in the 2nd quarter of this year, as the NT$ is expected to depreciate.


Tripod’s revenue in 2021 wass 63 billion yuan ($2,279 million), an annual increase of 13.42%, of which automotive board revenue was $408 million.


Dynamic’s sales in 2021 was $570 million, an annual increase of 24.79%, of which automotive sheets account for 52% of revenue ($296 million). All of these are accelerating the opening of new production capacity this year, which is expected to push up automotive PCBs. This year, together with HDI process boards and ABF IC PKG substrates, they have become the three major focuses of PCB factory revenue in Taiwan.


MARCH 2022


Now that the pandemic is waning here in the U.S. it's time to move on. I predict that meetings, exhibitions and conferences with face-to-face meetings, technology exchanges and learning, seeing old friends and meeting new colleagues will be in full swing by April. Come join me at the Keynote speech of PCB East (the 11th to the 13th) in Marlborough, MA where I will talk about 8 of the many new innovations that I believe will broaden the current and future capabilities of EMS and fabrication designers and engineers.


The Government of Japan has announced that effective from March 1, business travelers are allowed for new entry into Japan under the responsibilities of receiving organizations. NEPCON JAPAN will support the documents necessary for visa application for exhibitors. The next show will be held from August 31-Sep. 2, 2022 at Makuhari Messe, Japan. 


Some locations are not yet out of the woods


Meanwhile, the Organizing Committee of the HKPCA's 2021 International Electronic Circuit Exhibition has  postponed the event again due to the current COVID-19 conditions in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The event ha been rescheduled to Aprikl,but now has yet to have a new date confirmed.


Hong Kong is planning a massive 100% test of its inhabitants as it records record cases.


South Korea smartphone update


South Korean PCB fabricators Korea Circuit and DAP are expected to supply a combined total of more tham 50% of the total boards that Samsung plans to buy in 2022. The remaining 40+% will be supplied by Japanese firms Ibiden and Meiko. Samsung uses high-density interconnect (HDI) boards on its smartphones.


Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Daeduck Electronics once dominated the supply of HDI boards to Samsung but the companies ceased making boards in 2019 and 2020, respectively.


Orders from Samsung accounts for up to 50% of Korea Circuit’s sales and up to 75% of DAP's.


Korea Circuit says sales of its flip-chip ball grid array (FC-BGA) business are increasing annually, but HDI still accounts for the majority of its business.



February 2022


No kidding, Dick Tracy! Where do you recommend we find them?


The White House is warning the chip industry to diversify its supply chain and find alternat sources in case Russia retaliates against threatened U.S. export curbs by blocking access to key materials. Estimates are that over 90% of U.S. semiconductor-grade neon supplies come from Ukraine, while 35% of U.S. palladium is sourced from Russia.


January 2022


At the TPCA show the Taiwan Circuit Board Association (TPCA) released a high-level technical blueprint for PCB, materials and equipment, commenting that HPC, B5G-Edge, B5G-Infrastructure, and high power are the focus of Taiwan’s PCB industry development. 


2021 was a harvest year for Taiwan’s PCB industry. The total output value of the industry chain at home and abroad has a high growth rate of 24%, setting a new record of $46 billion highlighting the resilience of the PCB industry in the epidemic. 


The TPCA Show hjad 430 well-known domestic and foreign companies exhibiting, with a total of 1,172 booths, attracting 34,277 visitors, an increase of 9% over last year. The “IMPACT International Assembly and Circuit Board Seminar” had 44 sessions, covering topics such as advanced packaging, heterogeneous integration, high-end carrier boards, and PCBs. The TPCA Show 2022 will to be held at the Nangang Exhibition Center from October 26 to 28. 




How does one define partnering? Is there a way around the leverage that the bigger company exerts? How does the provider of an "in demand" but short in availability product or service view partnering? A European company involved in digital transformation in the electronics supply chain is advertising for a "Partnering Manager". Is this something we should all be investigating to navigate the troubled waters and opportunities of 2022? How would this differ from existing positions in marketing, service or management?


Washington, D.C. PAY ATTENTION!!!


At the TPCA Show, Taoyuan Mayor Zheng Wencan said in person that PCB is a very important foundation for the electronics industry. In order to maintain the competitive advantage of Taiwan’s PCB industry, it will face the two major challenges in the future, “international new net zero ecosystem” and “high-end manufacturing process”. To de-bottleneck investment”, it is necessary for the government to play a more active role. 


How does one define partnering? Is there a way around the leverage that the bigger company exerts? How does the provider of an "in demand" but short in availability product or service view partnering? A European company involved in digital transformation in the electronics supply chain is advertising for a "Partnering Manager". Is this something we should all be investigating to navigate the troubled waters and opportunities of 2022? How would this differ from existing positions in marketing, service or management?


What's going on?


The direct investment of the strategic investor WUS Printed Circuits (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. (China) in the wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary of Schweizer Electronic AG


Chips, chips and fewer chips


A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that rattled southwestern and western Japan early January 22 brought two chip fabs offline. It took Toshiba’s Oita and Buzen semiconductor production sites offline. 


The Oita plant, which produces LSI chips for the auto and industrial machine industries, was damaged by the earthquake. Production lines have been impacted, but the severity of the damage is not yet known.


Amid a lengthy chip shortage, a series of unrelated events have impacted the manufacturing sector, including a storm in Texas taking out Samsung, NXP, and Infineon fabs; a fire at Japan’s Renesas fab (and another at ASML);  as well as power cuts and droughts in Taiwan.


It takes time


Intel will spend $20 billion for 2 new fabs in Ohio, but where will the interconnect substrates be made? Hopefully not in Malaysia where AT&S will spend $2.3 billion for new chip substrate facilities. How can the U.S. establish a secure primary and a secondary supply chain of PCBs for its needs - both for its defense as well as commercial requirements? One more time, is sovereignty national or corporate and what are the risks for either case? Is anyone in D.C. addressing this? We know that the PCBAA is.

Global equipment spending for front end chip facilities is expected to reach a new all-time high of nearly $100 billion in 2022.Why can't America's industry, government (in partnership?), and those in its supply chain and partnerships spend just 1 or 2% of that for the infrastructure needed to connect the IC's? Remember, the ICs are useless unless they are connected to each other and the outside world.


Memory chip maker Micron Technology will shut its DRAM chip designing operations in Shanghai by the end of this year. Micron will close its DRAM Engineering Group from its Shanghai Design Center over the next year, with completion expected by December 2022. The South China Morning Post, citing industry sources, said that 150 Chinese engineers at the site will be asked to relocate to the United States or India.


Semiconductors have been at the heart of U.S.-China tensions and the United States has been looking to shift the balance back in favour of the West and away from Asia, driven by intellectual property and supply chain concerns. 


In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Taiwan-based chip maker United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and China’s Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd., alleging the companies conspired to steal trade secrets from Micron.

Fujian Jinhua Denied the allegations. UMC pled guilty to the charges and paid a $60 million fine



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