Weiner International Associates Consultants- Board & Advisory Board Seats Technology: Commercial Viability Assessment Product Introduction/Marketing
           Weiner International AssociatesConsultants- Board & Advisory Board SeatsTechnology: Commercial Viability Assessment Product Introduction/Marketing



July 2021


At last!!!


Do you know about the PCBAA? The newly formed Printed Circuit Board Association of America is a consortium of U.S.-based companies that support initiatives to advance the U.S. domestic production of microelectronics, specifically printed circuit boards, and their domestic supply chains. It seeks to provide one voice for the PCB/PCBA industry. Its intent is to educate, advocate, and legislate to raise awareness with decision-makers in Congress, the White House, the Department of Defense, and the rest of the Executive Branch about the domestic capabilities and resiliency of the industry for both national security and economic purposes.


With this announcement and the current state of world affairs, extended supply chains, and competition we have to once again wonder if sovereignty is corporate or national. Globalists would most likely have a different answer than nationalists, especially when it comes to security.


Chips - they need to connect to the outside world to work!


According to SEMI semiconductor manufacturers worldwide will have started construction on 19 new high-volume fabs by the end of this year and break ground on another 10 in 2022 to meet accelerating demand for chips. China and Taiwan will lead the way in the new fab construction starts with eight each, followed by the Americas with six, Europe/Mideast with three, Japan and Korea with two each.


Of the semiconductor makers beginning construction of new fabs this year, many won’t start installing equipment until 2023 since it takes up to two years after ground is broken to reach that phase.


Who will build the substrates? Where will they be built? What will the supply chains look like? How much more consolidation will take place?


How will new technologies be evaluated and accepted by the electronic packaging industry and its customers - especially those in the medical and military arenas? Will there be a fast track?


If I were investing I would look at establishing improved independent  build-up films (greater shelf life) and production facilities in North American and Europe.


Did you know that Penang in Malaysia accounted for 5% of the world's semiconductor exports or that there are more than 350 multinational corporations located in its free trade zone ?


Will the world's leading foundry invest more than the U.S. government in semiconductor development and nrw facilities during the next few years?


Following its move to set up a 5nm chips fabrication plant in Arizona and expand foundry capacity in China, TSMC recently confirmed its intentions to build fabs in Japan and Germany. 


Build-up Substrates


Taiwan's Unimicron Technology expects to keep its production capacity for ABF substrates fully utilized until 2025.


There is a new rush to build facilities to make *ABF substrates. AT&S is reported to have plans to invest $2 billion for a major manufacturing complex in Malaysia with Intel and another unamed  U.S. partner. Production will be in 2024 ramping up to full scale production in 2026. AT&S will also invest over $235 million next year to set up new ABF substrate production lines at its hingjing, China facility.


Zhen Ding will invest over $535 million to establish a new plant in China to process HPC chips. Production is expected to start in 2023 to serve major chipmeakers including AMD, Nvidia, and Xilinx.


Zheng Ding will also build a $285 million BT substrate plant in China.


Korea based PCB makers Daeduck Electronics and LG Innotek have decided to enter the ABF substrate fray and are developing investment plans for this move. Source: Digitimes


Nan Ya Plastics expects increased growth in the sales of its copper foil and other electronic materials in the second half of 2021, while seeking further vertical integration of its supply chain. Its net profits for the first half of this year already exceeded those generated in all of 2020, according to chairman CJ Wu, who credited the positive performance to growth in sales of its electronic materials such as copper foil, copper foil substrates, fiber glass fabrics and epoxy resins.


Revenue generated by subsidiary Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board also added to the company’s profitability in the first half of this yearit  has been running its ABF substrate production lines at full capacity.


Nan Ya expects to see customer demand outpace its supply during the second half of 2021, despite the arrival of additional production lines for copper foil and other materials.. Nan Ya PCB will also see its supply lagging demand in the latter part of this year, even though new ABF substrate production lines at its Kunshan, China plant have come online.


In March the company initiated production of high-end copper foils at its new plant in Chiayi, southern Taiwan, and has already utilized 80% of the capacity at the plant, Wu disclosed. The new copper foil plant fulfills orders for lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles (EV).


Nan Ya plans to expand its factory site in Huizhou, China for additional capacity of copper foil substrates and fiber glass fabrics.

Nan Ya PCB expects its available production capacity for ABF substrates to be fully utilized through 2023. 


*ABF stands for Anjinomoto Build-up Film. There is a shortage of the material used in IC subtrates. The Anjinomoto material requires refrigeration fior storage and is reported to have a relativel short shelf life. There are other less known build up films and one has to wonder what they will be named, or will the ABF acronym stick as Kleenex has done for facial tissues.


Taiwan's IC substrate maker Kinsus Interconnect Technology saw its net profits for second-quarter 2021 shoot up 202% on year to $36.1. Gross margins increased 4.75% to 27.1%.  The large profit gainswere due to investments in IC substrates.


Currently, BT substrates remain the largest product line at Kinsus, contributing 50% of its revenues, compared to nearly 30% for ABF substrates, and around 20% for traditional PCB products.


Kinsus has many major chipmakers among its clients for BT substrates, including handset AP vendors Qualcomm and MediaTek, memory supplier Micron and networking chips makers such as Skyworks and Qorvo. It also is reported to supply BT-based SiP and AiP substrates to Apple. Meanwhile, Xilinx remains Kinsus’ largest ABF substrate client, followed by Nvidia and Altera. Source: Digitimes




Thailand has become a major investment area for PCBs fabs outside of China. This year Jingpeng, Jingguo, Taiding and others will make a capital investment for Thai factories of more than $619 million, a record high. The plants will produce boards for in information electronics, automotive and other demands.


Due to the U.S.-China trade war, Guangda, Taida Electric and other "large" EMS plants, are also actively shifting production capacity from China to Southeast Asia. Quanta invested $30.4 million in its Thailand plant.

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