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PCB-May2018

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40 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 low 3.5 GHz because these offer a good trade- off between performance and cost. Sub-1GHz frequency bands are particularly good for in- door penetration (going through walls), and as legacy standards are being phased out (start- ing already with 2G) these bands will be re-al- located to 4G and 5G. Lower frequencies offer longer range and thus broad coverage at lower cost, but the available bandwidth is too limited to pro- vide full 5G services. Extreme data speed and capacity can only be provided with wider frequency bands, and these are only avail- able at much higher frequencies (>20 GHz). Unfortunately, these higher frequencies also suffer from short range and higher costs; they are most useful for local high-traffic hot spots and backhaul services. In addition, WiFi already complements 4G/5G with high- er data rates at short range, and the conver- gence of WiFi and cellular networks will con- tinue. 5G commercial service will be starting in 2018 initially with fixed wireless, often at high frequencies (e.g., 28 GHz or 39 GHz). Mobile network deployments will gradually start by 2020 and sub-6 GHz will remain the most common frequency. Figure 3 illustrates high speed and high frequency applications. PCB Market Opportunities and Challenges The PCB market will continue to expand in the next few years. Prismark forecasts 3.8% growth in 2018 and 3.2% CAAGR from 2017 to 2022. Some of the key growth opportunities in- clude: • High-speed and high-frequency circuit boards for high data rate and RF applications such as automotive, 5G, AI, and others • Fine line/space HDI and FPC boards; mSAP technology is fully recognized • Fine pitch packaging substrates; <5 µm line/space is desired • Low loss materials, e.g., PTFE-like and LCP-like • PVD processing technologies for fine pitch or special applications • Processing automation and intelligent manufacturing 300 MHz 3 GHz 30 GHz 300 GHz Inter-vehicular/ vehicular-to-road communication Frequency Figure 2: Mobile networks are being reconfigured to provide a wide range of services, and some require the use of new frequency bands. (Source: Ericsson) 5G MARKET DEVELOPMENT

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