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44 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 Feature by Emilie Jolivet YOLE DÉVELOPPEMENT The smartphone is one of the high val- ue-add products that carries a very high de- mand for miniaturization. Customers ex- pect larger screens, cameras with high reso- lution, and various other functions, in lighter and thinner phones. In 2017, Apple request- ed a new "board," a substrate-like PCB (SLP), for iPhones. This has resulted in a technology transition for the PCB manufacturers and the need to invest in a modified semi-additive pro- cess (mSAP). New competitors were also at- tracted to this field: IC substrate manufacturers who originated the mSAP technology. As a result, there were high capital expen- ditures among the SLP suppliers for Apple. This was followed by Samsung; the Galaxy S9, released in early 2018, has also adopted SLP technology, and similar high capital invest- ments were made by some Korean PCB manu- facturers. Additionally, increasingly more PCB and IC substrate manufacturers that were not in Apple and Samsung's supply chain are join- ing the competition of fabricating SLPs. Starting with the adoption of SLP late in 2017, the volume is expected to grow from 27 million units in 2017 to 440 million units by 2023 with a CAGR of 59.4%. The SLP revenue in 2017 is estimated to be $190M and will grow to $1.4B in 2018, then $2.2B by 2023 with a CAGR of 51% [1] . The interest in decreasing the feature size for a smartphone board is due to the demand for thinner but more functional smartphones. With increasingly more functions added, along with larger screens, the power consumption becomes a critical point. In the volume of a smartphone, the battery takes up most of the space. As the feature sizes on the board de- crease, more integration can be achieved in a

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