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24 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2022 Feature Article by Pete Starkey I-CONNECT007 With his knowledgeable insight into the business and technology of the printed circuit industry, Dr. Shiuh-Kao Chiang, managing partner at Prismark Partners, has put a global perspective on the challenges of the 2022 PCB market. His presentation at the EIPC Summer Conference in Orebro, Sweden, on June 14 was eagerly awaited by an attentive audience, keen to share his vision. From his comments, it was clear that 2022 will be an interesting year and does not appear particularly friendly for the PCB business. In his presentation for EIPC's Technical Snapshot webinar in February, Chiang com- mented that the 2021 PCB market was charac- terised by surging revenue and profit growth in packaging substrates, although strong demand, high material costs, fractured supply logistics, increasing inventory, and tightening cash flow squeezed the margins of most PCB companies. Other issues influencing the 2021 market were supply availability and capacity constraints for PCB raw materials, currency exchange rates, long lead times for critical processing tools, and supply shortages for selective semicon- ductors and other devices. Now he was able to reflect upon 2022's first quarter results. "e electronics industry is in the late stages of a historic cycle fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but cracks are now forming at the edges," he said. "No party lasts forever." e pandemic dividends have been quickly evaporating with the end of synchro- nous demand cycles for PCs, TVs, and gam- ing, and the 5G bump for smartphones is wan- ing. e inflated "just-in-case" demand due to The Challenges of the 2022 PCB Market: The Party's Over

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