LYON, FRANCE – The processor market had a remarkable year in 2021, achieving a historic high of US$155.5 billion with a robust growth rate of 22.3%. However, the following year, it experienced a slight downturn, with revenue settling at US$154 billion. The primary factor contributing to this decline was the CPU segment, which was mainly impacted by reduced shipments in the PC category and increased competition from non-x86 APUs.
Conversely, the APU market saw significant growth in 2022, and the data center sector exhibited substantial expansion, leading to a shift in revenue distribution. While the total revenue for processors is expected to reach US$242 billion by 2028, CPUs are expected to maintain their dominant position, GPUs are projected to experience significant growth, and data center is poised to emerge as the fastest-growing market.
In this context, Yole Intelligence releases its Status of the Processor Industry 2023 report. In this report, the company, part of Yole Group, gives a broad overview of the semiconductor processor industry, as well as an in-depth understanding of the market trends, ecosystem, and players and offers critical technical insights and analyses into future technology trends and challenges.
More advanced iterations of processors demand increased integration of circuitry, particularly larger blocks of logic and SRAM. In the past, progress toward denser logic was as straightforward as the next lithography shrink. However, as transistors continue to shrink in size, they have become more intricate and expensive to manufacture. In 2022, the industry is approaching the end of the finFET era, with gate-all-around architectures at 3nm and 2nm on the horizon.
This evolution is led by major players like Intel, TSMC, AMD, NVIDIA, and Samsung. High-performance packaging platforms like Si interposers and hybrid bonding are becoming increasingly pivotal across various applications, reveals Yole Intelligence in this new report.
The processor market is largely dominated by a few key players: Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, with these giants holding 54% of the total market share.
Competition is growing, with new entrants and tech giants like Amazon and Alibaba entering the CPU arena. Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Apple lead in APUs, with 32% of the market. The SoC FPGA and AI ASIC segments are led by AMD, Intel, and tech giants like Google and Amazon.
The processor startup landscape is dynamic, raising substantial funds, especially in AI-focused endeavors, with China leading the pack. The semiconductor industry in China is evolving, driven by investments and a growing ecosystem. In 2022, notable M&A activities included AMD’s acquisition of Xilinx and Pensando, Intel’s failed attempt to acquire Tower Semiconductor, and Nvidia’s abandoned bid for Arm.
KEMPEN, GERMANY – For Peters, the new Reflow 1.8. soldering machine from SEHO is an investment in the future. Like its predecessor, this machine is used in the laboratory for testing high-quality solder resists. Before the coatings are entrusted to the customers, Peters performs a thermal soldering simulation. Substrates and circuit boards coated with Peters coatings pass through the inner workings of the machine via a conveyor belt.
"There, the circuit boards are exposed to temperature stress", reports Jonas Sutmann. Together with his colleague Michael Contzen, the coatings lab technician is responsible for the machine at Peters. "If our coatings withstand this test undamaged under extreme temperature stress, the industrial customer can be sure that in their context, too, they are resistant and robust in view of permanently protecting the respective PCB," reports the 26-year-old technician from Oberhausen.
The coated part can be heated to a maximum of 320° Celsius in the new reflow system by a total of ten radiators on two levels. "If the coating shows no cracks or color changes in the inhouse soldering system after the heat bath, a major hurdle in the development of new special coating systems for electronics has been taken." This ensures the customer that the coating systems from Peters fulfill the high demands placed on them at all times.
The machine is therefore an important element in the development of solder resist technology. Peters is a leader in this field. "Our white solder resist systems from the ELPEPCB® product family are chosen for many LED lamps," reports Detlef Paschke, Head of the Technical Service at Peters. By deciding to purchase the soldering system from SEHO, the full-range supplier of coating materials for electronics from the Lower Rhine region has once again invested significantly in the family-owned company based in Kempen.
By this soldering machine, not only inhouse the research and development activities, but also the Quality Assurance sector is advancing into new dimensions that are directly adapted to the customer’s needs. "This system is indeed a further development of extraordinary value for our research and development," emphasizes Detlef Paschke who has been working at Peters for 27 years. The investment in the reflow system was consistent and future-oriented," says the 54-year-old from Willich.
In the Peters laboratory, the 900-kilogram SEHO machine measuring 3.20 by 1.25 by 1.60 meters is already a hunk in terms of length, height and width. "Nevertheless, our supplier SEHO has built the system in such a way that it takes up around half as much space as in everyday industrial production," says Jonas Sutmann, the responsible machine operator.
WATERBURY, CT – MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions, a manufacturer of chemical compounds used in surface coating applications, announced it will open a second facility in Japan in order to better serve the needs of the local automotive industry. The laboratory will be located in Nagoya and provide technical services to the region's Tier 1s, Tier 2s and other companies vital to the automotive ecosystem.
MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions, which operates in Japan as the MacDermid Performance Solutions Japan K.K. legal entity, currently provides technical services to Nagoya-based customers from the Hiratsuka location in Kanagawa Prefecture. The laboratory in Nagoya will reduce the time required for existing customers to make important decisions about their plating bath parameters, many of which operate 24 hours a day. The additional location in Japan will also satisfy the business continuity planning requirements of every automotive OEM.
"We are very excited to have a presence in Nagoya, where we have already been supplying customers with specialty chemicals for more than 40 years. This strategic investment underscores our long-term commitment to Japan, a country which recognizes the value of our environmentally-friendly products. We also expect the gained trust to result in new business opportunities," said Richard Lynch, Senior Global Vice President of MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions.
Julian Bashore, Representative Director of MacDermid Performance Solutions Japan K.K., added, "After the soft opening on October 1st, we will be fully equipped by April 2024. The growth in our automotive business has allowed us to make such an expansion in Japan. With Japan's focus on sustainability, we are excited to expand our offerings in the electric vehicle market. This investment in Aichi Prefecture positions us for further market penetration with Japan-based manufacturers of brake calipers, door handles, emblems, fasteners and other components."
CAMBRIDGE, UK – Can digital and/or high throughput manufacturing be applied to circuit boards? Can stretchable electronics be produced without sacrificing processing capabilities? Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) is an emerging manufacturing methodology that aims to resolve both of these questions. By combining aspects of printed and conventional electronics, specifically conductive inks patterned on a flexible substrate with mounted components such as integrated circuits (ICs), it represents a compelling 'best of both worlds' solution.
Matching Value Propositions to Applications
At its core, FHE is an alternative approach to circuit manufacturing. As such, FHE circuits can, in principle, be used wherever comparatively simple PCBs are needed (i.e., not complex multilayer circuits). Of course, replacing an established incumbent technology requires a compelling advantage that is typically application-dependent - do not expect FHE circuits to displace the PCB in most consumer electronics anytime soon.
Relative to existing flexible PCBs, FHE offers 3 distinct value propositions: Additive digital manufacturing, conformality/stretchability, and compatibility with roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing. The key to successful commercialization is finding a product-market fit where one or more of these value propositions either justifies switching or to facilitate a new application that would not otherwise be possible.
Additive Digital Manufacturing
Since conductive ink can be printed using digital methods such as inkjet or the emerging laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), FHE enables additive digital manufacturing. FHE is thus well suited to prototyping and very high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing - it could also potentially be deployed to facilitate versioning and even 'mass customization', the latter of which is difficult to envisage without digital manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is less wasteful than more established subtractive approaches and is thus especially advantageous when components and, hence, conductive traces are widely spaced. One such example is mounting LEDs on sheets for large area lighting, which can also be produced by R2R manufacturing.
Conformality/stretchability is a key value proposition of FHE. Whereas flexible PCBs often employ rigid islands for mounting packaged ICs and other rigid SMD components, FHE circuits can be more flexible since many components (e.g., sensors) can be printed. Furthermore, conductive inks that are either stretchable or can withstand bending enables a shorter bending radius and even stretchability.
The flexible (and potentially stretchable) form factor makes FHE ideally suited to wearable technology, including electronic skin patches and e-textiles since it improves wearer comfort relative to the current rigid boxes that contain conventional electronics. Challenges include washability and sustainability concerns relative to reusable rigid electronics mounted within a removable box.
For large-volume manufacturing, conductive traces can be printed using rotary analog methods such as flexography, gravure, and rotary screen printing. This enables very rapid deposition via R2R manufacturing, reducing costs. Cost benefits are especially significant if traces can be printed onto existing surfaces (such as packaging labels), eliminating the need for a dedicated structure.
Given the large volumes required and relatively low value-add per item, minimizing costs is essential for electronics to be adopted for smart packaging/RFID. While most RFID tags currently use stamped aluminum foil for antennas, printing with copper inks will reduce costs and improve sustainability. R2R FHE production is forecast to expand to more sophisticated smart packaging circuits with greater functionality, such as sensing.
IDTechEx's report "Flexible Hybrid Electronics 2024-2034" evaluates the status and prospects of FHE circuits, which we forecast to reach a market size of around US$1.8 billion by 2034 - more if the associated infrastructure, software, and services are included. Drawing on years of following the printed electronics industry and 40 interview-based company profiles, the report outlines trends and innovations in the materials, components, and manufacturing methods required. It explores the application sectors where FHE is most likely to be adopted, drawing on current activity and in-depth discussions with contract manufacturers and potential adopters. Granular market forecasts break down the opportunities for FHE circuits across 5 application sectors (automotive, consumer goods, energy, healthcare/wellness, and infrastructure/buildings/industrial) into 39 specific opportunities, such as skin temperature sensors and printed RFID tags.
To find out more about this IDTechEx report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/FHE.
Chandler, AZ – Rogers Corporation (NYSE:ROG) will exhibit at PCB West in Santa Clara, CA (booth #201) highlighting some of its high performance circuit materials used in multilayer structures which include a family of thin laminates and bonding materials.
PCB West provides in-depth technical training and access to a host of leading suppliers to the printed circuit board design, fabrication, and assembly industry. Held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, the event takes place September 20th from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Rogers’ Materials at Booth 201:
SpeedWave® 300P Ultra-Low Loss Prepreg. With the increasing need for stackup flexibility in high layer count designs for 5G millimeter wave, high resolution 77 GHz automotive radar, aerospace & defense and high speed digital designs, SpeedWave 300P prepreg offers a broad range of competitively priced high performance options for the circuit designer. SpeedWave 300P prepreg can be used to bond a variety of Rogers’ materials including CLTE-MW™, and RO4000® series laminates.
This prepreg system offers a low dielectric constant of 3.0 – 3.3 and a low dissipation factor of 0.0019 – 0.0022 at 10 GHz with stable performance over a broad frequency range. This material is offered in multiple spread and open weave glass styles and resin content combinations to maximize stackup options.
Thin copper foil can simplify the PCB fabrication steps required to consistently produce reliable millimeter wave radar PCBs. Utilizing 9 micron foils on antenna outer layers for millimeter wave radar PCBs can help PCB fabricators achieve tighter final feature tolerance for signal lines and antenna patterns. Additionally, starting with 9 micron copper on RO3003G2 laminate, instead of 18 micron copper, can reduce the copper reduction steps needed by the PCB fabricator to meet the final PCB copper thickness requirements after filled via formation.
RO4835IND™ LoPro® Laminates
RO4835IND LoPro thermoset laminates are specially designed for 60-81 GHz short-range industrial radar applications, where excellent electrical performance and cost-efficiency are equally important. These laminates also provide environmental reliability and interconnection stability, which are critical criteria for PCB material selection.
With a low insertion loss of 2.13dB/inch at 60 GHz, these laminates meet customers’ critical radar coverage requirements. The expanded weave fiber provides excellent Dk uniformity, and Rogers’ tight quality control provides low Dk variation from lot to lot. RO4835IND LoPro laminates are compatible with standard epoxy/glass (FR-4) processes and have a higher fabrication yield rate than conventional PTFE-based laminates. Low material and fabrication costs make RO4835IND LoPro laminates a cost-effective solution for industrial radar.
CLTE-MW laminates provide a cost-effective, high performance material for the circuit designer. This unique laminate system is well suited for millimeter wave applications that have limitations in thickness due to either physical or electrical constraints. The seven available thickness options from 3 mils to 10 mils ensure that ideal signal to ground spacing exists for today’s millimeter wave designs. CLTE-MW laminates are reinforced with spread glass, which along with a high filler loading help minimize the high frequency glass weave effects on electromagnetic wave propagation. The woven glass reinforcement also provides excellent dimensional stability. Other key features of the laminate include low z-axis CTE (30ppm/°C) for excellent plated through hole and component board level reliability.
CLTE-MW laminates are well suited for a range of applications including millimeter wave automotive and industrial radar antennas, 5G millimeter wave base stations and backhaul radios, and phased array radar systems.
RO4000® Products for Multilayer Structures:
Next generation products designed to meet the existing and emerging needs of advanced millimeter wave multilayer designs. RO4835T™ laminates, offered in a 2.5 mil, 3 mil and 4 mil core thickness, are 3.3 Dk, low loss, spread glass reinforced, ceramic filled thermoset materials designed for inner-layer use in multilayer board designs, and they complement RO4835™ laminates when thinner cores are needed.
RO4450T™ 3.2-3.3 Dk, low loss, spread glass reinforced, ceramic filled bonding materials were designed to complement RO4835T laminates and the existing RO4000 laminate family, and come in 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 or 6 mil thicknesses.
RO4835T laminates and RO4450T bonding materials exhibit excellent Dk control for repeatable electrical performance, a low z-axis expansion for plated through-hole reliability and are compatible with standard epoxy/glass (FR-4) processes. These materials are an excellent choice for multilayer designs requiring sequential laminations, as fully cured RO4000 products are capable of withstanding multiple lamination cycles. RO4835T laminates and RO4450T bondplys have the UL 94 V-0 flame retardant rating and are compatible with lead-free processes.
SANTA CLARA, CA – ROHM Semiconductor today announced a dedicated webpage for a new Product Longevity Program (PLP) which provides information on the estimated supply periods for products scheduled for long-term supply – suitable for industrial equipment and other applications with long lifecycles.
In recent years, semiconductors and electronic components have been increasingly installed in long-life applications, such as industrial equipment and automotive systems, requiring the disclosure of applicable products and clarification of supply periods to facilitate product selection.
ROHM products formally placed under the new Product Longevity Program (selected after considering the production system, equipment, material procurement status, and other factors) are disclosed, along with the estimated supply periods. The goal: improving searchability by increasing the efficiency of customer product selection. The PLP sets supply periods of 10 to 20 years for products (mainly power and analog) requiring long-term supply, with relevant information such as supply status posted on ROHM’s website. This information (target products, supply periods) will be updated annually to ensure the continuity of customer operations.
As the role of semiconductors in the industrial equipment and automotive markets continues to grow, ROHM will strive to provide long-term supply that meets market needs and contributes to the creation of a sustainable society through an expanding lineup of superior products.
‘Quality is our top priority at all times’ has always been ROHM’s goal. In line with a corporate objective of ‘contributing to the advancement and progress of culture through a consistent supply, under all circumstances, of high quality products in large volumes to the global market,’ ROHM has been supplying products that meet customer demands to achieve a sustainable society.
For more information on the PLP, please visit www.rohm.com/product-info/product-longevity-program