Industry trends in PCB design

Oct 13, 2022

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) impact our lives in more than one way, in fact touching every moment of our lives – from mobile phones we wake up to each morning to geysers, toasters, cars, laptops, treadmills, food processors, televisions, entertainment systems, lighting consoles, massagers and everything else we touch and experience, there is a PCB driving functionality, helping us with our tasks.

With automation and cutting edge electronics getting increasingly pervasive, industries from aerospace to medical electronics to commercial electronics, are heavily embracing automation to deliver advanced capability and functionality. This has led to a demand for newer materials, faster and more efficient components, improved PCB design and manufacturing technologies. PCB manufacturing, a highly competitive and technology driven space is continuously evolving. Here are some of the recent trends.

High Density Interconnect

High Density Interconnect (HDI) is a manufacturing approach that addresses the ever-increasing demand for minaturised products with more functionality, particularly in terms of routing traces. This feature enables fewer layers in the PCB stack and high-speed signal transmission. HDI manufacturing faces challenges with fabricating traces considering that a larger number of traces could be routed within a smaller area, leading to aspects such as noise and interference. Variants of this concept include Every Layer Interconnect (ELIC) and Any Layer Interconnect (ALIC), also set to experience robust growth over the years.

High Power Boards (48V and above)

There is a growing focus on producing higher power PCBs and this includes boards with up to 48V power supply. These voltage levels are being driven by a growth in solar energy whose panels operate typically at 24V/ 48V and electric vehicles (EVs) where the voltages are in 100s of Volts. These boards need to handle very high current as well to address these new requirements. High power PCBs are required to house larger components like battery packs and also handle interference issues more effectively. These boards also demand different packaging and mounting needs along with heat dissipation requirements.

IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast growing paradigm of controlling devices and appliances over the net. This multi-layer design strategy demands fast wireless communication between layers and elements. IoT is powering smart homes, offices and remote monitoring/ control. One of the key challenges in the manufacturing of IoT PCBs is ensuring the various standards and regulations are met as defined by the governing bodies and authorities. These boards also call for a very long life in harsh environments.

Flex PCBs and Stretchable Electronic Circuits

Flex and rigid-flex PCBs are the new kids on the block in PCB development and are gaining excellent market share. It is predicted that in the next couple of years, about a third of all PCBs manufactured would be flex. Flex boards deliver increased capability, small size, improved reliability and more options in terms of materials. There are however a few important aspects to be considered about flex board manufacturing before deciding on this for your project. Stretchable Electronics are the new kids on the block – promising a paradigm shift in electronics circuit design, application and use. These stretchable circuits can be used across different applications like wearable Healthcare, industrial use, automotive, etc.

Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Components

COTS components or Commercial-Off-The-Shelf components are one of the other emerging trends towards trying to usher in a bit of standardization and reliability of components in critical space-based environments. Traditionally, components used in the manufacturing for space applications have been subject to stringent scrutiny. With the commercialization of the industry, there may be a reduction in the regulation of components. An example of this is the standardization of USB type C specifications for charging infrastructure of small devices.

Syrma SGS – A proven EMS partner with expertise, logistics and product mix

With a proven track record spanning 40 years, Syrma SGS is one of India’s most innovative and efficient companies in Electronic System Design and Manufacturing. Syrma provides a high-mix, flexible volume, precision OEM manufacturing. Our one-stop-solution electronics manufacturing services (EMS) includes product design, quick prototyping, PCB assembly, Box build, repair & rework and automatic tester development services. Syrma SGS also offers OEM solutions for RFID tags & inlays and high-frequency magnetic components. We serve global OEMs in 20+ countries and have supplied several million units to date. We are part of the Make in India initiative of the Government of India and leverage the Indian manufacturing ecosystem for our clients, offering them distinct competitive advantage to win in the global marketplace.