Flexible Circuits: Materials and Applications
The worldwide flex circuit market is estimated to be approximately $5.9 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 13.5% to reach $11.2 billion in 2010.
Growth primarily will be driven by a strong demand for higher density and smaller-size devices. This will lead to a rise in demand for flex circuits in the digital electronics industry.
Polyimide provides excellent all-round properties to flex circuits, and thus, dominates the total flex circuit market with a 90% share. Polyesterbased flex circuits are the second most popular in the flex circuit industry.
Single- and double-sided circuits dominate the market with the trend to lighter and higher-density circuits with reduced line widths. Multilayered circuits are expected to grow slowly with demand in niche applications.
Today, flex circuit technology is an enabling technology for several important applications in a diverse set of industries such as telecommunications, computer applications, automotive, medical and aerospace. As a result, demand for flex circuits has grown rapidly. At the same time, the performance pressures on flex circuits to reduce their size, weight and assembly time and costs, while continuously enhancing their functionality, also have increased.
This BCC technical market report analyzes the needs of different applications, the key drivers of the industry, as well as the factors that could hamper growth prospects of the industry. The study determines the current status of the worldwide industry, and assesses its growth potential to 2010. It focuses on the key flex circuit products, based on layer count, line density or substrate type, and the growth potential of the same.
In addition, the report also explores applications for flex circuits in various industry verticals and upcoming applications that could boost the industry. The importance of intellectual property in this field also is assessed, while analyzing the industry.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The report contains:
- Discussion of all major technological issues, including the latest industry trends
- Analyses of each flex circuit product
- Determination of current market status, the impact on future markets and growth forecasts through 2010
- Coverage of the major vertical markets along with the various applications and subproducts in each vertical
- Analysis of current patent activities and patent evaluations
- An examination of the regulatory and environmental issues and value chains
- Profiles of major companies in the industry.
BCC presents an analysis of the flex circuit market by estimating the revenues generated by each of the constituent products in 2004. Based on a survey of industry experts and companies involved in different flex circuit products, we have analyzed and estimated the growth prospects of the industry. On the basis of this analysis, we have estimated the revenue figures for the period 2005 through 2010.
All types of flex circuits in use have been analyzed separately to arrive at the estimates for the flex circuit industry as a whole. The industry has been evaluated based on the individual products in use and also by the applications that use flex circuits, to present a complete picture.
BCC conducted a survey of approximately 20 companies to obtain data for this study; developers and manufacturers of flex substrates, flex circuits, communications products, computer peripherals, and certain other industrial products were also included. Interviews and discussions with industry experts helped develop a comprehensive understanding of the flex circuits market and to formulate our market estimates. In addition, data from companies' financial statements, industry associations, and government sources was also compiled.
U.S. market of polyester and polyimide flexible circuits has been estimated at $1,375 million, which should increase to $2,492 million in 2006 for an annualized average growth rate (AAGR) of 12.6%.
Polyimide dominates the production of flexible circuits in the U.S. today. The polyimide market is forecast to grow from $925 million in 2001 to $1,450 million in 2006 with an AAGR of 9.4%.
The smaller polyester market is forecast to grow from $175 million in 2001 to $239 million in 2006 with an AAGR of 6.4%. Over the next 5 years, the dominance of polyimide in flexible circuit production should only continue.