Global and China FPC Industry Reviewed in New Report Now Available at

17 May 2011 • by Natalie Aster

In PCB industry in 2009, the output value of flexible printed circuit board (FPC) dropped least in percentage, mainly due to a bit fall in FPC market. Entering 2010, FPC industry grows further, which is driven by the demand from smart phones, e-books, LED panels and notebook computers. Actually, any thin and small electronic product has strong demand for FPC.

Handset (especially smart phones and high-end cell phones) is the main driving force for FPC’s growth; also, consumer electronics contributed much to its growth. In consumer electronics (like laptop, PND, DC, LCD TV, plasma TV, and media player, etc.), FPC’s application will be further extended along with the consumers’ increasing demands for performance and super-thin volume. Of which, Laptop computer and flat-panel TV adopt LED backlight, and FPC is usually employed for connecting LED with main circuit.

Hard disk will also achieve growth in the market, but its growth is relatively small. So does the CD-ROM industry. But, Blue-ray Disc in CD-ROM industry witnessed fast growth, and the growth of printer market maintained stable.

In addition, electronics-based development of the automobile industry will become more and more remarkable, and FPC is usually applied with ECU due to its high reliability and reasonable size. Meanwhile, more and more ECUs will be applied in the automobile industry.

Report Details:

Global and China Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC) Industry Report, 2009-2010
Published: August 2010
Pages: 162
Price: USD 2,500.00

Report Sample Abstract:

Touch Panel
Touch panel is mainly applied in LCD screen above 2.5 inches (especially in smart phones), in order to control volume and save space, and its drive IC is usually packed on FPC by COF, and then connected with the main board.

IT sector enjoys the most development potential. Thanks to the promotion of WINDOWS7, the laptop with touch control will be enormously put into market. As a matter of fact, the computer with touch control has been marketed, namely, TABLET PC. Today, capacity multi-point touch control screen will help greatly promote the popularity of the TABLET PC. In commercial laptop sector, capacity multi-point touch control screen is possible to become the standard configuration due to its low cost.

In the future, market shares of the capacity-type touch screen will be further advanced, and it is predicted that the market shares may touch 30% in 2015. However, resistance-type touch screen’s market shares will decline to some extent, but it is sure to reach above 50% shares due to its low cost.

FPC Industry. Industry Chain
The raw materials account for over 60% of FPC cost and 95% of PI, the key raw materials of FPC, are controlled by Kaneka, Ube Industries and DuPont. Ube Industries mainly dominates FPC-extended TAB field while Kaneka and DuPont almost monopolize the traditional FPC field.

2L-FCCL has maintained nice development ever since 2003. According to the market research data of Japan’s JMS, the global demand of 2L-FCCL has experienced dramatic growth in recent years. Of which, the growth speed of double-side FPC is more outstanding, increased by approximate 1.4 folds from 2.1 million m. in 2004 to 5 million m. in 2007. Currently, most of the domestic FCCL enterprises (including Taiwan-funded enterprises) are engaged in 3L-FCCL and 2L-FCCL single-side FPC.

Large quantities of 2L FCCL are applied in fine-line Fine Pitch FPC, display COF FPC, etc., as a result, the growth of 2L FCCL is far higher than the market expectation.

In 2008, the world’s FCCL output value was US$1.2 billion (TWD36.5 billion), and the output value of Taiwan turned out to be US$130 million (TWD4 billion) with the global market share of about 10.85%. Of which, Taiflex ranked the ninth place in the world with 8.2% or so market share and near 33.76% domestic market share. Japan is the global main FCCL production region at present, mainly focusing on the development of 2L FCCL new technology and process, while transferring 3L FCCL orders to Taiwan, South Korea and even Mainland China.

Nippon Steel Chemical, Japan’s and the world’s largest 2L FCCL manufacturer, adopts coating method. Its monthly output capacity of 2L FCCL has increased to 7.5 million m., approximately occupying 60% of the global total output of adhesive-free 2L FCCL; of which, fine lined COF is another important market of Nippon Steel Chemical’s 2L FCCL. With the rapid popularization of large LCD TV in recent one to two years, the demand for IC-driven COF of LCD has boosted up.

FPC Industry by Region
With excellent technology and quality, Japan is the deserved No.1 worldwide and it will continue to hold 40% market share in the following 5-10 years. South Korea’s FPC industry is not so well-known but of large scale with Samsung and LG ranking the second and third position worldwide and HLDS and TSST being the Top 2 CD-ROM manufacturers all over the world. The United States is still powerful in FPC field: M-FLEX is strongly developed under adverse circumstances; Parlex has a favorable position in car FPC field owing to the strength of its parent company; and 3M has steady performance due to stable military orders. Taiwan manufacturers have the richest downstream resources and have ranked the Top 3 in nearly all electronic product fields except hard disk. The dynamic fields like LED, smart phone, and touch screen have laid a solid foundation for Taiwan’s FPC companies.

More information can be found in the report “Global and China Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC) Industry Report, 2009-2010” by ResearchInChina.

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