PCB (printed circuit board) is an industry with low technical threshold. However, 5G communication has high frequency and high speed characteristics. Therefore, 5G PCB requires higher technology and the industrial threshold is raised. At the same time, the output value is also raised. The industry believes that 5G large The PCB value of the base station is about 3 times that of the 4G base station.

Since 2019, the global deployment of 5G base stations will be accelerated, and the first year of the 5G era will begin. The demand for communication base stations in the new era has risen sharply, and it has flourished the related parts industry chain. The PCB industry chain is one of the popular fried chickens.

5G base station construction drives PCB demand

The preliminary estimate of research institute Prismark pointed out that in 2019, most PCB applications have experienced varying degrees of decline, but the output value of the server and data storage fields has increased by 3.1% to 4.97 billion US dollars. On the other hand, wired infrastructure and wireless infrastructure The increase in equipment is even higher, with annual growth rates of 6.2% and 7.1%, with an amount of US $ 4.67 billion and US $ 2.612 billion.

Prismark believes that the 5G era stimulates the demand for communication PCBs, and is dominated by 8-16 layers of multi-layer boards and super-high layer boards of more than 8 layers. It is estimated that the compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2024 will reach 6.5% and 8.8% respectively.

In terms of domestic demand in China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology estimates that the number of 5G base stations in China will exceed 130,000 in 2019, with 1.72 million new 4G base stations and a total of 5.44 million 4G base stations.

China Telecom operators believe that the number of 5G large base stations in China is about 1.2 to 1.5 times the number of 4G large base stations. Compared with the number of millions of base stations in the 4G era, 5G will exceed 10 million in large and small base stations.

5G PCB production is difficult, raising the industry threshold

The 5G PCB communication board needs to meet the characteristics of high frequency and high speed, so it has higher requirements for multi-layer high-speed PCB boards, metal substrates, etc. The industry generally believes that the price of 5G single base station PCB is greatly increased, and the value of each large base station PCB is about It is about 3 times that of 4G base stations.

The characteristics of high frequency, high speed, large inches and multiple layers make PCB not only rely on increasing the input of raw materials to complete the terminal demand. The production line to print these high-frequency and high-speed circuits not only requires high technology and equipment investment, but also requires the accumulation of experience of technicians and production personnel. At the same time, the client’s certification procedures are strict and cumbersome.

At present, China’s average 5G base station PCB product yield rate is less than 95%, but high technology also raises the industry threshold in disguise, which can increase the production and operation cycle of related companies.

In addition to PCBs, 5G also increases the demand for data calculation and storage

At the same time, as 5G technology gradually matures, data transmission traffic will show explosive growth, and the demand for storage and computing will also increase significantly. IDC estimates that the global data transmission volume will increase by more than 5 times from 2018 to 2025, while the growth rate of the Chinese market is higher than the global average, about 6 times. In 2018, the three largest telecom operators in China accounted for 51.6% of the data center market in China. It can be said that the largest demand for data centers in China is currently on the orders of these telecom operators.

As of now, the 5G-related investment budgets of China’s three major telecom operators have soared to RMB 180.3 billion this year, a growth rate of more than 300% compared with 2019. As the market’s expectations for base station construction increase, with reference to the second year of the 4G construction cycle, it is estimated that the construction of 5G base stations will exceed 800,000 this year, and related equipment suppliers will benefit first, including Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, China Xinke etc.

Looking at the upstream PCB industry, the industry pointed out that the current orders for the base station part have been arranged until June, and some of them have been postponed to Q2. In addition, the three major telecommunications companies in China began to call for bids after “unblocking”. At present, the total bid is about 480,000 base stations, and China Mobile ’s second phase of 5G wireless network equipment purchases have far exceeded market expectations, reflecting Future demand for PCB 5G hard boards is booming.

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