Upstream suppliers count on trends in 5G, electric vehicles, robotics and drones to revitalize demand and accelerate roadmapped projects.
Uncertainties brought about by the pandemic have not dimmed the market prospects of China’s manufacturing sector for electronic components, say industry sources. Manufacturers are positive the electronics industry will pick up from where it left off and pursue previously announced technology trends. They remain confident their continuous product development focusing on reliability and stability will provide them with leverage when businesses return and restore traction.
Many have jump-started expansion plans after putting them on hold in the first half of 2020, and will carry on in 2021. They continue to invest in machine acquisition.
A wider 5G deployment almost assures a boom in many segments starting in 2021. The global 5G market is projected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2026 from $31 billion in 2020, according to ReportsnReports. In China, up to 680,000 base stations were built in 2020, with the number forecast to reach 7.6 million by 2025.
In RF connectors and cable assemblies, the race to develop ultraminiature and higher-frequency products is ongoing. This is not only to match device miniaturization but also to meet greater data transmission requirements. Fine-pitch, multi-core and SMD interconnects are currently R&D objectives.
Fiber-optic patch cords have also been trending toward solutions that can handle 5G download and upload speeds. Chinese companies plan to continue taking advantage of demand for units with MPO connectors, which are forecast to become mainstream in 40G and 100G networks. They also have multimode OM5 cables on their agenda, which support up to 100Gbps transmission speed and can carry as many as four wavelengths, fully meeting requirements in 5G and future networks.
For a value-added feature, more smartphones working with 5G will be using AMOLED displays. Tier-one suppliers of this screen technology are now moving toward a hybrid of low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) and indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) backplanes, following the lead of Apple and Samsung. Chinese companies are also into flexible AMOLED displays, which are growing in popularity.
Electric vehicles and 5G devices will fuel demand for chip resistors in 0201 and 01005 sizes, and high-precision types with ±0.01 percent tolerance and 5ppm/C temperature coefficient. The same is true for multilayer ceramic capacitors, which are ultrasmall and have high withstand voltage, high temperature resistance, and wide capacitance range. Miniaturization efforts continue, led by large companies that aim to offer 01005 and eventually 008004 units. Boosting capacitance is also a goal. Suppliers hope to develop X5R and Y5V BME ceramic capacitors with more than 100µF, which could replace aluminum and chip tantalum capacitors.
This article is an excerpt from “Outlook 2021: Industry optimistic of steady recovery” in the January 2021 issue of Global Sources Electronic Components. To read the full article for free, visit globalsources.com/magazines