September 18, 2023

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the KPCA show (International PCB and Semiconductor Packaging Industry Exhibition). Our partner based in Korea, Trinity Engineering Co., Ltd., actively participated in this event, where they showcased Elsyca's software solutions and also provided insights into the state of the Korean PCB industry.

In 2022, the domestic PCB market achieved a significant milestone with a total performance of 12.9 trillion won, representing a remarkable 6.9% increase compared to previous years. This growth was primarily driven by the increasing demand for semiconductor substrates, which saw a notable performance boost of 10.8%, contributing significantly to the overall market performance.

However, it's important to note that demand growth was primarily concentrated in specific product categories, such as semiconductor PCBs, 5G-related PCBs, and RF PCBs. In contrast, the HDI PCB market experienced a slowdown despite the emergence of a new market for foldable phones, which, for now, remains relatively small in scale. The electrical equipment sector did not exhibit a significant rebound. On a positive note, substrates for ultra-high multi-layer and semiconductor modules demonstrated consistent performance improvement.

Looking ahead to 2023, the growth trajectory of the PCB market is expected to revolve around semiconductor substrates and 5G-related PCBs, with a projected market value of KRW 547.5 billion. This represents a 7.1% increase compared to 2022. Conversely, the downward trend in the smartphone, PC, TV, and electronic applications sectors is anticipated to persist throughout 2023. As a result, there are currently no plans for additional capital investments in surface treatment processing facilities.

On a more optimistic note, the emergence of smart technologies is driving the production of cutting-edge high-density thin-film PCBs. With the rising demand for advanced vehicles, including new energy vehicles, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, V2X communication, and ADR (data security), there is a new opportunity for growth in the semiconductor and semiconductor packaging sectors. This, in turn, is expected to fuel market growth for advanced PCBs that cater to applications focused on safety, convenience, and connectivity.