Samsung Electro-Mechanics has begun reshuffling its PCB (printed circuit board) business. It plans to shut down its RFPCB (rigid-flexible PCB) that is mostly used for smartphones and start focusing on IC (integrated circuit) substrates.
According to the industry on Sunday, it is reported that Samsung Electro-Mechanics plans to shut down its RFPCB business by end of this year. It plans to start selling related facilities in June and gradually cut back production of RFPCBs and completely shut down the business by the end of this year. It is reported that the company has also set up a group that will be in charge of related tasks.
RFPCB indicates a PCB that combines a rigid substrate and a flexible substrate into single substrate and it is usually used for display module, camera module, and smartphone.
The company’s RFPCBs are mainly used for smartphones of Samsung Electronics and Apple. They are attached to Samsung Display’s OLED panels which are then used to make final products.
It is reported that Samsung Electro-Mechanics decided to shut down its RFPCB business due to falling profits that are caused by stagnant growth stemming from saturation of the smartphone market, intensified competition between companies, and reduction in unit cost of production. In 2019, the company decided to shut down HDI (high-density interconnected) printed circuit board production due to the same reason.
The company is made up of three business sectors. The sectors are divided into a ‘component’ sector that focuses on MLCC (multi-layer ceramic capacitor), a ‘module’ sector that focuses on production of camera modules and communication modules, and a ‘substrate’ sector that focuses on semiconductor package substrate and RFPCB. It is reported that the substrate sector takes up about 20% ($1.5 billion (1.7 trillion KRW)) of the company’s sales while the RFPCB business brings in about $360 million (400 billion KRW) in sales annually.
As the company decided to shut down RFPCB production after it decided to shut down HDI production in 2019, the company’s substrate sector is expected to be made up of only semiconductor package substrate. The semiconductor package substrate market has high technological entry barrier and it has recently been showing an upward trend due to global semiconductor shortage. At the end of last year, Samsung Electro-Mechanics was able to obtain additional orders from Qualcomm due to a fire that occurred at Unimicron Technology’s plant. It is expected that the company will focus its resources on its semiconductor package substrate business while withdrawing from RFPCB business.
Regarding a possible withdrawal from RFPCB business, Samsung Electro-Mechanics stated that while it is looking into many different options, it has yet to make any final decision.
However, according to the industry, it is reported that Samsung Display already decided on a RFPCB manufacturer that will replace the position that Samsung Electro-Mechanics currently holds.
Staff Reporter Yun, Geonil | firstname.lastname@example.org