EHS Market has released December European purchasing Managers results and Eurostat has released November production data for Europe.
- Eurozone PMI dropped to a 35-month low (Chart 1) as Germany declined further (Chart 2) and France moved into manufacturing contraction (Chart 3).
- Chart 4 summarizes the December vs. November 2018 performance of key European countries’ Purchasing Managers indices.
November Eurostat production indices:
- Industrial production declined for the Eurozone as a whole and Germany, France, Italy and the UK (Chart 5).
- Motor Vehicle continued to contract (Chart 6).
- Aerospace production increased from October (Chart 7).
- The index Instruments and Appliances for Measuring, Testing and Navigation dropped sharply (Chart 8) but the Irradiation, Electromedical, and Electrotherapeutic production equipment edged up slightly from October (Chart 9).
- Communication equipment production was relatively flat from the prior month (Chart 10).
- Loaded board output was flat versus October (Chart 11).
- Wiring device production continued to drop from its May 2019 near-term high (Chart 12) and the European leading indicator points to further contraction ahead (Chart 13).
- Semiconductor shipments to Europe remain well above end market demand on a 3/12 growth basis (Chart 14).
- Chart 15 shows the 3/12 growth of the European electronic supply. Most series are at or near zero growth.
Chart 16 summarizes the annualized (12/12) and 3-month (3/12) growth of the European electronic supply chain through November.
Sources: Eurostat and www.markiteconomics.com as analyzed by Custer Consulting Group
AI, 5G to Boost Penetration of HDI PCBs in Notebooks
Notebooks are getting smart along with the growing application of 5G and AI technologies, driving up demand for high-density interconnect (HDI) PCBs to support upgrades in designs, according to industry sources.
Processor upgrades are the major driver for increasing penetration of HDI board technology in notebooks as a result of increasingly intense competition among major chipmakers, the sources said, adding that even mobile chip giant Qualcomm already released in early December 2018 its 7nm Snapdragon 8cx processor for notebooks to challenge Intel’s strong presence in the sector.
At the just-concluded CES 2019, Intel launched Project Athena to push notebook makers to create advanced models with 5G and AI and announced that its 10nm Ice Lake processors will arrive sometime this year. Vendors including Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sharp are all working on Project Athena, and devices will include Chrome- and Windows-powered models.
Both Intel and Qualcomm have highlighted the functions of constant Internet connectivity, long battery life and instant responsiveness in their new-generation notebook processors. And HDI PCBs, boasting thinner lines, tighter space, smaller borehole diameter and a higher number of layers than general PCBs, can best support the functions, industry sources commented.
The sources continued that HDI technology can also address the overheating and high signal loss issues facing notebooks under super-high data transmission speed in the 5G era.
Meanwhile, SSD prices have dropped significantly along with lingering NAND flash price falls, pushing up penetration of SSDs in notebooks and providing one more outlet for HDI PCBs as SSD modules usually adopt HDI boards, the sources indicated.