Experience the convenience of savoring instant popcorns, woken up by an alarm, monitoring heart rate while on the run, watching the favorite shows, swiftly googling an unsolvable problem, withdrawing cash from ATMs, monitoring one’s child’s health as well as facilitating elderly care, embarking on hassle-free trips to the safeguarding of national sovereignty, technology has effectively undergone a colossal digital revolution that is driving the demand for consumer electronics which not only have become affordable but also consume less energy. Further due to growing penetration of internet connectivity and advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a whole, human residences are not limited to national boundaries but have transcended barriers. These advancements have also propelled the demand for smart homes, industries, connected healthcare, autonomous driving, and smart cities. This has led to the designing and fabrication of powerful yet compact semiconductors that have permeated almost every industry vertical which are inclusive of but not limited to telecommunication, healthcare, consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace, and defense, among others.
Now, it is a well-acknowledged fact that semiconductors are not available to the end-user as standalone components but is constituent of semiconductor surface-mount devices that are a part of the larger end-use products Viz. a cellular phone. Thus, to address the high volume of demand surface mount technology (SMT) is the preferred means for both designing and manufacturing in the semiconductor industry, which is reportedly known for ensuring a faster time-to-market. Besides the consumer demand-side factors mentioned above, demand for SMT by designers are mainly driven by factors like substantial weight reduction, space-saving, and electrical noise reduction, among others, and demand for SMT by manufacturers is fueled by factors such as reduced board cost, material handling costs, and a streamlined and well-managed manufacturing process. Fast-forwarding to the present, COVID 19 has brought about a marked shift in the manner in which daily functions used to take place.
Profitmaking institutions, educational entities, and businesses have collectively driven the need for web connectivity and a reliable means of communication which are cellular devices and/or personnel computers. These unprecedented developments have further fueled the need for semiconductors which in turn is anticipated to fuel the growth of the SMT market to stratospheric heights. Another reason which makes COVID 19 a catalyst in the SMT market growth is the demand for ventilators of monumental proportions. Further, the rate of development pertaining to non-contact diagnostics solutions that are capable of safeguarding the health workers from unknowingly contracting infections have also contributed to the growth of the market.
Further, in a world where peace is maintained with the aid of deterrents of peace and its continuous developments, it necessitates national governments to secure military budgets of elephantine proportions. A share of this budget is directed to aerospace, space and defense research in technology where semiconductor surface-mount devices are an integral part, thus making the employment of SMT an inseparable aspect of the entire defense value chain. Moreover, innovations in robotics, quantum computing, nanotechnology, material science, internet of things, biotechnology, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence as well as 3D printing are poised to transform the defense industries in unexampled ways. Within the ambit of defense, a healthy contribution towards the surface mount technology market growth is expected to stem from the need for securitization and militarization of cyberspace. This need is substantiated by the recent ransomware attacks as well as identity thefts through malware. Such is the importance of cybersecurity that from a regional perspective that the EU recently adopted the EU Cybersecurity Act in 2019 which made the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) a permanent government agency with a reported budget allocation of €17 million for 2020 as proposed cybersecurity budget for 2021-27 which is to the tune of €2 billion.
This budget allocation will reportedly cover the bolstering of the EU's cybersecurity industry, financing state-of-the-art cybersecurity equipment, and infrastructure, safeguarding the digital economy, society, and democracies through polling expertise. Further need for cybersecurity doesn’t stem from the requirement of combating cybercrimes and protecting critical infrastructure only. It is also to safeguard the vital lifelines of the economy by protecting the backbone that comprises electronic communications networks and services and network and information systems, the rationale that has been enshrined in the EU Cybersecurity Act, among others. EU’ s commitment to lead the next generation of cybersecurity and digital technologies is also well pronounced in the act. EU also aspires to develop companies pertaining to cybersecurity to give itself ta competitive advantage in the global market. It also envisions close cooperation with research institutions and universities to minimize its dependence on foreign security and services simultaneously enabling the strengthening of the supply chain within the union. In view of the above, it is anticipated that the global surface mount technology market will experience a meteoric rise.
Before all foregoing certain recent market developments are being elucidated below:
April 2018 – Expansion
Xiaomi had announced its first plant that was dedicated to local manufacturing of PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) units in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in partnership with Foxconn was operational. In this manner, Xiaomi anticipated its manufacturing operations contribute 50% value if the smartphone.
September 2018 – Investment
Teledyne Advanced Electronic Solutions (AES), a business unit of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE: TDY), which caters to Defense, Space and Commercial sectors around the world through its comprehensive portfolio of highly engineered solutions had made a substantial capital assets-investment in its production facility in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Reportedly monikered as a technical refresh, the investment comprised three Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machines, among others.
December 2018 – Facility expansion
REDARC Electronics an advanced electronics manufacturing firm based out of South Australian has officially opened its expanded factory in Adelaide suburb Lonsdale, which was inaugurated by the then Minister for Defense Christopher Pyne and SA Premier Steven Marshall. Facilitated by a federal government Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program grant which was to the tune of $2.5 million, the expenditure also includes the purchase of a surface mount technology line for mounting electronic components. It also entailed an electromagnetic compatibility chamber and a vibration test lab that enables highly accelerated lifetime testing of products.