Soaring demand from consumer electronics is expected to push sales for anisotropic conductive films, according to a new report from Fact.MR, a market intelligence firm. In fact, anisotropic conductive film sales are set to expand at nearly 11% between 2021 and 2031, equaling US$ 277 million in revenues.
Anisotropic conductive film, or ACF, is a lead-free, environmentally-friendly adhesive interconnect system that’s typically used in liquid-crystal display manufacturing to make the the electrical and mechanical connections.
Based on the report, the surge in ACF is primarily owing to the automotive industry’s increasing use of these films in smart graphic displays and vehicle dashboards. The rising demand for electric vehicles (EV) are also spurring the ACF market.
Technological advancements — such as 5G technology and miniaturization in electronic devices — require advanced adhesives for reliable bonding and connections that are sustainable.
“Advanced technology used in electronic devices and increasing miniaturization in the same for finer pitch adhesives are prompting the anisotropic conductive films manufacturers to increase sales of electronic interconnecting tools,” explained a Fact.MR analyst.
Significant application in vehicle display, followed by smart phones and tablets, are adding to the anisotropic conductive film sales.
Interestingly, in December 2020, Dexerials announced a new development and commercialization of product, PAF50C6, as a new particle-arrayed anisotropic conductive film line. It’s called, ArrayFIX, which is designed to provide highly reliable connections and that are suitable for miniaturized terminal connections in camera modules or touch panels.
Also, more recently in March 2021, 3M announced that WRAPMATE — an end-to-end digital platform for consumers to get their graphic projects designed, printed, and installed — is launching a first-of-its kind e-commerce platform for vehicle graphics project. This new technology allows vehicle wrap customers to receive exact pricing information before purchase.
Several challenges occur with technological advancements in electronic devices. To make conductive connections in such devices, new demands have arisen from electronic component manufacturers — such as for film that can connect the metal foil of electromagnetic shielding parts to non-heat-resistant components.
Two key requirements in making such improvements are low-temperature and low-pressure connections to electrodes and high dimensional stability before and after the connections. Since anisotropic conductive films are more effective than soldering for low-heat resistance components, improving the properties of anisotropic conductive film would provide new sales opportunities for manufacturers.
Another key opportunity enhancing demand for anisotropic conductive film is 5G wireless or mobile networks, which is the proposed next-generation telecommunication standard. The industry is expected to reach over U.S.$600 billion by 2025.
This standard is based on mm-wave communications with a wave length of 1-10 mm in the frequency range of ~30 to 300 GHz. It is estimated that around 50 billion devices were connected to the Internet in 2020, which has resulted in high density of connected devices per unit area, and requires high data speeds.
Key system technologies that 5G technology would enable include Wi-Fi Cellular and Backhaul Communications, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications for ADAS, Internet of Things (IoT), Massive MIMO, and Cognitive Radio, which will ultimately heighten demand for anisotropic conductive film and offer increased opportunity to manufacturers to grow alongside.
Key takeaways of the report include:
- Chip-on-glass to acquire maximum share attributed to its high use in smart phones and tablets
- Growing demand for smartphones and tablets continue to create anisotropic conductive films sales
- By film width, less than 1.25 mm width to remain dominant
- U.S. to witness aggrandizing sales, with growing anisotropic conductive-film application in medical industry
- Owing to the surge in demand from automotive industry, Germany to be the epicenter of European market
To learn more and download the report, click here.