With the iPad 2 scheduled to launch in early April, Apple has expanded the number of companies tasked with manufacturing the device’s printed circuit boards (PCB) from three to 7 in order to accommodate accelerating demand.
Digitimes reports that the newly contracted manufacturers include Compeq Manufacturing, Gold Circuit Electronics (GCE), Meiko and Nan Ya PCB. These companies will reportedly begin shipping any-layer HDI boards in small volumes starting at the end of Februrary with mass shipments to begin in April.
Any-layer HDI PCBs are seeing growing adoption among smartphones and tablet PCs. Industry observers have predicted a shortage of such components during 2011 due to the rising demand and several supply side issues. These include challenges relating to yield rates for 4-and-above-layer boards with complicated circuit designs, and supply constraints for laser drilling and electroplating equipment.