Hardware

Rising prices for copper foil will significantly raise the cost of inexpensive motherboards

From time to time, Taiwanese sources mention new negative factors that could aggravate the already difficult situation in the electronic components industry. The rise in prices for copper foil, which is actively used in the production of PCB (the basis of any printed circuit board), will be more felt by buyers of inexpensive motherboards, but in the upper price segment this factor will simply drown in the more noticeable influence of others.

Image source: LCY Technology

Image source: LCY Technology

Publishing a resource DigiTimes on the topic of rising prices for copper foil and copper-clad laminate, from which printed circuit boards of electronic devices are made, made the site representatives Tom’s hardware try to determine how this factor will affect the cost of motherboards and video cards – products that make the most of copper foil and textolite. In the case of video cards, prices are already high due to demand from participants in the cryptocurrency market, and at current levels, they will not feel the influence of prices for copper foil.

In part, this statement is also true for expensive motherboard models. In the structure of their prime cost, the price of active electronic components significantly outweighs the share of passive elements and PCB. Since the fourth quarter of 2020, the cost of copper foil has increased by 35%. Suppose, if an average motherboard with an eight-layer PCB uses 184 grams of copper, then the cost of this material has grown from $ 1.42 to $ 1.70 since December last year, which is not that much. Another thing is that overhead costs need to be added to this amount, and then, in the form of copper foil, the share of this material in the cost of the motherboard can already increase to $ 54. In a word, even if the cost of foil has increased by 10% since the end of last year, then in the price segment from $ 100 to $ 200 the resulting increase in the price of the motherboard will be noticeable for the target consumer audience.

Copper in the conditions of electrification of transport, the transition to “green” energy and the spread of 5G communication networks will be a popular material, and prices will continue to rise. In this case, there is no adequate alternative to copper as a conductor, so you will have to get used to the rise in prices for electronics.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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