Contract prices of notebook computer PCBs (printed circuit boards) have fallen 5-10% from the second quarter to below US$0.11 per square foot, weighted down by overproduction and clients pressing for lower prices. PCB makers said the six-layer board for notebooks has become a large-volume commodity after companies ramped up production of the higher-margin board this year. They expressed concerns that Hewlett-Packard (HP), under its cost-cutting goals, may further whittle down notebook contract prices and in turn, limit room for PCB price growth. The PC giant’s move to shift computer production to China may also hurt the industry if it decides to source PCB supply from there.
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