A Breakdown of Circuit Board Design Around the World

November 21, 2016The SnapEDA Team

When you think about electronics design, you would probably guess that the vast majority is taking place in the U.S., India, China, Germany or Japan. But our data tells a different story.

We discovered that design & innovation is happening everywhere, and that the electronics design industry is vast, global, and widely distributed.

Let’s take a look at where PCBs are being designed*, and what it means for our industry.

Since launching SnapEDA, designers have visited our site in 191 countries, with the United States being the most popular, accounting for 25% of visitors. Unsurprisingly, Canada**, India, Germany, United Kingdom, and Russia follow closely behind.***

But here’s where it gets interesting. These countries, in aggregate, account for just 47% of our visitors. This means that over half our visitors comes from the other 185 countries, and not any one of these countries account for more than 3% of visitors.

Why is this interesting?

It points to the democratization we’re seeing in the electronics industry, being driven by more accessible tools (development boards, easy-to-use CAD tools), cheaper and more accessible electronics components, and the increased interest in electronics thanks to platforms like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. As desktop PCB printers mature, I predict it will only continue to strengthen this trend.

It used to be that only large technology companies or research institutions (and hobbyists) were making electronics. These companies were often centralized in the world’s tech centres.

However, as the barriers are coming down, we’ve seeing an emergence of mid-size companies, startups, and very interestingly, non-traditional companies and talent delving into circuit board design. For example, one of our customers is a mobile software engineer at a popular clothing brand, both a role and company that would not traditionally be involved with PCB design.

At SnapEDA, we’re excited about this trend, both for our industry, and also because we look forward to seeing the incredible products, applications, and progress that will happen in countries around the world.

* Data collected via SnapEDA’s analytics. Keep in mind, our website is only in English at the moment, so data will be skewed based on that. Further, we don’t yet support some tools which are popular in Asia and Europe, such as Zuken, or other tools like Proteus used in China and Russia. The purpose of this post is to show the diversity in terms of countries where PCB design is taking place, rather than the accuracy of market size in each country.

** SnapEDA started in Canada before moving to Silicon Valley

*** China is under-represented here because SnapEDA is not yet accessible in China.

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