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Automotive PCB Manufacturers: Ultimate Guide to Automotive Printed Circuit Board

Posted:10:37 AM September 21, 2022 writer: NextPCB

What is Automotive PCB?

Automotive circuit boards include central control circuit boards, ignition control circuit boards, power amplifier circuit boards, audio-visual media player boards, etc. according to their function and region. Due to brand manufacturers, electronic buses, etc., many circuit modules and backplanes do not have a unified standard name.

With the increasing demand of consumers for the functionality, safety, comfort, and entertainment of automobiles, especially for autonomous driving, the proportion of hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles in new energy vehicles has also increased by a considerable amount. The demand for PCB circuit board products for new energy vehicles has also increased.

What types of PCBs are found in automotive electronics?

Electric vehicles have consistent, essential, and innovative requirements. Today, Tesla is leading the wave of innovation. However, innovations in electric vehicle manufacturing and design require durable, reliable, and rugged PCB applications. Therefore, this is difficult to do without professiopnal automotive PCB manufacturers. High-performance automotive PCB requirements can significantly withstand harsh driving conditions and could be a catalyst for innovation in the growing new energy drive systems.

Electric vehicle PCB demand mainly comes from powertrain-related equipment (vehicles, battery management systems (BMS), voltage conversion systems (DC-DC, inverters, etc.), and other high and low voltage devices). In addition, mmWave radar is an important sensing device for realizing intelligent and autonomous driving and has obvious advantages compared with other sensors.

High power copper plated PCB is one of the most widely good to use PCB applications in emerging industries. Flexible PCBs, HDI PCBs, and LED PCBs are good to use in AC/DC power converters, audio and video, digital displays, braking systems, automatic dimming, electronic mirror controls, automotive lighting, engine timing systems, and remote diagnostic systems.

HDI Automotive PCB Manufacturers

HDI PCB technology is also known as 'microvia', and sometimes as 'sequential build-up' or simply 'build-up' technology. We refer to it as HDI, following the approach of the IPC standard that defined it.

It come on on the use of via holes less than 150µm (0.006in) in diameter that can go to adjacent layers of a PCB without having to go through all layers, smaller than are easy to drill mechanically. It is commonly called a "microvia" and can be buried (buried microvia) or sealed (blind microvia).

Microvias come on by laser-drilling and through-plating vias between each pair of adjacent copper layers before they are glued together to make the finished PCB. When the end result is a via hole that only connects between internal copper layers, it is a buried microvia.

When the result is a via that he connects to the outer layer on one side of the PCB but not the other, it is a blind microvia. Traditionally drilled and plated vias (thru-hole/plating; THP) through the PCB can also be good to use, along with buried and blind vias.

The hole diameter is below 0.15mm, the ring diameter of the grommet is below 0.25mm, and the contact density is More than 130 dots/square inch and more than 117 inches/square inch wiring density.

Rigid-flex board

The combination of the rigid board and the flexible board can not only provide the support of the rigid board but also have the bending characteristics of the flexible board. Therefore, it can meet the requirements of three-dimensional assembly.

Flexible-rigid boards are the most complex connecting structures in EA. A simple GZHP has one rigid and one flexible layer. Complex GBPs can have 20 or more connecting sets of oneway and two-way GBPs between rigid external PBs.

The creation of GPP and GZHP is due to the need to miniaturize EA; the disproportion between the volume and mass of ERP (unpackaged and surface-mounted components) placed on rigid PCBs and the volume and mass of rigid PCBs.

The need for high reliability in the implementation of unique and complex technical solutions, for example, in onboard EA, radar systems, implantable cardiac stimulators, hearing aids, video cameras, cameras, i.e., where tight arrangement in three planes and trouble-free operation in hard environmental conditions.

Flexible Board

Printed circuit boards made of flexible substrates consisting of metallic conductor foils, adhesives, and insulating the edge base film are composed of three materials. Furthermore, their advantages are that it is thin, flexible, and can be assembled three-dimensionally.

Generally, it is a PCB that has a flexible base or a PCB that uses a flexible base material. Flexible PP is analogous to rigid PP in terms of location flex pcb, flex pcb, flex-gesture printed conductors, pads, and other printed wiring elements, for the placement of ERI (mainly frameless and surface-mounted components - SMC). Subsequently, it has a flexible base 0.1-0.5 mm thick, can bend, work for kinks and take on a different form. Always trust on professional automotive PCB manufacturers for high quality automatic pcb.

Flexible circuit boards are good to use in cases where the board is subjected to repeated bending, and vibration during operation, or when it needs to be given a curved compact shape for operation.

With the help of the GPP, it is possible to connect various elements of the EA using branches from the common base of the GPP. The main difference between the HPP and the rigid PP is the possibility of mounting in three dimensions and rounding the corners of other blocks. Moreover, flexible PCBs can be produced in combination with rigid PCBs.

Multilayer MPGs are not analogous to rigid MPAs, since each of the layers can be extended in any direction and good to use as an MPG to connect with other EA modules. A flexible printed cable (FPC) has a thin insulating base up to several meters long with printed conductors arranged parallel to each other, the width and pitch of which match standard connectors. The thickness of the CHP is 0.06ÿ0.3 mm.

Rigid Board

Printed circuits extruded from multilayer conductive patterns and high-speed materials with low dielectric loss. The metal substrate is composed of a metal base material that cannot be bending.


LED PCBs are specially designed for lighting equipment. The major industries which use led pcb are automotive PCB manufacturers, signal lighting, display boards, etc.

The Impact of PCBs on the Automotive Sector

Electronic systems based on printed circuits are responsible for the proper operation of many systems in modern cars. They come in most devices - mainly in the injection system control computer. However, they are good to use in a much larger number of components - e.g. switches, indicators, sensors, displays, as well as individual components.

Printed circuits will be present, among others in the alternator, in the control of cooling system fans, in the lighting, and even in the pressure sensors. Similarly, many traction control systems, brake assist systems, and exhaust gas purity check systems are built with the use of PCBs. It is difficult to find an electric circuit in which the electronic system controlling its operation would not be installed.

The Different Substrates that go into Automotive PCB

The subtractive method for obtaining a pattern of PCB conductors come on the etching of copper foil on a protective mask. Due to the processes of lateral undercutting of copper under the edges of the mask, the cross-section of the conductors has the shape of a trapezium, located with a large base on the surface of the dielectric.

The magnitude of the lateral etching and, accordingly, the spread in the width of the generated conductive paths depends on the thickness of the metal layer. For instance, when etching a foil 5 µm thick, the range of spread in the conductor width is about 7 µm. Similarly, when etching a foil 20 µm thick, the spread is 30 µm; µm - about 50 µm.

Distortions of the width of copper conductors to the dimensions of the width of their images in the photoresist and on the photomask shift towards narrowing.

Therefore, in the case of subtractive technology, the dimensions of the conductors on the photomask must increase by the amount of narrowing. It follows from this that the subtractive technology has resolution limitations. Subsequently, this determines by the foil thickness and etching processes. Minimum reproducible width

Ceramic Substrate Board

Ceramic substrate board is best for manufacturing single- and double-sided printed circuit boards with vias such as aluminum oxide and nitride. Generally, the technology has advantages over traditional thin-film and thick-film technologies for manufacturing ceramic printed circuit boards.

Single and double-sided printed circuit boards made using this technology come by high resolution, high electrical conductivity, solderability, and weldability along the switching tracks.

The manufactured ceramic printed circuit boards can be good to use for the manufacture of hybrid electronic circuits, in the field of the auto industry, optoelectronics, and microwave technology.


Glass-Teflon (PTFE) laminates are best for automotive pcb. Subsequently, these are good to consider the most expensive of all available solutions. These types of laminates come on based on a composition of two components - Teflon and ceramics. Glass-Teflon laminates are good to use primarily for the production of microwave circuit boards.

The most expensive laminates come on based on a composition of Teflon and ceramics and are good to use for the implementation of microwave circuit boards.

Metal Core PCBs

Metal core PCBs are good to use in circuits where a lot of heat appears. Similarly, heat needs to dissipate quickly so as not to damage components. During the operation of the circuit board, heat comes due to some electronic components.

The purpose of metal is to transfer heat from critical circuit board components to less important areas, such as the backing of a metal heat sink or the metal core. Therefore, these PCBs are easy to thermally manage.

Heavy copper PCBs

When printed circuit boards were first put into practical use, the electrolytic copper foil was almost always good to use as a conductor material. The technique of forming metal by electroplating is electroforming, or electroforming for short.

Since thin copper foil is easy to produce inexpensively by the electroforming process, electrolytic copper foil eventually became the standard conductor material for printed circuit boards. Furthermore, it was good to use in large quantities.

Reliability Requirement on PCBs at Different Sections of Vehicle

Modern operating conditions contribute to the constant miniaturization of electronic devices and impose on them stringent requirements for trouble-free operation in a wide range of climatic conditions. The miniaturization of electronic devices leads to an increase in the density of PCB mounting and a decrease in the width of conductors and gaps.

On the other hand, the variety of environmental conditions in which this equipment is good to use exposes PCBs to numerous types of climatic stresses. When thermal and mechanical stresses are applied to the gaps between conductors, delamination of the conductive pattern can occur, resulting in module failure.

Electronic devices are increasingly good to use, and printed circuit boards are good to use in various climatic conditions. In addition, due to the continued miniaturization of electronic components and the increase in surface mount density, the track width and the diameter of the vias of printed circuit boards are decreasing. Furthermore, under these conditions, special attention should be paid to maintaining the reliability of the PP.

a. Thermal Cycling Test (TCT)

Case depressurization, cracks in the substrate, defects in the crystal-substrate connection

Thermal cycling reveals defects through alternating exposure to low and high temperatures. For industrial systems, it is produced in the temperature range from -40 to +125°C, and for military systems - from -65 to +150°C. The recommended number of cycles is 20, the minimum is 10. The exposure time of the device at boundary temperatures must be at least 10 minutes.

After thermal cycling, it is necessary to bring the temperature to +25°C, measure all the electrical parameters of the device and compare them with the passport data. This method allows you to evaluate the resistance of the component to the effects of extreme temperatures and to the alternation of their effects.

The detected defects include:

  • defects in wire connections
  • Moreover, crystal-substrate connections
  • cracks in crystals
  • Furthermore, inconsistencies in the thermal expansion coefficients of various materials,

b. Thermal Shock Test (TST)

Electrolyte leakage due to depressurization, mechanical damage, changes in electrical characteristics, and surface defects.

Thermal shock exposure can be good to use to assess the reliability and rejection of electronic components and systems. Such accelerated testing is thermal cycling and can quickly determine the life of a product without large material and time costs.

Generally, tests are carried out using the maximum allowable signal levels. In the case of semiconductor devices, thermal cycling, in combination with several other influencing factors, can significantly reduce the duration of tests aimed at elucidating latent defects

c. Temperature-Humidity Bias (THB) Test

Moisture absorption, corrosion, chemical reactions; effective testing should include multiple cycles with careful temperature control and time intervals based on actual operating conditions.

Frequent and repeated exposure to the minimum and maximum allowable temperatures causes acceleration in the manifestation of failures. Generally, it is due to the resulting mechanical stresses and differences in the thermal expansion coefficients of various materials.

The optimal temperature change during such tests is from 5 to 10°C per minute in the range from -10 to +70°C with a time delay at boundary temperatures of at least 30 minutes.

Key Automotive PCB Standards

The automotive pcb manufacturers follow these key automotive pcb standards in manufacturing:

  • AEC-Q100
  • AEC-Q102
  • Moreover, AEC-Q200
  • IPC-6012DA
  • Furthermore, IATF 16949

5 Tips for Automotive PCB Design

For the automotive circuit board, the rationality of its design, the maturity of the production process, the reliability of the power supply of the vehicle, the use environment and service life of the vehicle, etc. directly affect its quality.

Parts registration

Find the data sheet of the component to be mounted on the board, and register the shape and pin arrangement in the board CAD database. It is necessary to pay attention to input errors of type names and dimension values, tolerances, etc.

Design preparation

Set rules such as the board shape, number of layers, wiring width and spacing, connector position designation, and wiring prohibited areas.

Examination of the parts layout

By importing the circuit netlist into the board CAD, the parts and connection information (lats) registered display. First, after dividing the components into circuit blocks, we conduct a detailed study in consideration of electrical characteristics and wirability.

This is the most important work for automotive PCB manufacturers.  Generally, the quality of this component placement study affects the performance of the board and the design period.

Wiring consideration

When considering wiring, we do not just use connection information but consider electrical wiring specifications. Furthermore, always check circuit diagrams and datasheets before considering wiring.

Electrical characteristics are difficult to take into account if wiring is considered only with connection information. For example, power supply lines require a wiring width that matches the current, while RF lines and high-speed signals require impedance matching and equal-length wiring.


DRC is an abbreviation for Design Rule Check, and board CAD will detect places that violate the design rules set in. This is an important task, as missing an error here can lead to fatal failures.

How about the Global Automotive PCB Market?

The demand for PCB from automobiles is increasing year by year

The automobile is the fourth largest downstream application of PCB. In 2020, the output value of global automotive PCB was about 76%; one hundred million U.S. dollars. As consumers increasingly demand car functionality and safety, car

The increasing degree of electronics has benefited the automotive PCB market, which has come from automotive PCBs in the past decade.

The proportion of demand has increased from 3.8% to 12.2%. Subsequently, it achieves a growth rate far higher than the average growth rate of the PCB industry

They are necessary for the equipment good to use in production to fulfill its task. Furthermore, at the same time, they become one of the most important components placed in vehicles. PCBs for the automotive industry turn out to be one of the parts without which modern cars were difficult to produce.

NextPCB - Your Leading Automotive PCB Manufacturer in China

NextPCB has already laid out its layout in the new energy vehicle circuit board PCB and introduced high-tech R&D talents and sophisticated R&D equipment. Furthermore, it has made a good start for the follow-up company to enter the new energy vehicle market.

  The company's main products include various (1-32 layers)

  • FR4 single-sided circuit boards
  • double-sided circuit board
  • multi-layer PCBs
  • Furthermore, metal substrates
  • HDI boards
  • Flexible boards and rigid-flex boards, special process boards, and semiconductor test interface boards.

The products are widely good to use in:

  • new energy vehicles
  • industrial control
  • and automation
  • 5G communication
  • Moreover, industrial electronic control
  • high-power electricity
  • medical, security, and other industries.

Custom Automotive PCB Assembly Service

NextPCB offers Custom Automotive PCB Assembly Service. Our company accepts orders for the assembly and installation of printed circuit boards, cables, and bundles.

Production of single, small-scale, and medium-scale batches, we accept both single orders and orders based on ongoing cooperation. Full or partial mounting of printed circuit boards and additional soldering of boards after SMD machines is possible. Installation of prototypes is possible, from one board, if this sample does not require technological preparation.

  • Automated mounting of SMD elements on a printed circuit board
  • AOI
  • Moreover, mounting of volumetric elements,
  • manufacturing of bundles, packaging of products
  • Similarly, filling with a compound, varnishing, verification programs, laser marking, and development of forms, labels, and packaging.
Tag: Automotive PCB
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  • PCB
  • SMD

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