In recent decades, great changes have been undergone in the automotive electronics industry. From the car without any computer technology to today’s car that cannot run without an on-board computer, more and more computerized systems began to penetrate the automotive electronics, such as the core system functions, generating service alerts, or enabling security features. All the devices, including the performance of the internal combustion engine, are controlled by the electronic modules
It is no doubt that driverless transport or even more advanced electronics will overturn traditional automotive concepts. Then the operating of these on-board computer systems require sophisticated automotive printed circuit boards (PCBs). The PCB design and manufacturing for automotive need consider not only the performance but also the security and reliability.
The main application of PCBs in automotive electronics：Dynamical system
As the requirement of improving the environment, the fuels of automotive are converted from gasoline, natural gas, and biofuels to hybrid and pure power. Electric vehicles perform well in fuel-saving and tail gas reduction and have become a strategic direction for the automotive industry. The trend makes automotive PCBs much important in digital power and other electronics in the dynamical system.
The security system is the core competence of every automotive manufacturer because safety is the most important thing in transportation. Therefore, automotive manufacturers invest heavily in security systems to improve market competitiveness. To reduce traffic accidents and damage, automotive manufacturers adopt more and more security devices in cars, such as airbags, stereo cameras, radar monitoring, infrared monitoring, LED lighting systems, automatic avoidance, and even autonomous driving, etc. All these electronics depend on the support of automotive PCBs.
With the improvement of living standards, comfort and convenience become the vital indicator requirements when people buy a car. Comprehensive and versatile entertainment equipment in automotive is the measurement of the humanization design. Automotive PCBs in the audio, video display, on-board computer, air conditioner, internet, mobile communication, navigation, show a more prominent role in improving various performance aspects.
Manufacturing requirements for automotive PCBs, Multiple technologies in automotive PCBs
The types of automotive electronics PCBs vary widely due to the different types of electronic systems in today’s automobiles. Flexible PCBs always used in the applications around bends and corners in a car. Rigid PCBs are usually located on display monitors and reverse cam screens. Flexible-rigid PCBs can be found in lighting systems. In short, different types of PCBs are applied for different electronic parts.
And as people’s demands for more accessories and functions powered by electronic components continues to increase, the high electron density and power will produce more heat. High requirements are placed on the heat dissipation capacity and the larger current, which leads to an increase of HDI PCBs, copper thickness, or the need to embed copper leads and metal in multilayer PCBs. Besides, electroplating, micro via drilling, and interconnection technologies also need to be applied in automotive PCBs to meet the increasing demands.
Increasing assembly density and reduce products’ size is significant for electronic products. The pursuit of miniaturization and light-weight for automotive electronics promotes the application of component embedment in automotive electronics. Among those ways of embedded PCB manufacturing, SMD is more in line with the needs of vehicles in the aspects of heat resistance, humidity resistance, impact resistance, and high reliability.
Substrate materials for automotive PCBs
Except various PCB types are needed in automotive electronics, PCB manufacturers are also required to supply boards with appropriate materials that can withstand tough use and with long-term using life. And Lightweight and small size are also the factors that need to be considered in materials selection.
The average life of a car is 8 to 12 years, during which only parts or components can be replaced. In other words, the service years of electronic systems and PCBs must be the same as the cars. In the meantime, vehicles are often affected by severe climate and the heat generated by working electronics and systems. The same is true of automotive electronics and PCBs. So, the material used in devices and PCBs must overcome the harsh environment.
For example, ceramic-based PCB has a high heat resistance and excellent dimensional stability is suitable for engine systems in high heat environments. And the development of resin substrates such as FR-4 with higher heat resistance provides more choices for PCB manufacturing. Automotive anti-collision and near-radar rely on PCB to transmit high-frequency microwave signals. Thus, it is recommended to use a substrate material with low dielectric loss, usually PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). And the aluminum substrate is the best choice for LED boards in car indicators, headlights, and brake lights.
For the high reliability of automotive electronics, PCB manufacturers must fabricate PCBs according to the related technical regulation for the global automotive industry. NEXTPCB provides automotive PCBs with a wide range of materials and advanced manufacturing technologies. The PCB products perform well in various electronic components of the automotive.
And NEXTPCB has got the certificates of ISO 9001(2019), UL, and RoHS to meet the high-quality requirement and other manufacturing demands of customers.