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Introducing Automotive PCB: The Key to a Smooth-Running Vehicle

If you’re an automotive manufacturer, you know that PCB is essential to your products. But what is automotive PCB, and why do you need it? In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of Introducing Automotive PCB and explain why it’s such an important part of automotive manufacturing. Stay tuned for more information on automotive PCB!

What is Automotive PCB?

Introducing Automotive PCB:Automotive Printed Circuit Boards with Surface Mounted Components with PCBs On Top of Boards

Automotive Printed Circuit Boards with Surface Mounted Components with PCBs On Top of Boards

PCB automotive meaning automotive printed circuit board. It is a specialized form of PCB designed to withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, and other environmental conditions common in automotive applications.

Automotive PCBs are applicable in various automotive electronics, including engine control units (ECUs), infotainment systems, body control modules (BCMs), and more.

Automotive PCB standards

Introducing Automotive PCB:ISO 9001 certified golden label

ISO 9001 certified golden label

There are several automotive standards for printed circuit boards set by the automotive industry. And these standards ensure that automotive circuit boards are able to withstand the extreme conditions found in automotive applications. The main automotive PCB quality administration system is:

IPC-2221: Generic Standard on Printed Board Design

IPC-4101: Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards

IPC-A-600: Acceptability of Printed Boards

IPC/JEDEC J-STD-020:   Moisture/Reflow Sensitivity Classification for Nonhermetic Solid State Surface Mount Devices

– IPC-A-610: Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies

Introducing Automotive PCB: JEDEC J-STD-020 standard reference from the electronics manufacturing industry

JEDEC J-STD-020 standard reference from the electronics manufacturing industry

Applications of automotive printed circuit boards for the Automotive Industry

Automotive printed circuit boards are common in a variety of automotive applications, including:

– engine control units/ engine controls (ECUs)

Introducing Automotive PCB: Partial view of mechanic inspecting car engine compartment

Partial view of mechanic inspecting car engine compartment

– infotainment systems

– advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

Driver Assistance Systems Speedometer

Driver Assistance Systems Speedometer

– body control modules (BCMs)

-antilock braking systems/antilock brake systems

-radar systems

Introducing Automotive PCB: Radar systems on the mast of a large ship

Radar systems on the mast of a large ship

-board radar stereo

– lighting systems, such as brake lights

Red brake lights of cars on the street

Red brake lights of cars on the street

-transmission sensors

-dc ac power converters

-Digital displays/ display monitors

Modern curved TV display screens or computer PC monitors

Modern curved TV display screens or computer PC monitors

-heat transfer applications

-reverse cam screens

Types of Automotive PCBs

Here are some of the most common automotive circuit boards:

Rigid PCBs

The most common automotive rigid board materials are  FR-42, FR-44, or FR-46. Besides, automotive rigid boards can also use the material of CEM-I, CEM-III, polyimide, and Rogers in the automotive industry.

Flex automotive PCBs

Light-emitting diode flexible printed circuit board strip for various lighting applications close up.

Light-emitting diode flexible printed circuit board strip for various lighting applications close up.

These automotive PCBs’ materials are Kapton or polyimide, which are common in applications where there is not enough space. Such as in instrument panels or headlight assemblies.

Rigid and flexible PCBs

A combination of rigid-flex PCBs and rigid-flex boards offers the best of both worlds.

Rigid-flex printed circuit boards combine the best features of both rigid and flex. Besides, they are flame-retardant and have a high dielectric constant.

LED PCBs

LED strip segment close-up on white background

LED strip segment close-up on white background

Light-emitting diode (LED) automotive PCBs are applicable in applications where space is limited, and light is a prerequisite, such as dashboards and interior lights.

They are available in various colors, including blue, green, red, and white. So you may use automotive LED PCBs for different purposes, such as:

– To add some color to your dashboard

– As a replacement for traditional light bulbs

– For better visibility in the dark

HDI PCBs  

High-density interconnects (HDI) automotive PCBs get applied in applications with little space, such as cell phones.

HDI automotive PCBs have a higher component density than conventional automotive circuits.

Automotive PCBs layers:

Commonly, automotive PCBs have 2to 16 layers.

TAnd the following is the classification:

Single-sided PCBs:

The simplest type of automotive PCB, single-sided boards, have all components and circuitry on one side of the board.   

Often, we use them in automotive electronics where space is not an issue.

Double-sided PCBs:

As the name suggests, double-sided automotive PCBs have circuitry on both sides of the board.

Multi-layer PCBs:

The most complex automotive PCBs, multi-layer boards, have three or more layers of conductive material.

They have three or more conductive layers separated by a dielectric material and bonded together with heat and pressure.

Multilayer automotive circuits are standard in automotive electronic control units (ECUs), where high-density packaging is necessary.

Automotive PCBs substrate material

There are a variety of automotive PCB substrate materials available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

So the most common automotive PCB substrate materials are:

Metal Core PCBs

Metalcore automotive PCBs can dissipate heat in high-powered applications, such as motor controllers and other electrical components.

Ceramic Substrate board

Colorful ceramic Capacitor electronic components

Colorful ceramic Capacitor electronic components

Ceramic automotive PCBs are applicable in high-temperature applications, such as the engine control unit.

Introducing Automotive PCB: PTFE Substrate board    

PTFE PCBs are getting applied to applications that require chemical resistance, such as fuel injectors.

Introducing Automotive PCB: Heavy copper PCBs

Heavy copper PCBs for automobiles are applicable in high-current applications, such as battery management systems.

Automotive PCB design considerations

Manufacturers design Automotive boards to withstand the harsh environment of a vehicle.

They must be able to withstand high temperatures, vibration, and moisture.

Also, they must be able to handle high currents.

When designing an automotive PCB, it is important to consider the following:

Inductor orientations

While designing the automotive printed circuit board, you also need to consider the inductor orientation.

This is because they often get exposed to high currents.

You need to ensure that the inductor orientation can withstand these conditions.

Lead coupling

Firstly, you need to take into account the lead coupling.

This is because automotive PCBs often get exposed to high temperatures and vibrations.

In addition, you need to ensure that the lead coupling can withstand these conditions.

Grounding through-hole

Grounding through-hole is another important consideration.

This is because these PCBs often get exposed to high levels of electromagnetic interference.

Therefore, you need to ensure that the grounding through-hole can withstand these conditions.

In conclusion, automotive boards are an important part of a smooth-running vehicle.

Hence, manufacturers need to design them with care and attention to detail to withstand.

Grounding and filling

Grounding, in particular protective wire, is common in many applications to provide ground for circuits with regions where the permanent ground is difficult to arrange or that need shielding sensitive components.

To improve shielding, you may utilize grounding through holes at terminal connections of wires or along the wires themselves. Wires can’t be connected using returns designed to offer a return current path for the automotive PCB.

Automotive PCB  design requirement

Importantly, you should design automotive electronic components to accommodate the following:

Performance Requirement

It is essential for automotive electronic components to function even in extreme environments.

For example, it is necessary for automotive electronic components to maintain their performance level in conditions ranging from -40°C to 125°C.

So we have listed some automotive circuit design tips to help you in automotive electronics design.

  • Lightweight and miniaturization

Lightweight and miniaturization are important design considerations for automotive electronic systems. Besides, you should minimize the PCB’s weight and size while maximizing reliability and thermal efficiency.

  • High Reliability

Also, we should consider the high reliability of automotive PCB design. Automotive electronic systems are subject to a wide range of environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, and electromagnetic interference. In addition, they should withstand these conditions and maintain reliable operation.

  • Thermal Efficiency

Another important consideration for automotive board design is thermal efficiency. Automotive electronic systems generate a lot of heat, and the PCB should dissipate this heat quickly and effectively to prevent damage to the components.

Quality Assurance Requirement

SO9001, specifically for the industry of automotive is ISO90001/TS16949.

It focuses on waste reduction, quality fluctuation, and defect prevention in the automobile supply chain.

So for automotive manufacturers, it’s a must to observe the ISO/TS16949 when you enter the market.

Features of Printed Circuit Boards for the Automotive Industry

In this section, we will take you through some of the major features of the automotive PCB.

It can withstand extremely high and low-temperature conditions

Automotive PCB must be able to function properly in extreme heat and cold.  Thus, it won’t get damaged or deformed due to changes in temperature.

Resistance of Chemical

Automotive PCB is resistant to all kinds of chemicals and fluids.

This is because the board needs to be able to withstand being exposed to the gas, oil, cleaners, and other automotive fluids regularly.

High reliability

Automotive PCB’s strong materials can last for a long time, making it a reliable product.

Dirt-resistant

Dirt and debris won’t be able to penetrate the automotive PCB, as it is designed to keep them out.

This ensures that the board will always look clean and new.

Good automotive environment adaptability

With the automotive electronic components, the automotive PCB can work well in different automotive environments, including those with high temperatures and vibration.

complex systems suitableness

Automotive PCB is suitable for use in complex automotive systems. Such as automotive control systems, automotive audio and video system, automotive security system, and so on.

Automotive PCB Prototype

Blue prototyping PCB in a hand

Blue prototyping PCB in a hand

The automotive printed circuit board prototype is necessary for automotive electronics design. It will verify the correctness of automotive PCB design and improve the quality of automotive PCB manufacturing.

The following is the process of automotive PCB prototyping:

First, designers will use computer software to design the automotive PCB’s compact circuit layout according to the requirements of automotive electronic products.

Then, automotive PCB prototype manufacturers will use this layout to produce automotive printed circuit boards.

After manufacturing the board, send it to the customer for testing.

If there are any problems with the automotive printed circuit board, the designer will change the layout and send it back to the manufacturer for another prototype.

This process will continue until the automotive printed circuit board is perfect.

Introducing Automotive PCB: Future of the Automotive PCB Industry

The red car stands on the microprocessor. The concept of a shortage of chips in the automotive industry

The red car stands on the microprocessor. The concept of a shortage of chips in the automotive industry

The automotive market is now the second-largest market for PCBs. The automobile industry is currently worth $316 billion and is possible to grow to $349 billion by 2023. This rapid growth is due to the increasing demand for vehicles, as well as the need for new technologies in vehicles.

Some of the new technologies that are being developed for automotive applications include       :

– autonomous driving

Self-driving car on the road.

Self-driving car on the road.

– electric vehicles

– connected cars

The autonomous, connected cars on the highway. 

The autonomous, connected cars on the highway. 

Each of these new technologies requires the use of automotive circuit boards.

Autonomous driving, for example, requires the use of sensors and cameras to gather data about the surroundings. This data then gets processed by a computer, which needs to be able to communicate with the car’s other systems.

All of this data processing and communication requires the use of automotive boards.

Electric vehicles also require the use of automotive PCBs. Electric vehicles need to have a way to store and manage the large amount of electricity they use. This gets done with the help of automotive boards.

Lastly, connected cars also rely on automotive PCBs. Connected cars need to communicate with the internet and other vehicles. So automotive boards make this communication possible.

As you can see, automotive PCBs are a key technology for modern vehicles. Without them, many technologies we take for granted would not be possible.

Introducing Automotive PCB: Benefits of the Automotive Printed Circuit Board

There are many benefits that automotive circuit boards offer. Some of these benefits include:

– Firstly, they are durable and can withstand high temperatures. Thus, you don’t have to worry about them being damaged by the engine’s heat.

– Secondly, they are water-resistant. So they can withstand the harsh conditions of the road.

– Thirdly, these PCBs are resistant to vibrations. Hence, they can still work even if the vehicle is going over bumpy roads.

– Fourthly,  they have a wide operating temperature range. So, they can still function properly even in extreme temperatures.

– Plus, they can handle large amounts of electricity.

– Besides, they enable communication between vehicles and the internet.

-Also, featuring high thermal conductivity.

– In addition, they enable communication between vehicles and the internet.

– Plus, they are lightweight.

– Finally, have high thermal conductivity.

– Lastly, automotive PCBs are easy to install. You can bolt them onto the frame of the vehicle.

Introducing Automotive PCB: Creating Your Next Automotive PCB

You must be eager to get started on your automotive PCB project.

But, you may be wondering what the best way to create one is.

Here are a  few tips:

– First, use automotive-grade PCBs.

– Second, make sure to use the correct automotive connectors.

– Third, follow the automotive design standards.

– Fourth, use reliable automotive components.

– Fifth, test your automotive PCB before installation.

For more detailed instructions, please check out our automotive PCB tutorial.     

Introducing Automotive PCB Manufacturing

In the modern automotive industry, automotive PCBs are applicable to control an ever-increasing number of electronic devices in vehicles.

From engine management and infotainment systems to safety features and driver assistance systems, automotive PCBs are at the heart of today’s automobiles.

To meet the unique demands of automotive applications, In pcb assembly, automotive PCBs must be manufactured to precise specifications. They must withstand extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, and other harsh conditions.

Summary

Now that you know how to create an automotive PCB, it’s time to get started on your next project!

Automotive PCBs are a key part of the smooth running of any vehicle. By ensuring that all the electrical systems in your car are getting well-protected and precisely calibrated, you can avoid many common problems on the road.

If you’re looking for quality automotive PCBs, we have just what you need. Our team is experienced in creating these essential components and can help you get your car back on the road in no time.

We hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

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Hommer Zhao
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far, we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me. I really appreciate any help you can provide.

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