A large part of the automotive industry consists of electronic components. Car cockpits are being fitted with sensors and processors along with around 200 various electronic control units. They are used in the automotive body, chassis, power system, and dynamical system. However, there are a number of requirements which must be met by the PCBs used in automobiles.
1: Quality Assurance:
For quality assurance manufacturers use a sound quality management system i.e. ISO9001. Another quality management system was established in 1994, the QS9000. And the beginning of the 21st century brought a new quality management system based on the ISO9001 and called the ISO/TS16949. This integrates special requirements for the automotive industry and focuses on producing quality automobiles while reducing waste and defects. Therefore automotive are usually ISO/TS16949 certified prior to their introduction in the market.
2: Performance Requirement:
1: Multiple Types
The type of PCB used for a particular component is different depending on the application and function. Depending on the type of substrate material used they may be inorganic ceramic-based PCBs or organic resin-based PCBs. Ceramic-based PCBs are heat resistive and show dimensional stability, perfect for engine systems used in a high-temperature environment. They are however expensive and show bad manufacturability. Nowadays resin-based PCBs are being used in the majority of automobiles, they also show heat resistance. Generally, we can classify the vehicle device with the type of PCB suitable for use as follows.
2: PCB Reliability Requirements for Different Sections of a Vehicle
Automotives tend to consist of components with high reliability. There are a number of tests which are implements on the electronics used in automobiles. We will discuss three of them here.
1: High-frequency PCBs
Radars incorporated in automotive require PCBs which transmit microwave high-frequency signals. In these cases, substrate materials with low dielectric loss are suggested. The substrate also consists of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This is different from the common FR-4 used. They also have different and distinct manufacturability.
2: Heavy copper PCBs
More advanced devices require more heat dissipation and larger current. In order to achieve this, the thickness of copper in PCB is increased. Heavy copper multi-layer PCBs are generally more difficult to fabricate than heavy copper double-layer PCBs. The inner circuit of heavy copper multi-layer PCB is heavy copper. The graphics transferring require a heavy film which shows resistance to corrosion. Similarly, the etching time is longer and the overall aim should be to ensure excellent quality of heavy copper circuits. In the case of generation of cavities in multi-layer PCB, then thin prepreg (containing a high amount of resin) is used.
3: Component embedment
Embedment technology is used in automotive electronics because it helps to increase assembly density and reduce the size of the product. There are many embedded PCB manufacturing options based on component embedment methods. These include:
4: HDI (High-Density Interconnect) technology
Just as smartphones and tablets call for HDI PCBs, so do vehicles. They allow for communication and have functions of entertainment. Resultantly, microvia drilling, electroplating, and interconnection technologies are applied in automotive PCBs.
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