PCB for the Automotive Industry

07 Jun, 2022

By ren

Automotive PCB: The Modern Automobile Industry's Chassis

PCB for the Automotive Industry, With the continued development of self-driving automobiles, electric vehicles, aircraft, and other technologies, the automotive industry's future appear bright. Tesla, for example, is manufacturing cars that are not only environmentally green but also capable of racing a Ferrari. If everything goes well, the need for gasoline and petrol will soon vanish, as will the need for human drivers. If there's no driver in your Uber, it's probably the hollow man.

PCB for the Automotive Industry

PCBs in the Automotive Industry: Applications and Types

Because today's automobiles have so many various electrical systems, the kinds of PCBs required for automotive electronics vary tremendously. For various technologies, the same automobile may need flex PCBs, rigid PCBs, and rigid-flex PCBs. The need for PCB for the Automotive Industry of all sorts is only increasing as customers desire more accessories and functions for their automobiles that are driven by electronic components.

PCB makers for automobiles must provide a broad range of PCB alternatives. Rear LED lights and running lights, transmission controls, and comfort control units are among the systems and processes that now employ printed circuit boards for increased efficiency and safety. PCB for the Automotive Industry also operates engines, entertainment systems, digital displays, radar, GPS, power relay timing systems, mirror controls, and a variety of other functions.

Not only do automotive circuit board makers provide a wide range of PCBs, but those that produce, assemble, and transport printed circuit boards for the automobile sector must also be able to provide boards made of materials that can withstand harsh conditions and support lengthy life cycles. This mandates the adoption of high-temperature PCBs with rapid heat dissipation capabilities.

The Impact of PCBs on the Automotive Sector

The growth of the PCB industry in the automotive sector will be rising fast and furious with the focus on autonomous and electric vehicles. The printed circuit boards are the structures that house all of the delicate sensors and components essential for a vehicle's smooth functioning.

If you can only imagine staring at a corner. PCB for the Automotive Industry as a chassis of a car, then the engine, the sensors, the axel, and the wheels, all form the electronic components that go on the circuit board.

Reliability is crucial when it comes to vehicle-printed circuit boards. They must be able to withstand harsh weather conditions and vibrations without losing performance. The boards are meant to be long-term. A car's PCB is heat-resistant and long-lasting. PCB makers must have ISO/TS 16949 certification, which is based on ISO 9001 automotive requirements.

Types of Automotive PCBs

Flex PCBs

These boards employ flexible plastic substrates. They're made from PEEK, polyamide, or translucent polyester. These boards are bendable. In a car, look for their uses at curves and turns.

Rigid PCBs

FR4 is used to make rigid boards. These boards aren't very adaptable. Display displays and reverse camera screens are common places to find them.

Rigid-Flex PCBs

 These circuit boards are a combination of Rigid and Flexible boards. They are implemented in lighting systems.


These boards feature higher wire density per unit area, finer lines and spaces, and high pad connection density. The HDI boards accommodate more components and play a prominent role in miniaturization. Infotainment systems utilize these boards.


LED boards have aluminium substrates to dissipate heat. Indicators, headlights, and brake lights use them.

The Different Substrates that go into Automotive PCBs

• Ceramic Substrate board

Co-fired alumina and aluminium nitride form the ceramic substrate. These heat-resistant boards are used in the engine area.


Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) PCBs tolerate high frequencies and find their purpose in safety systems and Radar technology.

• Metal Core PCBs

 The Metal Core PCBs consist of the aluminum base layer. The base layer is an aluminum alloy sheet on top of which the entire board is built. The base layer act as a heatsink and thus is suitable for heat transfer applications. The metal core boards provide improved electrical insulation and thermal conductivity. These boards are employed in the Antilock Braking Systems (ABS).

• Heavy copper PCBs

The Automotive printed circuit boards employ thicker copper (Cu) in the outer and inner layers of the boards. Heavy copper boards can handle high temperature, high frequency, and high current. The regular boards display a copper thickness of around 25µm to 50µm. Whereas the heavy copper PCBs will be 150µm to 200µm thick. Safety and signalling systems make use of these boards.

Automotive PCBs layers:

Commonly, automotive PCBs have 2to 16 layers.

And the following is the classification:

Single-sided PCBs:

The simplest type of PCB for the Automotive Industry, 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 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. Due to frequent exposure to large currents, this is a common occurrence. You need to ensure that the inductor orientation can withstand these conditions.

Lead coupling

Firstly, you need to consider 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. These PCBs are subjected to high amounts of electromagnetic radiation. 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. There is no way to connect wires to the automotive PCB via the return current route.

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 thing to think about when making boards for cars is how well they handle heat. Automotive electronic systems generate a lot of heat, and the PCB should dissipate this heat quickly and effectively to prevent damage to the components.

Read more: PCB Assembly for the Medical Industry


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. 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.


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