Following automotive PCB standards enables AV technology.
Although cars and trucks have only been on the road for a little over a century, it is hard to imagine life without them. And for the foreseeable future, we will continue to rely on them. Throughout this history, one of the greatest challenges has been ensuring maximum safety as automotive technology evolves.
While the responsibility for addressing this concern has primarily rested on vehicle operators, the landscape is changing with the advancement of smarter vehicle systems and capabilities. Designers and developers of the electronics that form the foundation of automotive technological progress now play a crucial role. To ensure safe and efficient operation, they must be well-versed in and adhere to relevant automotive PCB standards.
General Automotive PCB Standards
Along with aerospace systems and medical devices, automotive systems include circuit boards and electronics that are considered critical as failure could result in catastrophe, including fatalities. Therefore, most automotive PCBAs must be built to class 2 or 3 of the performance classifications defined in IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies.
Other important automotive PCB standards include the following:
When designing circuit boards that will be installed in automotive systems, one of more of the standards listed should be a major source of guidance to ensure that the operational and performance intent these documents are based upon is incorporated. This list is not exhaustive, however, and there are additional automotive PCB standards that may be applicable to your product.
Additional Standards for Automotive PCBs
Familiarity with the standards above are essential for automotive PCB designers. Just as it is required to understand and follow the good PCB standards for all electronic circuit design.
Other resources that may be valuable include the SAE Ground Vehicle Standards, which includes over 2,200 standards. The Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, was formed in 1905 to bring automotive engineers together to exchange ideas and help define common standards for the manufacturing of automotive systems. Today, the organization is international and develops standards for aerospace and automotive vehicles.
The range of standards that can influence your automotive PCB design encompasses specifications for components, connectors, wiring, and cabling. Moreover, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) publishes standards and technical documents that drive advancements in automotive technologies, including electric vehicle (EV) and autonomous vehicle (AV) systems. These standards encompass globally accepted terminology specifications and testing procedures for assembled automotive systems that incorporate or are driven by automotive PCBs.
Incorporating Automotive Standards into Your PCB Design Process
The primary driving factors behind virtually all automotive PCB standards are operational reliability and user safety. Understanding this underlying intent is essential as a prerequisite for designing and developing boards for the automotive environment. To achieve the required level of performance and structural integrity that aligns with these objectives, it is highly recommended to follow guidelines such as the ones listed below.
Following the guidelines above will aid you in designing PCBAs that will meet the requirements of applicable automotive PCB standards.
If you’re looking for CAD models for common components or important design support like how best to incorporate automotive PCB standards into your development process, Ultra Librarian helps by compiling all your sourcing and CAD information in one place.