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PCB-Sept2017

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56 The PCB Magazine • September 2017 Automotive electronics is not a new topic. While there is a trend for both performance and luxury electronics, many of the recent conversa- tions tend to focus on self-driving/autonomous vehicles. While the technology is exciting, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know that your car is most likely the most technologically advanced device you own? It seems weird to re- fer to a car as a device, but modern automobiles have more chips and circuit boards than your average home Internet appliance. In fact, high-tech systems in cars has been around since the 1980s. And we aren't just talk- ing about for GPS, computerized screens, or en- tertainment. Electronically controlled ignition and fuel injection systems allow automotive de- signers to meet standard requirements for fuel economy, while lowering emissions. With these systems, cars can still maintain high levels of performance and convenience for drivers. To- day's automobiles are comprised of many pro- cessors. Printed circuit boards play a vital role in the performance and reliability of everything from engine, fuel injection, ignition systems, and throttle control. And that's just a start. Most of today's cars have between 30 and 80 separate electronic controllers. Furthering the importance of proper stan- dards for manufacturing, Volvo recently an- nounced that all their manufactured vehicle models will be electric or hybrid by 2019. This decision marks Volvo as the first traditional au- tomaker to work toward phasing out cars pow- ered by only internal combustion engines. This means more electronics, which means more effort needs to be placed on ensuring these vehicles can handle the rig- orous thermal cycles pres- ent in a vehicles day- to-day usage. The Future of Electronics in the Automotive Industry ONE WORLD, ONE INDUSTRY by John Mitchell IPC —ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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