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Design007-Apr2018

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APRIL 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 19 tive systems, design teams and suppliers can no longer afford to work in isolation, instead, they are shifting to a co-design methodology that allows all the domains to be designed and sim- ulated as one complete system. Other issues, such as compliance verification, reliability and the use of non-standard materials are even more challenges designers are facing. At the end of the day, vehicles are expected to last many years in operation, so that compounds the challenges PCB designers are faced with. I believe we have addressed these challenges by working with our customers to develop sys- tem hardware architecture and advanced PCB design solutions. Shaughnessy: I understand that EMC testing is really important when you're dealing with new cars with so many PCBs. Mandavia: It comes down to reliability. I remember being asked in a past panel discus- sion how can we use more wireless technol- ogy to reduce some of the weight with cables in an automotive system. For example, if you can eliminate multiple harnesses in a car that can help with fuel efficiency. My argument has been that if you have wireless brakes, would you feel comfortable knowing that there could be interference with your system as you're hit- ting the brakes on a car? Now, can we have wireless brakes in the future? I believe we can, but there's so much more verification that needs to be done to get there as our driving environment continues to change and we have more wireless applications functioning at the same time. Shaughnessy: It's a new world now. It seems like five years ago there were one or two boards in a car. I don't know what the average num- ber of circuit boards is in a car now. Mandavia: It's getting to a point where a basic car, five or 10 years from now, is going to have all the bells and whistles we see now on the high-end vehicles that many of us can only dream about – that's going to be the standard. I think it's also a case of economies of scale. You want to be able to define a configuration to realize efficiencies. You can still buy a car without all the new features, but it's getting more difficult, but there's a reason for it. It's not cost-effective anymore to make a car with- out all the cool features that are available today. Having to deal with volume and demand, it's more effective to simplify the number of vari- ants for each model. With all the features and functions required and in demand, we will con- tinue to need more electronics, and that's great for our industry. We want more electronics, more engineers doing more amazing things. It's good for the PCB industry as a whole. Shaughnessy: I've seen estimates that 15–20% of a new car price is electronics and in 10 years it's going to be 50% of the price of the car. It's all good for us. The car is becoming a com- puter. Mandavia: It's going to be more and more of an electronic system and less of an electrical system. It's going to be exciting with more new challenges for our industry during this shift. Shaughnessy: My girlfriend's Mazda is two years old, and there is so much of her naviga- tion system that we've never used. And it's a lower-priced car. It does everything but drive the thing for you, but I guess that's next. Mandavia: All it takes is another system change and it'll be possible. Consider what Tesla is doing with just a software download, and all of a sudden it has self-driving functions—that's just amazing! So many companies are invest- ing in autonomous technology that were never It's not cost-effective anymore to make a car without all the cool features that are available today.

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