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50 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 have design engineers who specialize in that area; there are engi- neers and technicians in our PCBA facility who only work on automotive product. Yu: Are you primarily designing electronics for the domestic Chi- nese auto market, or for the global auto market? EDADOC: Today, our customers are mainly China mainland automotive electronics manufactur- ers, or subsidiaries of global automotive elec- tronics manufacturers located in China. The Chinese government now attaches great impor- tance to the automotive electronics industry, especially new-energy vehicles. China is now the biggest R&D country, with new products and technologies emerging every day. Yu: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in designing PCBs for automobile electronics? EDADOC: There are three main challenges. The first one is line density and cost. Generally, the size of automotive electronics PCBs is small, and layer count is not high. Therefore, the footprint is rather limited, and the line den- sity must be high. Sometimes, HDI design is implemented, but this increases the cost and the amount of PCB design challenges. The second challenge is thermal and power integrity. As mentioned earlier, due to the lim- ited layer count and space, power supply lines often use thick copper or buried copper to meet the power integrity and thermal requirements. Since automotive electronics are increasingly more powerful, the required current is also greater, and the power plane and return path capability will naturally be more challenging. Not enough current will lead to voltage instabil - ity, resulting in an unstable electronic system. To make things worse, this will also increase the generation of heat. The power integrity and thermal requirements will also be a major challenge in conven - tional PCB designs later, not just in auto- motive electronics. The third challenge is electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and safety. The extent of this issue involves a wide range of areas. For most consumers, reliability and safety are the most important factors related to auto- mobiles, and safety includes electromagnetic radiation safety. Electromagnetic radiation is not visible, but it is there, and passengers are surrounded by radiation in the vehicle. The exact effect of a car's electromagnetic radia- tion on humans has yet been determined, but many of our automotive electronics customers have begun to pay attention to electromagnetic compatibility issue. Yu: On the other hand, what are some of the opportunities you see in this segment? EDADOC: In PCB design, the other side of the coin is the opportunity. We believe that auto- motive PCB design will gradually develop to a more specialized direction in the future. This is an opportunity for all of us. To seize the oppor- tunity, we must first learn all of the existing problems in the design of automotive electron- ics, so that we can solve these. We design tens of thousands of PCBs every year, with very different customer require- ments for every kind of product. Among these are many HDI designs and cost-saving ones. This knowledge can be applied to automotive electronics as well. We believe that we already have a fair amount of technology accumulated and are applying it in automotive electronics. In the meantime, we are doing case studies of HDI and automotive electronics design and conduct internal trainings and presentations. This is a requirement for companies designing automotive electronics today. We solve power integrity and thermal prob- William Zhou Wen Ling

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