Home> Blog> Automotive Printed Circuit Boards - 2023 Update Newest

Automotive Printed Circuit Boards - 2023 Update Newest

automotive PCB
PCBONLINE Team Thur, Nov 04, 2021

automotive printed circuit board

What is Automotive PCB

Automotive PCBs are the circuit boards used in automotive electronics from engine controls, anti-lock brake systems, and GPS, to rearview cameras and front lights. Safety is the most important consideration for automotive PCB design and manufacturing.

As more and more electric cars and hybrid electric vehicles drive on roads, the demand for reliable automotive PCBs rises. Automotive PCBs from PCBONLINE are specially manufactured and assembled to support every system and application for vehicles.

Automotive PCBs have strict quality requirements and their quality should be traceable. From the first process to the end, the entire manufacturing process of every automotive PCB board is recorded in a "PPAP level 3 required" report, including manufacturing specifications, operators, machine specifications, and all features of the board.

The "PPAP level 3 required" report and a COC report (Continuum of Care) are delivered with the automotive PCBs to the buyer. Meanwhile, PCBONLINE's intelligent management system records all information for traceability.

The one-stop automotive PCB manufacturer PCBONLINE, an ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 certified company provides one-on-one engineering support and custom manufacturing solutions tailored to your needs.

Automotive PCBs and Applications

Automotive PCBs are used on different occasions in the automotive industry and they are various. The main automotive PCBs and applications are listed below.

ceramic automotive PCB

Ceramic automotive PCB: ceramic-substrate circuit boards, and usually the ceramic core is aluminum nitride or alumina. Their dominant features are excellent thermal conductivity and high-temperature resistance.

Applications: automotive sensors, engine controls, engine compartment, anti-lock brake controls, power control units, vehicle shock absorbers, turbochargers, automotive LED headlights, motor driver modules, current conversion modules, DC/AC power converters, and IGBT power modules of electrical cars' inverters

HDI automotive PCB: high wiring density circuit boards with blind/buried microvias. The minimum track/space of HDI PCBs used in the automotive industry should be 75μm/75μm or smaller. HDI automotive PCBs from PCBONLINE have a minimum track/space of 63.5μm/63.5μm. Please feel free to get a quote from PCBONLINE.

Applications: in-vehicle computers, audio-video systems, in-vehicle communication systems

high-frequency automotive PCB

High-frequency automotive PCB: PTFE or hybrid-ceramic printed circuit boards perform as high-frequency wave transmitters and receivers to locate subjects. The signal waves can be high-speed, microwave, or radio-frequency waves.

Applications: parking distance controls, forward collision warning systems, vehicular communication systems, automotive navigation systems

Flexible automotive PCB: FPCs are foldable and twistable, and automotive FPCs replacing harnesses has become a trend. It is estimated that a car will use more than 100 automotive flexible PCBs.

Applications: cell contact system assembly, battery management systems, vehicle display modules, vehicle sensors, car lights, vehicle seat sensors, ABS pressure sensors, door handles, gearboxes, roof switches

automotive flex PCB assembly

Rigid-flex automotive PCB: rigid-flex PCBs have the advantages of rigid and flexible PCBs. Over the past twenty years, rigid-flex PCBs have been applied by most vehicles to reduce solder joints and connectors.

Applications: vehicle sensors, engine controls, power transmission controls, stability control systems, cameras, navigation controls, gear switches, airbag controls, digital displays


Metal substrate automotive PCB: aluminum or copper-based printed circuit boards. Metal substrate PCBs have better thermal conductivity than FR4 PCBs.

Applications: automotive LED headlights, brake lights, indicator lights

All the above automotive PCB manufacturing and assembly in any quantity, from prototyping to large-scale production, can be done at PCBONLINE.

Automotive PCB standards

There are thousands of automotive electronics standards to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. Automotive PCBs used in different vehicle parts have different reliability requirements and must follow different standards. Below we list the critical automotive PCB standards to help R&D engineers follow the industry requirements.

Published Date

AEC-Q100 Rev-H

Describes failure mechanism-based stress test qualification for integrated circuits


AEC Component Technical Committee

AEC - Q101 Rev-E

Prescribes failure mechanism-based stress test qualification for discrete semiconductors


AEC Component Technical Committee

AEC - Q102 Rev-A

Describes failure mechanism-based stress test qualification for discrete optoelectronic semiconductors in automotive applications


AEC Component Technical Committee

AEC - Q103-002 Rev- (Initial Release)

Describes failure mechanism-based stress test qualification for micro-electro-mechanical system pressure sensor devices


AEC Component Technical Committee

AEC - Q104 Rev - (Initial Release)

Describes failure mechanism-based stress test qualification for multichip modules in automotive applications


AEC Component Technical Committee

AEC - Q200 Rev-D base

Describes stress test qualification for passive components


AEC Component Technical Committee


Describes requirements for the qualification and performance of rigid printed circuit boards


Association Connecting Electronics Industries


(Addendum to IPC-6012D) Defines qualification and performance specifications for rigid printed boards


Association Connecting Electronics Industries


Describes press-fit standards for printed boards for automotive requirements and other high-reliability applications


Association Connecting Electronics Industries

IATF 1649:2016

Defines guidelines and requirements for automotive quality management system

October 2016

International Automotive Task Force

The above standards are not comprehensive, but you can use them as basics for your automotive PCB design.

automotive wireless communications PCBA

In automotive electronic systems, the wireless communication control mainboard requires the highest reliability and quality because it involves driving safety.

Automotive PCB Manufacturing and Assembly

Automotive PCB manufacturing should at least have an IATF 16949-certified quality management system, the components should follow the responsive AEC standards, and the automotive PCB manufacturing and assembly should be compliant with the IPC standards.

You can have automotive electronic component sourcing, PCB manufacturing, and assembly altogether from a reliable automotive PCB manufacturer PCBONLINE.

automotive wireless communications PCBA

PCBONLINE has been providing IPC Class 2/3 PCB manufacturing and assembly since 1999. The automotive industry components that PCBONLINE sources are from the most reliable suppliers and traceable. You can check our PCB certifications, including ISO 9001:2015, IATF 16949:2016, REACH (EC 1907/2006), RoHS (Directive 2002/95/EC), and UL.

And we provide free DFM, DFT, and DFX for your automotive PCB project. Give us your BOM, Gerber, and pick-and-place file, we can bring out turnkey PCB manufacturing as well as conformal coating, four-terminal sensing, functional test, and a series of testing and value-added services.

PCBONLINE has robust automotive PBA manufacturing capabilities, including speedy delivery for prototypes and small batch orders and electronic components integration sourcing. If you have not gotten ready with your automotive PCB design, contact us because our solution experts can provide useful suggestions and solutions.


Automotive PCBs work in harsh environments and have to be highly reliable. Vehicles can drive fast and be agile, smart, and safe relying on automotive PCBs. If you are looking for automotive PCB manufacturing or consultancy, please feel free to contact us by email at info@pcbonline.com.


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