Physics of Failure Durability Simulations for Automotive Electronics

September 30, 2015 | James G. McLeish and Tom O'Connor, DfR Solutions

Automotive electronics systems are becoming increasing complex and essential for the proper, safe operation of cars and trucks. Vehicle controls for basic operation and safety functions are increasingly being implemented by electronic modules. The ability of these electronic systems to function reliably is becoming a greater aspect of vehicle safety as was dramatically demonstrated by the 2009–2011 recall of over 9 million Toyota vehicles for unintended acceleration issues.


Beyond Design: Stackup Planning, Part 3

Beyond Design by Barry Olney
Following on from the first Stackup Planning columns, this month we will look at higher layer-count stackups. The four- and six-layer configurations are not the best choice for high-speed design. In particular, each signal layer should be adjacent to, and closely coupled to, an uninterrupted reference plane, which creates a clear return path and eliminates broadside crosstalk. As the layer count increases, these rules become easier to implement but decisions regarding return current paths become more challenging.

A Brief Overview of High-Frequency Laminates

Lightning Speed Laminates by John Coonrod
The PCB laminates used for high-frequency applications possess several unique attributes that are distinctly different than that of FR-4 materials. Obviously, the electrical properties are better for high-frequency laminates than FR-4; however there are many other beneficial characteristics which may be less obvious for those unfamiliar with these specialty laminates. These other properties lead technologists to sometimes use high-frequency laminates for applications that are not high-frequency.

The PCB Design Supply Chain

The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy
We asked readers of The PCB Design Magazine if their supply chain was a problem for them. Almost two thirds of respondents said no, but a solid 37% said yes. And surprisingly, for many it was an emphatic “yes.” Navigating the supply chain is a huge challenge for some of our leading companies. Comments such as “We’re dealing with idiots” were typical.
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