Category Archives: Automotive Electronics

Lead Usage Continues to Grow

Companies in the electronics industry have spent billions in recent years to remove lead from solder, ensuring that the few ounces of this toxic metal on a printed board don’t leach into water supplies. Though regulators are attempting to curtail lead usage, it’s growing by about five percent per year. Global demand for lead is expected […]

Turning Copper into Gold

The adage that the only constant is change always holds true in electronics. In some areas, like wire bonding inside chip packages, change doesn’t occur too quickly, but it inevitably comes. Many chipmakers and packaging companies have used gold wire bonds for decades. But some are moving away from the precious metal. Freescale is “aggressively […]

Substrates Provide Base for LED Revolution

LEDs are slowly but surely transforming the lighting industry. Reduced power consumption, smaller size and programmability are helping to drive growth, particularly in fields where different lighting patterns are desirable. Printed boards come into play when designers want to focus light beams in specific directions. For example, automakers want headlights to shine on roadways, but also […]

Rethinking customer definitions

Business relationships change constantly as companies try to meet the expectations of current and future customers. As electronic technologies become more complex, some companies are rethinking their definition of customers. In more and more fields, managers can no longer define customers as the business they service directly. Instead of focusing on the companies they sell […]

The trend to smaller cars may not be happening, but the shift to smaller suppliers is advancing

The SAE Convergence conference has been an indicator of trends in the auto industry for more than three decades. This year, people in Detroit are commenting on the number of small companies that are starting to play a role in automotive design and manufacturing. Convergence got its start back when cars and electronics began to […]

Feel the power

As microcontroller frequencies grow, low-cost processors can manage more devices with high precision. That’s driving a huge market for actuators like motors. In turn, that is fueling substantial growth in power handling devices like IGBTs and MOSFETs. This expansion seems to be occurring more rapidly in high reliability fields like automotive, where engineers are using […]

Different views of cars

The auto industry is a key driver for many aspects of global manufacturing, including the electronics industry. As vehicles incorporate more electronic functions, cars play a bigger role in determining the direction of some segments within the electronics industry. The auto industry has truly become a global business, with vehicles made and marketed in many […]