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The Rapid Development Of Autonomous Driving Brings Opportunities To The PCB Industry
Aug 08, 2020

The popularity of automotive electronics will promote the increase in volume and price of automotive PCBs (printed circuit boards). In recent years, the electrification and electronization of automobiles have become obvious, and PCBs are almost ubiquitous in automobile electronic systems.

New energy vehicles and smart driving components will greatly increase the value of automotive PCBs

In recent years, the trend of electrification and electronization of automobiles has become more and more obvious. As the backbone of electronic products, PCB manufacturing has become increasingly important in the automotive supply chain. Compared with traditional fuel vehicles, the addition of charging, energy storage, power distribution and voltage conversion equipment for new energy vehicles will bring a large number of new application scenarios to PCBs. At the same time, although autonomous driving above L4 cannot be mass-produced in a short time, the gradual penetration of a variety of intelligent driving components will bring rapid development opportunities for the application of high-end high-frequency PCBs in automobiles.


Autonomous Driving High Frequency PCBs


Big PCB application: New Energy Vehicles

According to our calculations, in the powertrain and transmission fields alone, the bicycle value of PCBs on electric vehicles is as high as about RMB 800, which is 20 times the value of PCBs in this field of traditional vehicles. The new demand for electric vehicles mainly comes from powertrain related equipment-on-board chargers, battery management systems (BMS), voltage conversion systems (DC-DC, inverters, etc.) and other high-voltage and low-voltage devices. A large number of high-voltage and high-power devices contained in new energy vehicles, such as IGBTs and MOSFETs, have high requirements for heat dissipation, which makes the layout of PCBs not too dense and further increases the amount of PCBs for new energy vehicles. On each new energy vehicle, the total PCB board required for the above-mentioned equipment alone amounts to about 0.8 square meters. However, the total PCB required for a medium-level electronic fuel vehicle is only about 0.43 square meters. In the internal combustion engine and traditional system of traditional fuel vehicles, the amount of PCB is very small, only about 0.04 square meters in total.

New Energy Vehicles High Frequency PCBs

Automotive millimeter wave radar is an important promoter of high-end PCB promotion

Among smart driving devices, millimeter wave radar must be manufactured with high frequency PCB. The unit price of high-frequency PCB is several times that of ordinary PCB, and the value of PCB for bicycle millimeter wave radar can reach 100 yuan. Automotive millimeter-wave radars mainly use two frequency bands, 24GHz and 77~79GHz, and the frequency is much higher than the usage scenarios of general circuits. The characteristics of high-frequency circuits determine that the key raw materials of high-frequency PCBs-copper clad laminates to PCB manufacturing links are much higher than ordinary PCBs: the transmission vulnerability of high-frequency circuits determines that PCB copper clad laminates must use special PTFE and other special Substrate. The difficult processing of high-frequency copper clad laminates determines the high added value of high-frequency PCB processing links.


Smart Driving High Frequency PCBs


The application of domestic millimeter wave radar continues to grow at a high rate, with a year-on-year growth of about 54% in 2018. According to calculations by Zoath Industrial Research, domestic shipments of millimeter wave radar reached 3.58 million units in 2018. Generally, vehicles equipped with ADAS functions require 2-7 millimeter-wave radars. Therefore, the domestic production of millimeter-wave radars in 2018 is equivalent to about 720,000 vehicles equipped with a penetration rate of about 3%. Among them, the domestic 77GHz millimeter wave radar shipments exceeded 24GHz for the first time in 2018, becoming the mainstream. And 77GHz has higher requirements on PCB due to its higher frequency.

Copper Clad High Frequency PCBs

Automotive PCBs will rise in volume and price, far exceeding the industry growth rate.

According to our calculations, the PCB usage of new energy vehicles equipped with millimeter wave radar and large central control screen will reach 1.24 square meters, worth 1281 yuan, 3.6 times that of traditional fuel vehicles without the above configuration. The main driving forces for the increase in the value of PCB bicycles include: the popularization of new energy vehicles, and the improvement of intelligent driving equipment, especially the application of millimeter wave radar. Millimeter-wave radar is an important sensing device that realizes intelligent driving and even autonomous driving targets. Compared with other sensors, it has obvious advantages. The cost of millimeter wave radar is much lower than that of lidar, and its range and adaptability to the environment are much better than cameras.


Central Control Screen High Frequency PCBs


In addition to the above points, the complex and changeable use environment that automotive products need to face also makes automotive PCBs require far higher performance and reliability than those used in general consumer electronics. Higher requirements make automotive PCBs require higher production yields than general PCBs. At the same time, automotive PCBs have higher requirements for drilling, etching and other process links. With the added value of design and test verification, the unit price of the product is higher than that of ordinary PCBs. We predict that the average bicycle value of automotive PCBs will rise from 464 yuan in 2018 to 850 yuan in 2025, with a CAGR of 9% during the period.

Voltage Conversion Systems High Frequency PCBs

Driven by new energy vehicles, the automotive PCB market will usher in long-term stable growth.

The production and sales volume of new energy passenger vehicles in China will continue to grow rapidly in the next few years, and the CAGR is expected to be around 40% in 2018-2025. The domestic new energy passenger vehicle sales exceeded 1 million in 2018, and it is expected to exceed 2.5 million by 2020, and close to 12 million by 2025, with a market share of more than 40%. Although the penetration rate of domestic millimeter wave radars was only 3% in 2018, this proportion will rise rapidly in the next few years. We expect to reach 34% by 2025. According to the long-term CAGR=2% of total domestic passenger vehicle sales, the year-on-year growth rate of new energy vehicles in 2018-2025 will gradually shrink from 60% to 30%. It is conservatively estimated that the domestic automotive PCB market will rise from 10.9 billion yuan in 2018 to 2025 The CAGR was 12% during the period. Considering that many products of domestic PCB manufacturers are actually matched with vehicles sold overseas, the actual domestic automotive PCB market will grow faster. It is estimated that by 2025, the global automotive PCB market will reach 58.3 billion yuan.

Battery Management Systems High Frequency PCBs

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