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A research report shows that the electrification and intelligence of automotive vehicles have embraced expansion in the automotive PCB market. Meanwhile, the reshaping of supply relationships and the reconstruction of the industry structure have brought opportunities for PCB manufacturers from the mainland of China to overtake in corners.

Under this situation, it’s commonly believed that there are two main paths to gaining the industry growth dividend and breaking the inherent pattern. One is to cooperate with emerging leading OEMs, and the other is to focus on the layout of three-electric systems and domain control systems. PCB manufacturers in mainland of China have made varying degrees of effort in the above two types of paths, and actively face challenges, which give more space for them to grow.

Table of Contents

Automotive PCB market has remained stable

It’s reported that the downstream of some enterprises are mainly distributed in the automotive field (revenue accounting for 59%). From the year-on-year and month-on-month monthly revenue in November of some PCB enterprises, it can be observed that the recent development of the automotive field has remained stable. Automotive electronics is still a sector worthy of high attention.

Automotive PCB suppliers grasp opportunities


The transformation of automobile electrification and intelligence will reshape the supply relationship. For example, leading manufacturers gain more dominance in the industrial chain. Besides, the industrial chain structure will also change. The industrial value transfers from traditional components to three-electric systems, domain control software and hardware, which rebuilds the supply structure. Exactly these changes allow the manufacturers from mainland of China to overtake in corners.

(1)The development of new energy vehicles promotes emerging brands and stimulates competition between the old and fresh brands, which is good news for PCB manufacturers. At the same time, mainland of China’s own-brand OEMs are gradually emerging in the global competition, which is expected to drive domestic PCBs into the mainstream industry chain.

(2)Electrification and intelligence bring value-added parts such as three-electric systems and domain controllers. While component manufacturers in the mainland of China are already strong competitors in these parts such as the CATL of the three-electric system, Desay SV of the domain controller, which makes it possible to retain a certain degree of dominance at this stage. 

In this way, PCB manufacturers in the mainland of China have a better chance of being entered the mainstream supply chain of automotive PCBs. It has been observed that some of China’s mainland PCB manufacturers have entered the supply chain of new electric smart car OEMs, which is expected to make great growth.

Automobile electrification stimulates automotive PCB upgrading


1. Demands for PCB heat dissipation and BMS management design are increasing

Global new energy vehicles have entered a period of accelerated penetration. With the help of policy promotion and battery lifespan improvement, the bottleneck restricting the development of new energy vehicles has been gradually eliminated.

The trend of new energy vehicles moving toward high integration, which integrates electric control, motor and reducer for new energy vehicles and integrates the on-board charger, power drive unit, and DC-DC converter into one charging and distribution system. Besides, solving high-power heat dissipation is the mainstream trend of PCB design for new energy vehicles, including adopting thick copper or embedded copper or replacing wire harnesses with soft boards in BMS.

2. Demands for high-layer HDI and high-frequency PCB are increasing

With the trend of automobile intelligence, the electrical architecture is evolving towards integration, which is from a distributed electrical architecture to a (cross) domain centralized electrical architecture, and finally forms a centralized electrical architecture of vehicles. Besides, high-level autonomous driving solutions are expected to be popularized. With the legislation related to autonomous driving continuously improving, and hardware and algorithm technology making progress, the level of autonomous driving has moved towards L4.

Furthermore, the smart cockpit in the car integrates the functions of multiple different operating systems and security levels, which meets multi-modal human-computer interaction such as touch control, smart voice, visual recognition and smart display.

The demand for highly integrated and super-computing automotive electronics facilitates the amount of HDI used in automotive PCB, which is suitable for in-vehicle entertainment systems, autonomous driving master controls, and in-vehicle servers. It generally adopts high-speed materials with 3 to 10 layers HDI design. ADAS high-frequency signal transmission promotes the increase of high-frequency PCB usage. For example, 77GHz millimeter-wave radar adopts high-frequency copper-clad laminate materials or mixed-voltage materials.

3. Chinese automotive suppliers reshape the competitive landscape

The traditional automotive PCB market is characterized by low average unit prices, high requirements for product reliability and stability, and a long customer certification cycle. The upgrading of PCB is moving toward diversification. From traditional 4 to 6 layers PCB to HDI PCB, metal heat dissipation substrates, thick copper substrates, and built-in component boards, the technical challenges have enhanced and the demand amount of PCB used in the automotive field has increased.

China is one of the largest automobile-consuming countries, and the local demand for supporting equipment is strong. China PCB manufacturers are divided into two groups including traditional time-honored automotive PCB suppliers and emerging automotive PCB suppliers. In addition, Chinese PCB manufacturers are expected to go through two stages of development. In the first stage, the industry flourishes which incubates more new suppliers and breaks the original closed supply system; in the second stage, the industry standardization is determined, which improves the technical barriers

Learn more about automotive PCB manufacturers


IBE is a great source to order and customize your own PCB per your requirements. We have a professional R&D team and more than 17 experience in PCB and PCBA manufacturing. Selecting reliable and one-time delivery automobile PCB manufacturers is essential. We always aim to exceed your expectations by taking the advantages one step further in your service. 


This article shares some views on the automotive PCB market. IBE, who can customize boards made of any materials, also offers automotive PCB manufacturing and design services. If you want to learn more about PCBs, do not forget to visit our website for know more interesting content on the PCB industry.

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