These trends are only accelerating and the car of the (near) future will be
more connected than ever before — and that is creating a tremendous
demand for both processing power and the ability to transmit vast amounts
of high-speed data in new automotive designs.
The race is on—and not unlike the PC race witnessed over the last decade
or so. In that market, it was a tough competition to see who was able to
deliver the most powerful laptop, in the smallest size, with the lightest
weight and, most importantly, with all of the functionality to quickly and
easily handle digital data files growing in both size and complexity.
In the automotive market, the design challenges go beyond simply
delivering processing power and high-speed data transfer. Design
engineers must also safely manage heat generated by those processes in
the confines of tight vehicle packaging requirements, as well as ambient
temperature fluctuations, while adhering to stringent safety and reliability
standards of the automotive industry.
That, indeed, is a challenge.
In considering specific design issues facing automakers and their suppliers,
the challenges related to thermal management can be broken down into
two basic areas of focus:
1. Understanding the increasing demands on electronic components to
ensure that the device design will generate the least amount of heat
2. Designing enclosures that will help manage heat and optimize cooling
in these extreme temperatures, often enclosed, harsher environments
Addressing these challenges is no simple feat and it all begins with proper
electrical and enclosure designs to provide efficient and cost-effective