The Convergence of 5G and Automotive


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Karthik Vijay is head of the applications engineering team for customers in Europe at Indium Corporation. He spoke with Barry Matties about what EMS or assemblers for automotive should consider, as well as how he thinks 5G will affect the marketplace and manufacturing.

Barry Matties: How do you see the automotive market and 5G?

Karthik Vijay: These are two massive markets, and we are really excited to play in these verticals with innovative material sets. To put that in the automotive perspective, opportunities with powertrain electrification platforms (e.g., 48V, hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles) and advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) are exploding. The foundations of this work will facilitate the innovations for the full-electric driverless car of the future. That’s what is making it really exciting because I see this as a once in a 20–30-year opportunity. Automotive typically doesn’t adapt to new material sets that quickly, and rightfully so because there’s a lot of reliability testing and lifetime criticality that needs to be validated. That’s still happening, but the goalposts are changing pretty fast. With 5G, we are involved in various stages of the ecosystem right from the material sets inside the components to the base-stations used. To give you an example of the convergence of 5G and automotive, V2X is a core platform that will be facilitated by 5G. That means that the vehicle is connected to everything: vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-tower, vehicle-to-people, etc. As mentioned, both the automotive and 5G markets are open to innovation, and it is a great time to be involved with new material sets.

Matties: What opportunities are you seeing? Vijay: If you look at electrification, a direct consequence of moving up the electrification chain is increased service temperatures. Standard alloys like tin/silver/copper [SAC] are not going to make the cut, and there is an immediate opportunity for high-reliability solders in PCB assembly.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the December 2019 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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