What is AEC-Q200 (passive component reliability test standard)?
An automobile carries an electronic control unit (ECU) composed of numerous electronic components. These electronic components must operate normally even when the automobile runs in a harsh environment. Different from electronic components making up consumer products, in-vehicle electronic components are required to meet more severe quality requirements.
AEC standards provide quality management requirements that in-vehicle semiconductor devices should meet. Among various types of standards included in the AEC standards is AEC-Q200 which focuses on passive components. This article will discuss AEC-Q200 and brief on Panasonic products conforming to AEC-Q200 as well.
AEC-Q200 included in AEC standards
What are AEC standards?
Automotive Electronics Council or AEC was set up in the 1990s by three leading automobile manufacturers in the United States and joined by major electronic component manufacturers. The organization is responsible for setting common standards for in-vehicle electronic components including quality standards. Its AEC Component Technical Committee is working on setting standards for reliable electronic components and component certification rules.
AEC standards are international standards for ensuring the reliability of in-vehicle electronic components. Automobile manufacturers will not purchase components that fail to meet the requirements defined in the standards. AEC standards provide various types of standards applied to different types of electronic components. Among them is AEC-Q200 which applies to passive components. Passive components refer to components that consume, store, or release supplied power.
- AEC-Q100: integrated circuits (IC)
- AEC-Q101: discrete semiconductor products (capacitors, transistors, diodes, etc.)
- AEC-Q102: discrete optoelectronics semiconductor products (LEDs, etc.)
- AEC-Q103: vehicular sensors
- AEC-Q104: multichip modules (containing multiple chip pairs, ICs, etc.)
- AEC-Q200: passive components (resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc.)
AEC standards classify components into different grades corresponding to their service temperature ranges. These grades define individual places where classified components are allowed to be used. AEC-Q200 provides five grade categories, and components with a lower grade number must be able to withstand lower and higher temperatures.
|Grade||Temperature range||Types of passive components||Typical places of use of components|
|Low temperature||High temperature|
|0||-50°C||+150°C||Ceramic resistors (flat chips), X8R ceramic capacitors||Every mounting part|
|1||-40°C||+125°C||Networks (capacitors), resistors, inductors, transformers, thermistors, oscillators, vibrators, varistors, and all types of ceramic/tantalum capacitors||Most of the engine room|
|2||-40°C||+105°C||Aluminum electrolytic capacitors||High-temperature area of the passenger room|
|3||-40°C||+85°C||Film capacitors, ferritic EMI suppressors, networks (resistances/resistance capacitors)||Most of the passenger room|
|4||0°C||+70°C||A place for mounting non-electrical equipment|
AEC-Q200 test items
To run safely in a harsh environment, an automobile must have its electronic components keep operating normally. These electronic components cannot be put on the market as components conforming to AEC-Q200 requirements unless they pass environment tests, electrical tests, etc., conducted under severe test conditions. Passive components to be certified by AEC-Q200 tests and test items to be applied are listed in the following table.
Various components to be tested include capacitors, resistors, varistors, and crystal vibrators, with test items being specified for each component. Test items vary also depending on whether a component to be tested is a lead component or a surface mount device (SMD). In addition, capacitors of different types should be tested with different test items. So, these tests must be conducted carefully.
|Item number/test item
(AEC-Q200 number/test name)
|Passive components to which AEC-Q200 is applied|
|Tantalum/ceramic capacitors||Aluminum electrolytic capacitors||Film capacitors||Inductors/transformers|
|Components with leads||SMD||Components with leads||SMD||Components with leads||SMD||Components with leads||SMD|
|5.1 Pre- and Post- Stress Electrical Test
(No. 1 Pre- and Post- Stress Electrical Test)
|5.2 High Temperature Exposure (Storage)
(No. 3 High Temperature Exposure (Storage))
|5.3 Temperature Cycling
(No. 4 Temperature Cycling)
|5.4 Destructive Physical Analysis
(No. 5 Destructive Physical Analysis)
|5.5 Moisture Resistance
(No. 6 Moisture Resistance)
|5.6 Biased Humidity
(No. 7 Biased Humidity)
|5.7 High Temperature Operating Life
(No. 8 High Temperature Operating Life)
|5.8 External Visual
(No. 9 External Visual)
|5.9 Physical Dimensions
(No. 10 Physical Dimensions)
|5.10 Terminal Strength (Leaded)
(No. 11 Terminal Strength (Leaded))
|5.11 Resistance to Solvent
(No. 12 Resistance to Solvent)
|5.12 Mechanical Shock
(No. 13 Mechanical Shock)
(No. 14 Vibration)
|5.14 Resistance to Soldering Heat
(No. 15 Resistance to Soldering Heat)
|5.15 Thermal Shock
(No. 16 Thermal Shock)
(No. 17 ESD)
(No. 18 Solderability)
|5.18 Electrical Characterization
(No. 19 Electrical Characterization)
(No. 20 Flammability)
|5.20 Board Flex
(No. 21 Board Flex)
|5.21 Terminal Strength (SMD)
(No. 22 Terminal Strength (SMD))
|5.22 Beam Load
(No. 23 Beam Load)
|5.23 Flame Retardance
(No. 24 Flame Retardance)
|5.24 Rotation Life
(No. 25 Rotation Life)
|5.25 Surge Voltage
(No. 27 Surge Voltage)
|5.26 Salt Spray
(No. 29 Salt Spray)
|5.27 Electrical Transient Conduction
(No. 30 Electrical Transient Conduction)
|5.28 Shear Strength
(No. 31 Shear Strength)
|5.29 Short Circuit Fault Current Durability
(No. 32 Short Circuit Fault Current Durability)
|5.30 Fault Current Durability
(No. 33 Fault Current Durability)
|5.31 End-of-Life Mode Verification
(No. 34 End-of-Life Mode Verification)
|5.32 Jump Start Endurance
(No. 35 Jump Start Endurance)
|5.33 Load Dump Endurance
(No. 36 Load Dump Endurance)
Introduction to products conforming to AEC-Q200
This capacitor has an electrolyte mixture of a conductive polymer and an electrolytic solution. The capacitor can handle a large ripple current applied thereto while suppressing leak current, and is therefore expected to be highly reliable in performance. It is the best choice for use in an ECU that requires the capacitor to be small and highly reliable, and a communication base station, etc.
Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors (Surface Mount Type)
This capacitor offers high heat resistance, long service life, low impedance, and a high capability of handling ripple current. It is the best capacitor for use in power supplies in electronic equipment. The product can be applied to various equipment, such as general electronic devices and in-vehicle electrical equipment. It can also be incorporated in shockproof structures (ø8 or more) as well. The product complies with RoHS directives (2011/65/EU) and requirements for lead-free soldering.
Film Capacitors (Automotive, Industrial and Infrastructure Use)
This is a capacitor that handles high voltage/large current in applications for xEV (electric vehicles), smoothing inverter circuits for industrial infrastructures, snubber circuits, and noise suppression. Its electrodes are composed of films with a security mechanism that are deposited by Panasonic’s original technology. The film capacitor series for xEV charge circuits offers the following product lineup.
Chip resistors come in a variety of types, ranging from high-heat-resistant chip resistors to resistance networks.
- Thin-film ERA*V series offers high accuracy and high durability, being optimum for use in in-vehicle control circuits.
- ERJH series offers high resistance to heat and solder cracking.
- ERJ* series offers high resistance to sulfurization.
Power Inductors for Automotive application
This product is compact in size but can handle large currents, allowing space-saving in the power circuit of an ECU. A product feature is that it suffers less loss than a ferrite-type power inductor, in a higher frequency range. Having high resistance to heat and vibrations, the product is the best choice as a power inductor incorporated in an ECU exposed to a severe service environment.
NTC Thermistor (Chip type)
This thermistor is a surface mount type, and comes in various sizes (0402, 0603, 1005, 1608), offering a wide range of resistance temperature coefficients and resistance values. Its laminated structure and molded outline achieved by Panasonic’s original molding technology give the product high reliability. Among the NTC thermistor series is an in-vehicle thermistor capable of withstanding heat up to 150°C.
ESD suppressor is an electronic component that protects an electronic device from static electricity. In normal usage where the suppressor isn’t exposed to incoming high voltage, it works to ensure the quality of signals inputted to a high-speed differential signal circuit or high-frequency circuit. An ESD suppressor with high resistance to electrostatic discharge (EZAEG3W11AV conforms to AEC-Q200.
Varistor stands for a variable resistor. This electronic component is characterized by its resistance' changing depending on the size of the applied voltage. This characteristic allows the component to protect electronic devices from lightning surges and static electricity. It is made from a specific ceramic material and fabricated with an original processing technology allowing the product to offer an excellent protection effect against electrostatic charges. It can be used in a wide range of products, such as power supplies and high-speed signal lines. Among the chip varistor lineup, only the in-vehicle chip varistor conforms to AEC-Q200.
Varistors (ZNR Surge Absorber)
ZNR surge absorber is an electronic component that absorbs a harmful surge voltage to prevent the destruction of an electronic device. A number of ZNR surge absorbers are incorporated in various devices/equipment, such as office equipment and cars. Among the ZNR surge absorber lineup is an SMD-type HF series which conforms to AEC-Q200.
AEC standards are international standards for ensuring the reliability of in-vehicle electronic components. AEC-Q200, which is included in the AEC standards, is the standard applied to passive components. These components must pass tests conducted under severe test conditions first before they are put on the market as products conforming to AEC-Q200. Panasonic offers a lot of components conforming to AEC-Q200, thus contributing to the development of in-vehicle products.