When electronic vehicle systems fail, itís often not the fault of microcontrollers, memories or integrated circuits. By watching for some of the following problems, designers can often boost reliability of end products, especially in automobiles.
Minimize connections. Thereís a high correlation between reliability and the number of electrical connections made at an assembly plant. A dashboard with ten connections, for example, is likely to be more reliable than one with 50 connections.
Make sure wires donít rub against sharp pieces of metal.†
Ensure connections go together with an audible snap. If assemblers hear the snap, they know itís connected.
Design in reliability at the beginning. Usually, if a car starts out reliable in its first model year, it stays that way.
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MCU manufacturers have become excellent sources for information you can use to get a head start on your next design. In addition to the normal data sheets and evaluation boards, MCU manufacturers also often provide complete reference designs -- working designs that establish a proven baseline for creating your own custom design.
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