Automobiles are becoming more advanced every day. The number of integrated circuits (ICs) is increasing every year and spreading to more modules within the automobile to control lights, heating, sensors and more. The new paradigm of designing automobiles with more features and electrical controls raises the question of whether this is safe, and whether ICs can withstand the voltage transients common in automotive environments.
Of course, if you apply a 12V power supply to a microcontroller requiring a 3.3V supply, the device will not operate correctly and you run the risk of catastrophic failure.
The same principle applies to transients in the automotive environment, whose voltages can rise (or become negative) far beyond the specifications of the ICs. Transients are even more severe in 24V-battery systems like commercial trucks, forklifts and mass transit vehicles.
Nearly every car in the world uses the Local Interconnect Network (LIN) protocol. Modules that use LIN connect directly to the car battery through a diode; LIN transceivers that send and receive data across the LIN bus experience transients all the time.
It is vital that you choose a LIN transceiver that is sufficiently protected from transients so that different modules in the car can communicate effectively.
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