The automotive ignition system must deliver 10,000 volts up to 300 times per second in order to keep the engine running.
Breaker Point Ignition System
The breaker point ignition system consist of the source of energy (the battery), the ignition coil, distributor, ignition switch, spark plug and wiring. The entire electrical system includes the ignition system as a sub-system, but contains, in addition, the Generator (or a related device called an alternator), the voltage regulator, the starter, and electric light, accessories, and gauges.
The electronic ignition system performs the same basic function as the conventional systems but with one major difference; the battery-to-coil circuit is closed and opened electronically in the former rather than mechanically as in the breaker point system. The cam is replaced with a rotator that has metal tips on it. As the rotor turns, the tips pass by a pickup-coil assembly. Each time a tip aligns with the assembly, a magnetic pulse is generated in the coil. These pulses are used to generate the necessary high voltage surge.