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EMC Fundamentals

Presented By: Mike Violette Washington Laboratories, Ltd. September 15, 2006 7560 Lindbergh Dr. Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Washington Laboratories (301) 417-0220 web: www.wll.com

Introduction Elements of an EMI Situation Source "Culprit" Coupling method "Path" Sensitive device "Victim"

Lets see how this all got started Dead Smart Guys

First Transmitters: Spark Devices

Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894) clarified and expanded on James Clerk Maxwells Electromagnetic Theory



Marconi: first use & patent


How Does EMI Affect Electronics?

Radiated and conducted interference

Conducted Interference Enters and Exits Equipment through Wiring and Cabling Radiated Interference Enters and Exits Equipment through Wiring and Enclosure Penetration
Radiated Susceptibility Radiated Emissions

Conducted Susceptibility

Conducted Emissions

Interference to TV Reception

No Interference

Two Interfering Signals Injected into TV

Common Coupling Modes

Common and Differential Mode Crosstalk (cabling and conductors) Field to cable (Antenna) Conducted (direct) Field to enclosure

Crosstalk (cable-to-cable coupling)



Radiated Coupling: Field to Cable

Electromagnetic Wave

Loop Area

Induced Current

Coupling proportional to: E/H Field, Loop Area, Frequency


COMMON-MODE: Line to Ground DIFFERENTIAL MODE: Line-to-Line (Normal Mode)




Radiated Coupling: Field to Cable

Radio Electromagnetic Wave Patient Monitor


Loop Area
Induced Current

Instrumentation Interference
EKG Signal

Interference Current, If


Frequency (Hz) Ideal Response

Frequency (MHz) Real Response

Effect of Modulation

Interference Current, If

How Does EMI Affect Electronics?

Electrostatic Discharge & Transient Pulses ESD can induce glitches in circuits, leading to false triggering, errors in address & data lines and latch-up of devices
Upset Damage Degradation leading to future failure(s)
Gee, the humidity is low in here. Whats this for?

Please, Im very ticklish C

EKG Signal Interference Current

EKG Signal

Interference Current

Surge Coupling

Lightning and pulse sources cause high-energy transients into power and data cables



Digital Equipment Sources

Fourier Analysis
Spectrum of a Square Wave

f= 1/T 2f 3f

Log F

Spectrum of a Trapezoidal Wave (Characteristic of Digital Devices)

T A t f =1/ptr

f= 1/pt
Log F

Equipment Emissions Limits

Emissions Limits @ 3 meters








0 10 100 Frequency (MHz) 1000 10000

The decibel (dB)

The dB is used in Regulatory Limits (FCC, CISPR, etc.) The dB is a convenient way to express very big and very small numbers The Bel was named after Alexander Graham Bell Bel = LOG10(P2/P1) deciBel provides a more realistic scale: dB = 10LOG10(P2/P1) Voltage & Current are expressed as follows: dB (V or I) = 20LOG10(V2/V1)
20LOG derives from the conversion from Power to Voltage (ohms Law: P = E2/R)

Named after me!


Can have several reference units:

Watt: dB above one Watt (dBW) Milliwatt: dB above one milliwatt (dBm) Volt: dBV Microvolt: dBuV Microamp: dBuA picotesla: dBpT Electric Field: dBuV/m

Radio Receiver Sensitivity ~ 10 dBuV E-Field Limit for FCC: ~40-60 dBuV/m Distance to moon: 107dBmile (20LOG2.5E+5miles)

Broadband Sources
Man-made noise dominates
Intended transmissions, switching transients, motors, arcing Intermittent operation of CW causes transient effects

Digital Switching
Inductive kick Switch bounce

Digital Signaling
Broad spectrum based on pulse width & transition time HDTV CDMA UWB Technologies

Pulsed Sources
Fourier Analysis
Do you like my new shirt?

f =1/ptr t

f= 1/pt Log F

Spectrum of a Pulse

Urban Ambient Profile

Cell phone

Switching noise

FM Radio

Cables - Overview

Major coupling factor in radiating emissions from an equipment and coupling of emissions from other sources into an equipment Acts as radiating antenna, receiving antenna, and cable-tocable coupling mechanism External cables are not typically part of the equipment design but the installation requirements must be considered during the design Problem is a function of cable length, impedance, geometry, frequency of the signal and harmonics, current in the line, distance from cable to observation point Frequency Effects: Tied into Cable Wavelength

= c/f = 3X108/frequency = 300/fMHz

For example, wavelength at FM Radio Band (100 MHz) is 1

Cables - Length/Impedance

Efficiency as an antenna - function of length compared to wavelength At typical data transfer rates - length is short At harmonics or spurs the length may become long Impedance mismatch creates a high SWR

How very important

Frequencies of testing from 26 MHz to 1 GHz Corresponding cable lengths: L ~ 11 meters @ 26 MHz to 30 cm @ 1 GHz Short cables can be large contributors to Interference Problems

Power cables Grounding wires Patient cables Data cables Control harnesses Structures!

Cables - Loops

Emissions are a function of 1) Current; 2) Loop Geometry; 3) Return Path of the Current Current flow creates a magnetic field H=I/2pR for a single wire model Single wire case is not realistic Loop geometry formed by the current carrying conductor and the return line contribute to the field strength Electric field strength:

E(V /m) 13 . f

2 ( MHz )

* A( cm2 ) *

I ( amps ) R( meters )
E (& H)



Filters - Overview

Passband High pass Low pass Single component, L, Pi, T Common mode; differential mode Placement Components Lead length Leakage Limitations

Low Pass Filter

C EKG Signal Noise Current EKG Signal

Noise Current


EKG Signal

Attenuation of Noise

Frequency (Hz)

Filters - Types

Filters - Components

Discrete Component Filters

Component selection Lead length considerations

Power Filter Modules Filtered Connectors

Construction Selective loading

Termination (bonding and grounding)

Circuit Design Real Performance

Power Line Filter Typical Schematic

Signal Line Filter

(Screw-in Type)

Signal Line Filter

Filter - Placement

Isolate Input & Output

Establish boundaries with filters between Input or Output interfaces and active circuitry Digital and Analog Compartments and Modules

Prevent bypass coupling

Control line exposure on line side of filter Use dog-house compartment Shielded cables to control exposed cable runs

Terminate - Terminate - Terminate

Low impedance to ground termination Minimize lead length

Filter Performance Poor Installation = Poor Performance

Filter OUT

Filter IN

Filter Placement

Shield Concepts
Electric Field Coupling


Field Terminations on Inside

Metal Sphere Faraday Cage


Ground 0V Potential

Shield Concepts
Magnetic Field Coupling

Magnetic Field Shielding

Ferrous Shield Common at powerline and low frequencies; High-current conditions

Low residual field

m >>1

Effects of Openings
Cable Leakage

+ +
V+ Metal Sphere Faraday Cage

V=? V=0

Radio Frequency Effects

Shielded Enclosure


RF Source

RF Leakage
Metal Box


RF Source

L ~ /2
Perfect Transmission

The Business Card Test
Good to about 1 GHz

Shielding - Overview

Shields - conductive barriers

Reflection Absorption

Electric field - conductivity Magnetic field - permeability

Windows Vents Seams Panel components Cable connections

Shielding Effectiveness
Incident Field E1 Resultant Field E2

SHIELD Reflected ER

SE = E2/E1 (dB)

Shielding Reflection/Absorption
RE ( dB ) 322 10 log(

m *R
2 ( meters )


3 ( Hz )

RH ( dB ) 14.5 10 log(

f ( Hz ) * * R(2meters)

RP ( dB ) 168 10 log(
f ( MHz ) > 300 2pR

*f ) m ( Hz )

Plane wave occurs when E to H wave impedance ratio = 1

( meters )

A( dB ) k * t * f ( Hz ) * m *
k = 3.4 for t in inches and k = 134 for t in meters

Shielding - Material
Metal Silver Copper Gold Aluminum Zinc Brass Nickel Iron Tin Steel Hypernick Monel Mu-Metal Stainless Steel Conductivity - 1.05 1 0.7 0.61 0.29 0.26 0.2 0.17 0.15 0.1 0.06 0.04 0.03 0.02
All are good electric field shields

Permeability - m 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1000 1 1000 80000 1 80000 1000

Need high u for Mag Field Shield

Shielding - Seams/Gaskets

Required openings offer no shielding in many applications Apertures associated with covers tend to be long or require many contact points (close screw spacing) Large opening treatment
Screens, ventilation covers, optic window treatments WBCO formed to effectively close opening

Seam opening treatments

Overlapping flanges .2 .2 SE 10 log(a(1screws SE( dB) 99 10 log(a(1in (dBClosely ) 115 spaces cm) * L) or weld ) * L) Gasket to provide opening contact Gasketed SE

Shielding - Penetration

Conductors penetrating an opening negates the shielding provided by absorption and reflection Cables penetrations require continuation of the shield. or Conductors require filtering at the boundary Cable shields require termination Metal control shafts serve as a conductor
Use non-metallic Terminate shaft (full circle)

Grounding - Overview

Safety protection from power faults Lightning protection Dissipation of electrostatic charge Reference point for signals

Reference point is prime importance for EMC Potential problems

Common return path coupling High common impedance High frequency performance

Grounding - Impedance

Establish a low impedance return

Ground planes Ground straps for high frequency performance

Establish single point or multipoint ground

Single point for low frequency or short distance Distance(meters) < 15/f(MHz) Multipoint for high frequency or long distance Distance(meters) > 15/f(MHz)


Bonds should have two basic characteristics

Low impedance < 2.5 milliohms Mechanical & electro-chemical stability

Low impedance
Avoid contamination Provide for flush junction to maximize surface contact Use gaskets or fingerstock for seam bonds Provide a connecting mechanism

Mechanical and electro-chemical stability

Torque to seat for the mechanical connection Lock washers to retain bond Allow for galvanic activity for dissimilar metals

Galvanic Scale

Component Selection
Spectrum of a Square Wave

f= 1/T 2f 3f Log F

Spectrum of a Trapezoidal Wave (Characteristic of Digital Devices)

T A t f =1/ptr

f= 1/pt Log F

Circuit Design Component Selection



EMI V * dV dt

Circuits available in an EMI version Specify logic of necessary speed - not faster than required EMI performance varies between manufacturers

Switching Power Supplies

Two Sources:

Harmonics of switching power supply Broadband emissions due to ringing waveforms


Underdamped (Ringing) Waveform

Typical in switching circuits

10s kHz

Broadband (radiated & conducted) dV/dT = 100sMV/s 100s Volts

100 MHz+

Circuit Design - Summary

Consider EMI at the beginning

Understand requirements Select components Design in protection

Circuit Design - Layout

Design in ground planes, guards, segregation EMI gains from layout has virtually zero recurring cost

Grounds and Returns

Develop a ground scheme Consider digital, analog, return, and shield terminations

Design in hooks
Provide space for potential fix actions that may be required

Decoupling & Power Distribution

Connect all ground pins of high frequency circuits together in the same ground structure. Do not separate, isolate, break or otherwise cut the ground plane. Do not separate, isolate, break or otherwise cut the power plane. Do not insert impedances into Vcc/power traces.

Isolated Power/Grounding

Example Trace Layout (Bad Idea!)

Exception: Analog circuit isolation

Top 10 Common Mistakes

1. Improperly shielded cables: The principal problem is the cable-to-backshell termination 2. Unfiltered cable penetrations 3. High Frequency sources with poor termination:
High frequency sources: signals and power supplies

4. Case seams and apertures: bad/no gasket, or improper mating surfaces 5. Poor bonding between metal parts of unit

Top 10 Common Mistakes

5. Long ground leads on shields and bonding conductors 6. No high frequency filtering on analog inputs: Radiated and conducted immunity 7. Not accounting for the high frequency effects of ESD 8. Inadequate filters on I/O cables for emissions 9. Inadequately-installed power line filters

The Ten Steps to Avoiding EMI Problems

1. Signal Termination 2. Layout 3. Decoupling & Power Distribution 4. Grounding 5. Bonding 6. Filtering 7. Cabling 8. Shielding 9. Surge Suppression 10. CHECKLIST

Signal Term ination
R C Term inations (33 ohm s + 27 pF) on periodic signals G roup high frequency sources together; m inim ize trace runs of high frequency signals D ont source/sink I/O (w hether internal or external) through high frequency devices P osition oscillators and crystals aw ay from I/O and openings in the chassis S nub sw itching pow er supply w aveform s to m inim ize H F energy

Filters are installed at enclosure w all LC filter on unshielded cables P lan for capacitor on shielded lines

R oute cables to avoid coupling U se only fully-shielded cables Fully-term inate shield grounds to m etal/m etalized connector shels Term inate shells to chassis

Decoupling & Pow er Distribution

C onnect all ground pins of high frequency circuits together 0V reference (bond 0V to chassis) S olid pow er and G round planes N o im pedances in V cc/pow er traces.

The B usiness C ard Test U se correctly-rated suppressor line-to-line and line-to-ground G as Tubes V aristors S A D (S ilicon A valanche D iodes)

Bonding Checklist
B ond B ond B ond B ond 0V to chassis ground 0V to connector fram es and shells connector fram es to chassis m etal fram es together

WLL Contact Information

www.wll.com; info@wll.com Phone: 301 216-1500 Fax: 301 417-9069 INFO@WLL.COM