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Improvement of System Robustness through EMC Optimization

Authored on: Feb 2, 2007 by Bernd Deutschmann

Technical Paper

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The electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) became a major concern for integrated circuits (ICs) during the last years. As the operating frequency has increased and the supply voltage has become lower, the electromagnetic emission as well as the susceptibility of integrated circuits increased tremendously. Generally speaking, EMC is defined as the ability of an electrical system to work properly in its electromagnetic environment without unduly interfering with this environment. This is the reason why EMC is of importance to all of us. Consider, for example, the omnipresent electromagnetic environment in our motor vehicles generated by devices like ABS braking systems, airbag sensors, or the motor management. Without a proper design, EMC of integrated circuits will become a limiting factor in the performance of every advanced electronic system.

In this paper, the new standards to characterize the electromagnetic compatibility of integrated circuits will be presented. These standards provide measurement methods to characterize the electromagnetic emission and the immunity of ICs. It will be shown how two measurement methods have been used to find the source of the unwanted electromagnetic emission of an IC.

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