As we welcome increasing numbers of IoT devices into our industries, offices and home lives, we shouldn’t be surprised to see increasing electromagnetic (EM) congestion. Or, as it’s now dubbed , the ‘Interference of Things’.
Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) is typically defined as the ability of a product to function in its environment without introducing electromagnetic disturbance. A product must: tolerate a specified degree of interference, not generate more than a specified amount of interference and be self-compatible.
Do you still use Post-it Notes? Invented in 1979, this simple, yet incredibly powerful, communication mechanism is still commonly found in engineering and design departments. Despite modern electronic communication, many companies still struggle to provide a replacement for their ease-of-use and versatility.
When it comes design rule checks for PCB designs, there are checks that should be performed that are just as important as spacing rules. Strict adherence to basic PCB design rule checks, such as track to track, track to via, via to via, pad to track etc. – though necessary to avoid short circuits – only scratch the surface when trying to identify potential design flaws. I often see PCB designs that are completed based on this premise and wonder what else could be hiding in the design?
Modern PCB designs have IOs reaching speeds of multi Gigabits per second, making signal integrity analysis an imperative for any product in the design phase. As the industry spends increasing amounts of time on finding and fixing these issues, it’s worthwhile any designers out there that are not already doing so, investing some energy in reducing design cycle time through early identification of high speed issues like crosstalk and return path discontinuity etc.
You’ll already be well aware that EMC compliance is a necessary condition for releasing products to market. There’s National and International bodies such as the IEC and the FCC that define limits on how much a device is allowed to produce, and the how stringent these are will vary according to industry.