New EMC guidelines for higher frequencies

Printed circuit board, cable and connector and shielding design choices are becoming more complex, due to higher frequencies and shifting legislative requirements. As data frequencies move from 1 to 6 GHz and legislation is adapted accordingly, getting new products to market without costly or time consuming delays will become more challenging.

Philips Engineering Solutions EMC consultancy team has come up with a  new approach, toolbox and training.

“We have recently developed new quantitative EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) design guidelines at board, cable and enclosure level,” explains Marcel van Doorn, EMC Lead consultant. “These were recently presented at the EMC Europe Conference and may be adapted to any customers’ needs. The guidelines are the result of extensive 3D electromagnetic simulations of electronic systems on a general modelling framework for electrical architectures and provide new insights that our customers can apply in their high-speed interfaces like DDR3 and USB 3.0.”

“Semiconductor components are becoming increasingly fast, and legislation is following suit, so the frequency at which components are tested has to go up, too. However, the higher the frequencies used, the more complex testing becomes. At a certain point, you can’t obtain accurate and timely results without simulation tools. You need to know in advance which problems your designs might encounter in order to implement corrective measures. Our experts have decades of experience in modelling components in 3D systems. With our state-of-the-art 3D electromagnetic simulation tools we can help customers optimize EMC behavior of their electronic systems during the early stages of architecture design and suggest solutions for any problems we encounter.”

Electro-Magnetic Compatibility challenges

“The accuracy of simulations is largely determined by the quality of the models. You have to know which sections of a component to model, and how they interact, in order to arrive at a relevant and useful outcome. There’s no point in simply copying a complete product – this just adds layers of complexity and slows down the process.”

“An example of an application is the development of a new type of TV architecture, with ultra-fast communications signals. We used simulation to work out exactly where the critical signal traces should be placed on the PCB. The ideal location turned out to be a spot that was entirely counter-intuitive, yet yielded the best results.”

“We can now check for high frequency disturbances in communications systems such as WiFi or GSM and high-speed memory controllers and interfaces such as DDR3 and USB 3.0. We’re also currently making our simulation tools faster. After all, the sooner you get your results, the sooner you can take the next steps in your product development process.”

Working with EMC consultancy

“Electronics is such a broad field, there’s no way a single person can be an expert in every area, so we were pleased to find Philips Engineering Solutions had the exact expertise we were looking for in-house,” says Paul Schepers, Senior Hardware Engineer and Engineering team leader with Genexis an Eindhoven based high-tech firm. “We relied on their Electro-Magnetic Compatibility expertise to track down an issue on the PCBs for one of our products. The great thing about working with them is that you can speak as one engineer to another. Together, we set up a number of increasingly specific simulation tests, which allowed us to find and solve the problem. They also provided significant added value in analyzing test results.”

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