Sei sulla pagina 1di 12

Fundamentals of E M C Design: Our Products Are Trying To Help U s

KEITH ARMSTRONG
Cherry Clough Consultants Stafford, United Kingdom

globular shape to m i n i m i z e the energy i n its surface tension. Because currents naturally take the paths that result i n the lowest E M field energies, they a u t o m a t i c a l l y give us the best emissions and i m m u n i t y o f w h i c h o u r design is capable. Rather t h a n f i g h t i n g the laws of physics, what we are f i g h t i n g is o u r o w n lack o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h o w the laws o f physics work. Once we understand this we can w o r k w i t h these laws f r o m the s t a r t of our design, to easily and q u i c k l y create cost-effective products that meet their E M C specifications. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the way that M a x w e l l ' s Equations are taught doesn't show h o w easy it is to derive (without any mathematics!) the easiest, simplest, most profitable way to design products using good E M C engineering techniques [1]. Signal I n t e g r i t y (SI) and Power I n t e g r i t y (PI) are subsets of E M C engineering, so e m p l o y i n g good E M C design techniques f r o m the start o f a new project ensures excellent SI and PI (see [2]). This has the effect o f considerably reduci n g the n u m b e r o f design iterations, generally reducing overall cost o f manufacture, and r e d u c i n g t i m e - t o - m a r k e t . T i m e - t o - m a r k e t has, since 2000, become the most i m p o r t a n t issue for a financially successful electronic product. This is shown by the i n d u s t r y responses to Q u e s t i o n 6 in [3], see Figure 1, and I have seen other reports from s i m i l a r prestigious organizations that show the same for most electronic applications.

1. IIMTRODUCTION

e often design e l e c t r o n i c p r o d ucts o n l y to f i n d t h a t w h e n we test t h e m for e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c c o m p a t i b i l i t y ( E M C ) , their emissions and/ or i m m u n i t y are n o t as good as we need t h e m to be. Usually, at t h i s t i m e , we feel as i f we are f i g h t i n g against the laws o f physics to cont a i n the conducted and radiated emissions, or to reduce susceptibility. But i n fact the laws o f physics - M a x well's Equations - are causing o u r design to have the best emissions and i m m u n i t y that the physical structure allows. We m i g h t say that our p r o d u c t is d o i n g the very best it can to reduce its emissions and i m p r o v e its i m m u n i t y ! (I a m using the w o r d "product" to mean every t y p e o f e l e c t r o n i c assembly, f r o m modules, subsystems, e q u i p m e n t and systems, to installations.) H i e key issue - is that a l l currents ( i n c l u d i n g strays) always flow i n closed loops, and always take the path of least impedance, w h e t h e r this path is along conductors or t h r o u g h the air (or other dielectrics) between t h e m . C u r r e n t flows i n the path o f least i m p e d ance to m i n i m i z e the energy i n its associated electric and magnetic fields, rather like the way a d r o p o f water i n air assumes a

104

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY S DESIGN GUIDE 2012

F U N D A M E N T A L S OF E M C D E S I G N :

O U R P R O D U C T S A R E T R Y I N G To H E L P U S

Question 6; W h a t a r e the top i s s u e s you f a c e in j e n e r a t i n g continued revenue and profit?

Getting the product to

iTrarket on time
Taken from: "TheConsunierElecIronicsBoom How Semiconductor and C o n s u m e r ElectronicsCompanfes Can improve C o s t . Timedo-fdarttet. anrt Product Quality" hyKPMG LLP's Information, Communlcedon and Entanainment (ICE) Ptactica. 2008. www,kpmo.dB/doc*/20030701_The_Conaumar_ Elacnonica_Boom,pdf

Getting the product cost within Ititdgst Incorporating changing feature retiuirenients in product design Ijefore product release Reducing the number of design I revisions Itefore protiuct is released f lie snpplrers not asked! i Rapidly changing consiimer interests, wants, or needs Competition from new atidror unex|>ected sources

C E = ConsumerEleclronics IC = Integrated Circuits

CE anti IC respondents say prod act tinie-to-market is the tiiost iinportatit business issue, followed by prodiictcost.

Figure 1. Time-to-market

and cost.

Figure 2. Good EMC design

also takes care of SI and PI.

It is often f o u n d i n practice that e m p l o y i n g good E M C design techniques frona the start o f a project improves funct i o n a l perforrnance, sometimes even g i v i n g signal q u a l i t y and f u n c t i o n a l specifications better t h a n a n y t h i n g that had ever been achieved before. Unfortunately, some project/engineering managers insist on the lowest B i l l O f M a t e r i a l s ( B O M ) cost, believing that t h i s w i l l somehow lead t o the m o s t profitable product. W h e r e i t prevents us f r o m w o r k i n g with t h e laws o f physics, we often find ourselves fighting this ill-advised and p l a i n l y i n c o r r e c t approach (see [4]). The result is a n u m b e r of a d d i t i o n a l delays and cost-increases (e.g. a d d i n g filtering and s h i e l d i n g t o pass E M C tests) that increase the overall cost-of-manufacture, delay m a r k e t i n t r o d u c t i o n , reduce p r o f i t a b i l i t y and increase financial risks. For example, the ideal p r i n t e d c i r c u i t board (PCB) layer stack for good E M C design o f a given p r o d u c t m i g h t have eight layers, but the m i n i m u m SI and f u n c t i o n a l specifications can be met w i t h j u s t six. Tiae cost-saving achieved by using the six-layer b o a r d is considerably o u t w e i g h e d by the extra delay and cost o f a d d i n g filtering and s h i e l d i n g at the end o f the project t o meet its E M C specifications. Tiae overall cost of manufacture ends u p b e i n g nauch higher t h a n w o u l d have been achieved w i t h an eight-layer PCB, a n d the (more i m p o r t a n t ) t i m e - t o - m a r k e t is delayed by several weeks - w h i c h i n some situations can naake the difference between a product's success and its failure. Hals a r t i c l e briefly i n t r o d u c e s t h e laws o f physics as they apply t o o u r products' SI, PI and E M C design issues, developing an " E M Design Toolkit". I t then briefly describes a p p l y i n g that t o o l k i t t o a PCB assenably example. I w r o t e a s i m i l a r type o f article o n a p p l y i n g these sanae laws o f physics t o ease t h e E M C design o f systems a n d installations o r any size, [5], w h i c h m i g h t be o f interest t o some readers.

E M C " - the p r o d u c t i n t e r f e r i n g w i t h itself. For more d e t a i l on this, see Chapter 8 o f [6] or 2.10 o f [7].

3. EVERYTHING HAS PERMEABILITY (p) AND PERMITTIVITY (e)


A l l m e d i a and m a t e r i a l s i n t h i s universe have c o n d u c t i v i t y , p e r m e a b i l i t y (p) and p e r m i t t i v i t y (e). I n v a c u u m (and air): p^ = 4 T T I 0 ^ Henries/meter e = ( 1 / 3 6 n l 0 ' ' ) Farads/meter O t h e r media a n d materials are characterized by t h e i r relative p e r m e a b i l i t y (p^^j and p e r m i t t i v i t y (e^) - d i m e n s i o n less numbers, just m u l t i p l i e r s for the v a c u u m p e r m e a b i l i t y and p e r m i t t i v i t y - so t h e i r overall p e r m e a b i l i t y is: p^^p^j and their overall p e r m i t t i v i t y is: e^E^ P e r m e a b i l i t y is associated w i t h i n d u c t i v e E M energy, w h i c h we d r a w as magnetic field c o n t o u r lines. P e r m i t t i v i t y is associated w i t h capacitive E M energy, w h i c h we d r a w as electric field c o n t o u r lines. C o n d u c t i v i t y (and its reciprocal, resistivity) is associated w i t h energy loss, i.e. the conversion o f E M energy (magnetic or electric) i n t o t h e r m a l energy. The shape a n d size o f c o n d u c t i v e s t r u c t u r e s c a r r y i n g current, a n d the p^p^^ a n d e^e^ o f the media o r materials they are embedded i n , cause inductance (L) and capacitance (C), respectively. This means that whenever there is a f l u c t u a t i n g voltage (V) there is always an associated c u r r e n t (I). A n d vice-versa: whenever there is a fluctuating c u r r e n t (I) there is always an associated voltage ( V ) . Some d i g i t a l designers assume that because the i n p u t resistance of a C M O S gate is several M O , PCB traces c a r r y i n g digital signal voltages carry no (or a very tiny) current. TTiis is incorrect because it ignores the inevitable (and unavoidable) stray capacitance o f the traces and the gate i n p u t . For example, w i t h a gate i n p u t capacitance o f 3pF a n d a 3 V o l t d i g i t a l signal rise-time o f 300ps (quite slow these days) the peak c u r r e n t r e q u i r e d j u s t to charge up this single i n p u t gate alone is about 3 0 m A . This intense c u r r e n t "spike" m u s t flow i n a l o o p t h a t includes t h e D C power supply d i s t r i b u t i o n n e t w o r k , so can cause a i l manner o f SI, Pi and

2. EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL EMC


A p a r t f r o m D C issues such as the fan-out o f D C signals or the voltage d r o p caused by resistance i n D C power conductors, a l l SI and PI issues are j u s t subsets of E M C , as Figure 2 tries to show (also see [2]). They m i g h t be called " i n t e r n a l

106

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY S. DESIGN GUIDE 2012

FUNDAMENTALS

OF E M C D E S I G N :

OUR PRODUCTS

A R E T R Y I N G To

HELP

US

Magnetic field
T h e H f ieid i s o r t h o g o n a l to

This only s h o w s one line vector (z) in a 3D space, at one instant in time Figure 4. Cross section of fields associated return conductors. with a pair of send/

Figure 3. Visualizing a linearly-polarized

EM wave in free

space.

E M C problems. I n insulators and dielectrics (e.g. air, PVC, fiberglass) \xyp^ and e^e,; cause analogous effects to inductance and capacitance - so whenever there is a fluctuating electric field (E) there is always an associated magnetic field ( H ) . A n d vice-versa: whenever there is a f l u c t u a t i n g magnetic field ( H ) there is always an associated e l e c t r i c field (E). C h a p t e r 2 o f [6] a n d 2.3 o f [7] have m o r e details o n the above. a g e o g r a p h i c a l map - they are n o t real, b u t t h e i r d e n s i t y ( n u m b e r o f lines per i n c h ) indicates the s t r e n g t h o f the field (like the slope o f a h i l l ) . So we can see t h a t the E a n d H field s t r e n g t h s are h i g h e s t i n b e t w e e n the send a n d return conductors. T h e e l e c t r i c a l p o w e r associated w i t h the c u r r e n t i n the wires propagates a l o n g the l e n g t h o f the w i r e s . Because Figure 4 shows the w i r e s i n cross section, the e l e c t r i c a l power (i.e. p r o p a g a t i n g E M energy) is f l o w i n g p e r p e n d i c u lar to the surface o f the page or screen w i t h w h i c h y o u are r e a d i n g these w o r d s , and the E and H fields it sketches are f l u c t u a t i n g i n the plane o f the paper or screen. M a x w e l l ' s famous four equations include A m p e r e s Law, w h i c h says t h a t c u r r e n t s always f l o w i n closed loops, and Faraday's L a w o f e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c i n d u c t i o n , w h i c h says t h a t c u r r e n t s always f l o w i n such a way as to m i n i m i z e t h e i r l o o p areas. M a x w e l l h i m s e l f i n v e n t e d the concept o f displacement current, showing how a fluctuating current could flow t h r o u g h capacitance even t h o u g h there was no conductive p a t h for i t .

4. BECAUSE OF MAXWELL'S EQUATIONS...


Every f l u c t u a t i n g voltage or c u r r e n t is really E M power ( W a t t s , i.e. rate o f f l o w o f e l e c t r i c a l energy), p r o p a g a t i n g as a wave i n the m e d i u m w i t h v e l o c i t y v = l/^dx^H^Eff) m/s (= 3.108 m/s i n air or v a c u u m ) and c r e a t i n g e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c ( E M ) fields as i t does so. T h i s applies to every k i n d o f e l e c t r i c a l event, w h e t h e r we c a l l i t e l e c t r i c a l power; e l e c t r o n i c or r a d i o signals; i n f r a - r e d ; l i g h t ; l i g h t n i n g , etc., and i n c l u d i n g a i l m a i n s 6 0 H z power; analogue, d i g i t a l a n d s w i t c h - m o d e power and signals; data c o m m u n i c a t i o n s ; radio-frequencies (RF) and m i c r o w a v e s , etc., i n c l u d i n g a i l e l e c t r i c a l , e l e c t r o n i c , or radio "noises". Figure 3 is an a t t e m p t at v i s u a l i z i n g a single vector o f an E M wave at a single frequency, as i t propagates i n free space. Its shows t h a t the E and H fields are p e r p e n d i c u l a r to each other, and t h a t they b o t h f l u c t u a t e i n d i r e c t i o n s p e r p e n d i c u l a r to the d i r e c t i o n i n w h i c h the E M power is propagating. T h e usual analogy is w i t h waves on the ocean, w h i c h propagate wave energy across the surface o f the ocean even t h o u g h the m o l e c u l e s o f seawater i n a wave o n l y move up a n d d o w n . A c o m m o n way o f v i s u a l i z i n g the E a n d H fields ass o c i a t e d w i t h voltages a n d c u r r e n t s i n c o n d u c t o r s , is s h o w n i n Figure 4, for a s e n d / r e t u r n pair o f c o n d u c t o r s s h o w n i n cross s e c t i o n . E-fieid lines always t e r m i n a t e on c o n d u c t o r s , p e r p e n d i c u l a r to t h e i r surface, and H - f i e i d lines never t e r m i n a t e o n a n y t h i n g . These lines s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d like c o n t o u r lines o n

5. BECAUSE OF THE LAW OF CONSERVATION OF ENERGY...


I g n o r i n g the v i r t u a l particles i n the " q u a n t u m vacuum", [8], there is always zero E M p o w e r at any p o i n t i n space. T h e E M p o w e r e n t e r i n g a p o i n t m u s t be exactly balanced by the E M power l e a v i n g i t . T h i s is K i r c h o f f ' s c u r r e n t law, w h i c h is often described as: "the s u m o f the c u r r e n t s at any p o i n t equals zero", a n d is e q u i v a l e n t to A m p e r e ' s Law. A n o t h e r way o f p u t t i n g t h i s is to say t h a t a l l c u r r e n t s f l o w i n closed loops. I f some c u r r e n t c o u l d escape f r o m a loop and go w a n d e r i n g o f f on its o w n , never to r e t u r n , t h e n at the p o i n t where i t left the m a i n l o o p there w o u l d be an imbalance i n the c u r r e n t . C u r r e n t w o u l d accumulate at t h a t p o i n t , a n d the Law o f C o n s e r v a t i o n o f Energy tells us t h i s can't happen ( i n o u r universe, anyway). So we see that C o n s e r v a t i o n o f Energy ( i n t h i s c o n t e x t

108

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

E M C DIRECTORY S, DESIGN GUIDE 2012

ARMSTRONG

s o m e t i m e s c a i i e d the L a w o f C o n s e r v a t i o n o f Charge) means we c o u i d r e w r i t e K i r c h o f f ' s c u r r e n t iaw as: "the s u m o f the EiM power at any p o i n t equals zero". T h i s means that at any c i r c u i t node t h a t sends a c u r r e n t ( w h e t h e r power, signals, noise, etc.) also s i m u l t a n e o u s l y e m i t s an antiphase c u r r e n t t h a t we call the r e t u r n c u r r e n t . These send a n d r e t u r n c u r r e n t s propagate t h r o u g h the i m p e d a n c e s o f the v a r i o u s m e d i a (air, c o n d u c t o r s , etc.), e v e n t u a l l y m e e t i n g up to create w h a t we t h i n k o f as s e n d / r e t u r n c u r r e n t loops. A t any i n s t a n t i n t i m e , the c u r r e n t s i n the send a n d r e t u r n c u r r e n t paths balance each other o u t . N o t i c e t h a t because a i l power, signal and (stray) noise c u r r e n t s , o f any k i n d , f l o w i n closed loops, t h i s means that the c o n n e c t i o n to the safety e a r t h / g r o u n d electrodes generally has no relevance at a i l for g o o d SI, PI or E M C design. (In p o o r E M C designs, stray c u r r e n t loops can t r a v e l t h r o u g h the safety e a r t h / g r o u n d , u s i n g i t as a c o n v e n i e n t c o n d u c t i v e s t r u c t u r e , and causing h i g h levels o f emissions and poor i m m u n i t y . )

in

5 above.

M a x w e l l ' s E q u a t i o n s and related laws o f physics describe a common-sense, cause-and-effect w o r l d i n w h i c h u n d e r s t a n d i n g basic concepts makes i t q u i t e easy and q u i c k to design i o w - o v e r a i i - c o s t g o o d SI, PI and E M C but the Q E D concepts t h a t u n d e r p i n t h i s are v e r y w e i r d and w o n d e r f u l . Despite its weirdness, Q E D is the m o s t w e i i - p r o v e n t h e o r y ever k n o w n , and has been p r o v e n t o be accurate to about 11 orders o f m a g n i t u d e m o r e t h a n has (so far) been possible for gravity. H a p p i l y , for a i l SI, PI and E M C w o r k , engineers need go no deeper t h a n M a x w e l l ' s Equations and C o n s e r v a t i o n of Energy (or Charge).

7. WHAT DOES ALL PI AND EMC?

THE

ABOVE MEAN FOR

SI,

7.1 EM power divides between alternate paths according to their admittances


In the "far f i e l d " o f an E M source, E a n d H fields e x p e r i ence the "wave impedance" o f the media or materials t h e i r EM power is p r o p a g a t i n g t h r o u g h : in air or v a c u u m : \l{pjEf=120nD. (near e n o u g h 3 7 7 n ) in other m e d i a (e.g. P V C , oil, fiberglass, etc.): 120nV(p,/e,)n

6. BUT IT'S REALLY ALL ELECTRODYNAMICS

BECAUSE OF (OED)

QUANTUM

How d i d the r e t u r n c u r r e n t s " k n o w " w h a t paths to f o l l o w to exactly m a t c h up w i t h t h e i r respective send currents? P r o f Feynman's s l i m book, [9], says t h a t p r o p a g a t i n g E M energy ( l i g h t is also E M energy) takes the p a t h o f least t i m e - w h i c h is also the p a t h o f least energy - w h i c h is also the p a t h t h a t gives the best SI, PI and E M C possible for a given g e o m e t r y and m e d i a / m a t e r i a l s ( a l t h o u g h t h i s last c o n c l u s i o n is n o t f o u n d i n [9]). To f i n d o u t h o w p r o p a g a t i n g E M energy " k n o w s " to do t h i s , we have to i n t e g r a t e over the w h o l e o f space a n d t i m e , i n c l u d i n g negative t i m e . T h i s was P r o f Feynman's great i n s i g h t , w h i c h made the w o r l d o f q u a n t u m elect r o d y n a m i c s amenable to c a l c u l a t i o n , and is responsible for m u c h o f m o d e r n e l e c t r o n i c technologies. But w h e n P r o f Feynman's students asked h i m w h a t u n d e r p i n n e d t h i s n a t u r a l behavior, he said no one k n e w a n d there was s i m p l y no p o i n t i n even a s k i n g the quest i o n . I t was j u s t the w a y n a t u r e w o r k e d . However, some progress is n o w b e i n g made i n a n s w e r i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n , w i t h the favored s o l u t i o n s b e i n g the "many w o r l d s " or "parallel universes" t h e o r y , w h i c h is k n o w n to be t r u e because o t h e r w i s e q u a n t u m c o m p u t e r s w o u l d n ' t w o r k . A characteristic o f Q E D is that i t defies c o m m o n sense and destroys the t i m e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n cause a n d effect, w i t h some o u t c o m e s t h a t can seem v e r y w e i r d . A p p a r e n t l y , w i t h sensitive e n o u g h i n s t r u m e n t s listeners c o u i d hear w h a t the o u t c o m e o f a b a i l game w o u l d be by l i s t e n i n g to r a d i o broadcasts f r o m the f u t u r e ! U n f o r t u nately i t o n l y reaches a few femtoseconds i n t o the f u t u r e - n o t e n o u g h t i m e to place a w i n n i n g bet. A l s o , Q E D p e r m i t s the power budget for a p o i n t to deviate f r o m zero for a few femtoseconds, b u t after t h a t the Law o f C o n s e r v a t i o n o f Energy insists t h a t the power books have to balance to zero once again, as d e s c r i b e d

for
1^

every

n e ^

VTI provides EMI shielding and gasketing for a host of applications across multiple Industries, from medical to aerospace instruments:
Medical, Electronic, Defense/Government, Electrical, Aerospace, industrial

ii

The leading vacuum metallizing provider for m and EMI shielding

tr

EMI/RFI/ESD shielding tor plastic electronic enclosures Solutions tor design engineers

Form-ln-Place (FIP) gaskets tor conductive/ environmental sealing on plastic or metal components

Call 800.482.1941 or Email VTlsale^vactednccom


A Veteran Owned Smalt S u s i n e s s

tSOSOOltlOasCwWed

m VTI VACUUM TECHNOLOGIES INC.


1215 industrial Ave., Reedsburg, Wi 5 3 9 5 9 T 608-524-9822 F 608-524-9722

www.vactecjnc.com

[Jj

RoHS CompM.nt

interterencetechnology.com

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

109

FUNDAMENTALS

OF E M C D E S I G N :

QUR PRODUCTS

A R E T R Y I N G To

HELP

US

These simple wave impedance formulae are only true in the "far field", typical for radio transmission and reception, whereas in the "near field" the impedance situation is more complex, and the dominant effects on the impedance of a path through the air or other dielectric are inductive and capacitive coupling - often caiied "stray" or "parasitic" inductance and capacitance. See Chapter 2.4 of [6] or 2.3.3 of [7], for more on this, including how to calculate whether we are in the near or far field. For E M waves propagating along conductive structures (what we call power, signals or stray currents flowing in cables and P C B traces), the medium surrounding them has an important effect on impedance, but so does the shape of the structures carrying the current and the shape and proximity of nearby conductors - most especially the return conductor(s), but any other conductors in the near field will also have an effect. So E M waves propagating along conductors can experience impedances that are lower, or higher, than the impedance of the medium surrounding them. T h i s means that for a fluctuating current travelling along a conductor there are always alternative paths in the air and other dielectrics, so its send/return current loop is never a simple one. In fact, ail currents always split and flow in multiple alternative paths, in proportions according to the admittances of each of the paths (a path's admittance is the reciprocal of its impedance). T h i s is conceptually no different from the way that a D C current flowing through a bunch of parallel resistors will divide up according to their various conductances (reciprocal of their resistances) - with the highest current flowing in the resistance with the lowest value (i.e. the highest conductance). T h e big difference for fluctuating currents is what is sometimes caiied "the invisible schematic" - the impedances of the stray capacitances and inductances, which are alternative paths for E M energy to flow in, w h i c h successful practical E M C engineers learn to visualize whenever they look at conductive structures. E a c h part of a c u r r e n t loop has several alternative paths. T h e paths c a n be along conductors or through components and devices, or through the stray paths in the insulation, P C B substrate, air, etc. It simply doesn't matter to a propagating E M wave. T h e conductors, components and devices that we designed, and the stray capacitive/inductive coupling and "accidental antenna" emissions (see 7.2) that we didn't design and not wanted (but can't be prevented entirely) ail just look like different admittances (reciprocals of their impedances). For example, a significant portion of the E M wave power might leave a conductor and continue on its path by travelling through the air - for example as a (capacitive, E-field) displacement current - if it sees that air path as having impedance comparable with that of the conductor. W h e n a conductor resonates (i.e. is not a weii-matchedimpedance transmission line, see 7.6) in a way that creates

a high impedance, a "stray capacitance" path through the air c a n easily create a lower loop impedance, causing most of the current to travel as displacement currents. A n d where an air path resonates in a way that creates a low impedance, it couid easily create a path with much less loop impedance than that of the intended conductors, so once again most of the current can travel as E-fieid displacement currents in the air. We couid say that our main task of SI, PI and/or E M C designers is to reduce the proportion of the E M waves (wanted currents) that "leak out" of our conductors - "escaping" into nearby conductors via stray capacitance and inductance (what we call crosstalk), and also "escaping" into the air as far-field E M waves (what we call E M emissions and measured with antennas in test labs). It is important to understand that every current loop, however formed, with however many branching current paths going wherever, always has to return exactly 100% of the E M energy back to its source, to comply with the iaw of conservation of energy. Actually, the reality of power and signal propagation is not that a current starts off from a voltage source and eventually returns back to it - having flowed around a loop or loops - but that the send and return currents are actually generated simultaneously by the source, and balance each other out at every instant thereafter. Anyway, this perspective that current flows in multiple paths according to their admittances, shows that - to achieve good SI, PI and/or E M C - all we need to do is control the impedances in the various paths that are available to our wanted signals or power currents, so that they travel predominantly in the loops we want them to. For example, if it was possible to design so that no signal or power current was "lost" to alternative paths, then we must have no crosstalk, no emissions, and - as a direct result - our product's SI and PI must be perfect and its E M emissions zero (see [2]). Also, by the Principle of Reciprocity (see 7.2 below), its R F i m m u n i t y would be perfect. O f course, perfection is never achieved but we can get close enough to reduce emissions to sufficiently small amounts, and improve immunity by as much as is needed, without adding significantly to the overall cost of m a n u facture, simply by working with the laws of physics. For more detail on this topic, see Chapter 2 of [6], 2.3 of [7] or 10.1.4 in [10].

7.2 All conductors a r e "accidental antennas"


A transmitting antenna is merely a conductor that intentionally leaks its voltages and currents as E M power into the air. A receiving antenna is simply a conductor that intentionally picks up voltages and currents from the E M fields around it. O f course, the more usual situation is that we don't want our conductors to transmit (leak) some of their E M power, or pick up noise from the environment. E M C engineers usually call the fact that they always do leak and pick-up: "accidental antenna behavior" or "unintentional

110

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY & DESIGN GUIDE 2012

ARMSTRONG

Source A Serid [ ^ Source B

Source B

-<V, ( T j A Serid -Victim circuit A ^ CW) Return

Return
Source A couples to the Victim circuit more strongly than Source B, because Source 8 has more capacitance between its send/return conductors, so its E field is more compact and causes less stray field coupling (less stray capacitance) to the victim circuit

Source A couples to the Victim circuit more strongly than Source 8, because Source 8 has more DM mutual inductance between its send/return, so its H field is more compact and causes less stray field coupling (less stray mutual inductance) to the victim circuit

Figure 5, Example of E-field

coupling.

Figure 6. Example ofH-field

coupling.

antenna behavior". W h e n a c o n d u c t o r is exposed to E, H or E M waves propagating in its i n s u l a t i n g m e d i u m (e.g. the air), its elect r i c a l / e l e c t r o n i c c i r c u i t experiences the same voltage and c u r r e n t noise t h a t we w o u l d need to create i f we w a n t e d to generate the exact same field p a t t e r n at the c o n d u c t o r s . T h i s is c a i i e d the Principle of Reciprocity. T h e P r i n c i p l e o f R e c i p r o c i t y also applies to accidental antennas, so w h e n a c o n d u c t o r c a r r y i n g a c u r r e n t has i m p e r f e c t c o n t r o l o f the w a n t e d c u r r e n t loop t h a t results i n noise emissions, it w i l l suffer noise p i c k - u p f r o m its E M e n v i r o n m e n t i n exactly the same way. W h e n e l e c t r o n i c e n g i n e e r s are d i s c u s s i n g SI or P I , they usually call accidental a n t e n n a behavior crosstalk, a n d they n o t i c e t h a t the same t e c h n i q u e s t h a t reduce the noise c o u p l e d f r o m the crosstalk's "aggressor" or source also help reduce the noise picked up by the crosstalk's " v i c t i m " - another example o f the P r i n c i p l e o f Reciprocity.

E M noise - to m a x i m i z e t h e i r SI, PI and E M C . For m o r e d e t a i l o n t h i s , see C h a p t e r 5 o f [6], 2.7 o f [7] or l O . I o f [10].

7.4 All c u r r e n t s (including strays) naturally take the path of least impedance
Tl-ie fact that currents naturally "prefer" to flow i n the path w i t h the smallest loop area and lowest impedance (described i n 6 above) is the only way that I k n o w of where the laws o f physics work with SI, PI and E M C designers, instead o f against us. Computer field solvers show this phenonaenon very clearly. Figures 7 and 8 are copied from [ I I ] , and show that when a bent wire c a r r y i n g a current is routed close to a sheet metal chassis that it is using as a r e t u r n path, the r e t u r n current flows almost exclusively i n the metal that lies underneath the wire, following its bent path, at frequencies above about I k H z . This is because the r e t u r n path in the metal sheet below the bent wire creates the current loop area w i t h the lowest possible overall impedance for that structure, even t h o u g h the r e t u r n current has to go around a bend to achieve it. Tiae red dotted lines i n Figure 8 were d r a w n by the authors of [11] to help readers understand where the mean or average current r e t u r n paths lie, because the E M field solver simply provides color gradients. Notice that above I k H z , although the r e t u r n current is flowing i n part o f the metal sheet, the rest o f the sheet is "quiet" - i.e. i t has no currents flowing i n i t and so no voltage drops across it. Circuits using those quiet parts of the sheet for their current r e t u r n paths (e.g. as their OV plane) do not suffer any voltage noises from the bent wire's r e t u r n currents. (At lOOHz and below the impedance of the sheet is so low that the voltage noise caused i n the other circuits by the now-wideiy-spreading r e t u r n current are generally negligible). This is a very i m p o r t a n t result that shows that we can have many different segregated areas of circuits (e.g. digital, analogue, switch-mode, etc.) sharing the same OV plane (which I w i l l start to call the RF Reference i n 8 below) w i t h o u t their "ground noise" currents causing crosstalk or interference between the areas. See Chapter 7 of [7] and ail o f ]I2] for more detail on using this fact to help achieve low-cost SI, PI

7.3 C u r r e n t loop size and coupling


T h e transfer o f E M p o w e r f r o m one c o n d u c t i v e c i r c u i t to a n o t h e r - w h e t h e r i n t e n t i o n a l or n o t - is caiied E M c o u p l i n g . I t can be d e s c r i b e d by " c o u p l i n g coefficients" w h i c h are (of course) frequency dependent because they represent stray capacitance and i n d u c t a n c e . U p to the first resonant frequency, the larger the area o f the s e n d / r e t u r n c u r r e n t path's t o t a l l o o p , the larger its i m p e d a n c e , the smaller its a d m i t t a n c e , and the larger its E and H field patterns a n d hence its c o u p l i n g w i t h other conductors. A s s h o w n i n Figures 5 for E-fieids and Figure 6 for H - f i e i d s (and Figure 10, see later) the larger the c u r r e n t l o o p , the h i g h e r is the p r o p o r t i o n o f its w a n t e d c u r r e n t t h a t couples w i t h (leaks into) " v i c t i m " c i r c u i t s , causing higher levels o f noise c u r r e n t s f l o w i n g i n u n w a n t e d loops, increasing the w a v e f o r m d i s t o r t i o n i n w a n t e d signals, and w o r s e n i n g emissions a n d i m m u n i t y . Figures 5 a n d 6 show us t h a t i t is i m p o r t a n t to m i n i m i z e the s e n d / r e t u r n c u r r e n t l o o p areas, for a i l c i r c u i t s - w h e t h e r they are accidental t r a n s m i t t e r s or receivers o f

interferencetechnology.com

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

111

FUNDAMENTALS

OF E M C D E S I G N ;

OUR PRODUCTS

ARE TRYING

TO H E L P

US

A bent wire, 20mm above a sheet metal chassis used as its current return path

Plan view of the bent wire above the sheet metal chassis

10 Hz

100 Hz

W= 1.4 m 1 kHz
From:-Modeling and SlmulatlonofPowerlrainstor Electric and Hybrid Vehicles". Marco Klinger. Workshop F R - A M - < - 1 . I E E E 2009Int I E M C S y m p o s i u m , Auslln. TX. Aug 17-21.2009.CP-ROMISBN:978-1-t244-l285-0

10 kHz

100 kHz

As frequency increases, return current flows ever closer to path ot bent wire |

Figure 7. Example of a bent wire with a sheet metal chassis return current.

for its

Figure 8. Computer simulations above a plane.

of the return current path for a wire

and E M C . I have seen this sort of simuiation done many times, w i t h wire-over-sheet structures iike Figure 7 or w i t h PCB traces over pianes (e.g. slides 46-50 i n [13]), and I have also seen it done as practical demonstrations using ciose-fieid probes. Tire results are the same, up to however many G H z one cares to go.

Some of it travels as stray C M currents, w h i c h - iike ail currents - must flow i n closed loops. Because C M loops are generally very much larger than the D M loops that caused them, their E and H field patterns are much more widely spread. Tiie result that C M is generally the major cause o f "accidental antenna" effects causing E M problems for emissions and i m m u n i t y over the frequency range from I M H z to I G H z . Figure 10 shows that C M currents also couple w i t h "victim" circuits through H-fieid coupling, similar to how D M currents couple (in Figure 6). Reducing the size of the C M loop reduces its H-fieid coupling into the v i c t i m , i n the same way that reducing the size of the D M loop does in Figure 6. A n d reducing the size of the C M current loop also reduces the a m o u n t of E-fieid coupling into the v i c t i m , i n the same way as for the D M E-fieid in Figure 5. So, just as it is i m p o r t a n t for good 51, PI and E M C to m i n i mize the area enclosed by ail wanted ( D M ) current loops, i t is also i m p o r t a n t for a i l u n w a n t e d , accidental, C M c u r r e n t loops. For m o r e d e t a i l on t h i s topic, see C h a p t e r 5.5 o f [6], 2.7.5 o f [7] or 10.1.5 o f [10].

7.5 Power and signals in conductors have two modes of wave propagation
Differential M o d e , D M (also caiied transverse or metallic mode) is what we call our "wanted" power and signals. C o m m o n Mode, C M (also k n o w n as "longitudinal mode" or "antenna mode") is caused by the stray, leaked, "unwanted" E M energy w h e n a D M loop's near-field E or H fields meet another conductor, as shown in Figures 5 and 6. I t also occurs when far-field E M waves couple power from the wanted signal in its intended circuit, to another circuit - accidental radio transmission and reception. Figure 9 shows the relative paths of the D M and C M currents i n a simplified system. Paraphrasing 7.1 above - the electricity does not ail stay in the wire!

CM send path (i.e. both of the DM conductors)

rx#V'ctim circuit
CM return path (e.g. local metalvyork)

1
\

CM H fields

CM H field flux lines that pass through the victimcircuit's current loop = mutual Inductance with the CM circuit

Figure 9. An example of DM (wanted) for a 'floating' load.

signals causing

CM

noises,

Figure 10. Example of CM H-fie Id

coupling.

112

INTERFERENCE

TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY S, DESIGN GUIDE

2012

ARMSTRONG

ThiL IS not an eartti" or "ground" for E M r , taut : it rs part ot thp slip's condiicliup stniotiirp that helps to return stray C M cuttents

7.6 Resonating conductors make perfect accidental antennas


T h e r e are v a r i o u s causes o f r e s o nances i n contductive s t r u c t u r e s , at c e r t a i n frequencies... a) W h e n the L and C reactances D u e to g e o m e t r y i n t e r a c t i n g transhappen to be equal

h u m a n safety, w h e r e i t an issue o f p r e v e n t i n g e l e c t r i c shock by l i m i t i n g the m a x i m u m p o t e n t i a l differences t h a t someone c o u l d come i n t o c o n tact w i t h , w h e t h e r they are caused by m a i n s e l e c t r i c i t y leakage c u r r e n t s or faults, or l i g h t n i n g strokes. Even w h e n e a r t h / g r o u n d electrodes are d o i n g t h e i r t h i n g for safety reasons, t h e r e l e v a n t c u r r e n t s s t i l l f l o w i n closed loops. Figures 11 t h r o u g h 14 show some e x a m p l e s o f w h a t are c o m m o n l y c a i i e d e a r t h s or g r o u n d s , b u t are really just elements of a product's, e q u i p m e n t ' s , b u i l d i n g ' s or site's c o n d u c t i v e s t r u c t u r e s t h a t help r e t u r n C M c u r r e n t s back to t h e i r sources. loop W h e t h e r these s t r u c t u r e s are c o n nected to safety e a r t h / g r o u n d electrodes, or not, is o f no consequence for Si, PI or E M C . O f course, 1 a m not the first person to c o m m e n t o n the meaningiessness o f the t e r m e a r t h or g r o u n d for SI, PI and E M C . D r Bruce A r c h a m b e a u l t is an I B M D i s t i n g u i s h e d Engineer and a m a i n s t a y o f the IEEE E M C Society, and m a n y years ago he p r o d u c e d the g r a p h i c c o p i e d i n Figure 15, as a way of m a k i n g the same p o i n t , b u t i n a m o r e a m u s i n g way, see [13]. Because it is n a t u r a l to assume that s o m e t h i n g c a i i e d " e a r t h " or " g r o u n d " is an i n f i n i t e s i n k for noise c u r r e n t s ~ even t h o u g h such a t h i n g s i m p l y c a n n o t exist - the use o f such w o r d s or t h e i r graphical symbols encourages i n c o r r e c t design for SI, PI and E M C , a n d I have seen m i l l i o n s o f d o l l a r s have been wasted over the years for t h i s exact reason. So I always strongly recommend t h a t the w o r d s " e a r t h " or " g r o u n d " and t h e i r g r a p h i c a l s y m b o l s are never used in electronic design (except w h e n a safety e a r t h or g r o u n d is a c t u a l l y i n t e n d e d - a n d t h e n for e l e c t r i c a l safety purposes only). Instead, call the c o n d u c t i v e s t r u c t u r e s by other names t h a t mean what they say, e.g. RF Reference (see 8 below), C M R e t u r n Path,

: pWCelM-lleMeetiteeueeelie j

b)
is not an

Figure 11. This copper busbar "earth" or "ground"

w i t h wavelength T h e second i t e m concerns matched conductor naission-iine m a t c h i n g . W h e n m i s characteristic impedances cause p r o p a g a t i n g waves to be reflected, u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s a n d at c e r t a i n frequencies they c a n cause s t a n d i n g waves to arise, w h i c h are a t y p e o f resonance. At resonant frequencies,

tor SI, PI or EMI.

i m p e d a n c e s f l u c t u a t e w i l d l y , i n the range b e t w e e n the c o n d u c t o r ' s series resistance (possibly j u s t a few m f l ) , up to the stray s h u n t resistance (possibly a few i V i n ) , A c c i d e n t a l a n t e n n a effects (stray
Figure 12. These are not "earths" "grounds" or

c o u p l i n g s , w h e t h e r near-field or farfield) are s i g n i f i c a n t l y a m p l i f i e d by r e s o n a n c e s , o f t e n b e t w e e n 10 a n d 100 t i m e s (20 to 40dB), possibly more, a f f e c t i n g b o t h emissions and i m m u n i t y e q u a l l y due to the P r i n c i p l e o f Reciprocity.

for SI, PI or EMI either.

7.7 There is no such thing a s "earth" or "ground" for SI, PI and E M C


C u r r e n t s always f l o w i n closed loops. So the idea t h a t t h e e a r t h / g r o u n d electrodes provide a perfect zeroi m p e d a n c e s i n k t h a t we c a n use to
Figure 13.. .. these are also not "earths" "grounds" for SI, PI or EMI. or

absorb, or o t h e r w i s e make u n w a n t e d e l e c t r i c a l power, signals or noises go away, can't possibly be t r u e - it is a t o t a l m y t h , pure and s i m p l e , h a v i n g no basis i n r e a l i t y i n t h i s universe. [13] has m o r e on t h i s , especially its slides 32, 33 and 79. Even i f a z e r o - i m p e d a n c e g r o u n d could because e v e r y t h i n g has earth/ e x i s t ( w h i c h i t can't, impedance)

- i f we sent some u n w a n t e d c u r r e n t i n t o i t , the c u r r e n t w o u l d come back

via some other route to complete its


l o o p . So, t h e n : no c u r r e n t sinks ( i n t h i s universe).
Figure 14. ... and neither or "grounds" are these "earths"

or whatever.
U s i n g w o r d s s u c h as "chassis", "frame", "enclosure", "shield" or "Faraday Cage" can also lead to the.same c o n c e p t u a l design errors as " e a r t h "

E a r t h / g r o u n d is o n l y a v a l i d c o n cept (can o n l y have any effect) for

for SI, PI or EMI.

interferencetechnology.com

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

113

FUNDAMENTALS

OF E M C D E S I G N :

OUR PRODUCTS

A R E T R Y I N G TO H E L P

US

ample were n o t i n accordance w i t h the "Laws o f Physics

phi.-.
V.T'-4-.

Based E M Design Tools" o u t l i n e d i n 2 t h r o u g h 7 above. Instead, they represent w h a t are u n f o r t u n a t e l y s t i l l c o m monplace bad practices in m a n y electronic p r o d u c t design departments. O n e bad practice used i n o u r e x a m p l e is the use o f so-called " s i n g l e - p o i n t e a r t h i n g / g r o u n d i n g " (sometimes (("
p.-A4f" K.14P..P

Sy

r^.^r

caiied "star e a r t h i n g / g r o u n d i n g " ) , u s i n g OV plane splits b e t w e e n (and on) the PCBs. T h i s is assumed / p,, to keep
44WMD tLgCAJHp4 X

,4-'^''P ^^A..urr

devices' c i r c u l a t i n g r e t u r n c u r r e n t s c o n f i n e d to c e r t a i n c i r c u i t areas, p r e v e n t i n g crosstalk o f noise between t h e m (e.g. d i g i t a l noise i n analogue) - b u t i t o n l y w o r k s w e l l below a few tens o f k H z . S p l i t t i n g OV pianes ignores the fact t h a t f l u c t u a t i n g c u r r e n t s always d i v i d e up a c c o r d i n g to the a d m i t t a n c e s of the v a r i o u s a l t e r n a t i v e paths, i n c l u d i n g "stray" paths t h r o u g h the air or i n s u l a t i o n (see 7.1 above). For t h i s reason, since 1980, the a u t h o r has always f o u n d t h a t w h e n m i c r o p r o c e s s o r s a n d s w i t c h - m o d e converters are used, s i n g l e - p o i n t e a r t h i n g / g r o u n d i n g has always been a bad design practice for Si, PI and E M C . O t h e r s w i l l no d o u b t be able to give examples f r o m before 1980. A n o t h e r bad design practice used i n the example is the a s s u m p t i o n t h a t a c h i e v i n g the lowest B O M cost is sufficient to produce the most p r o f i t a b l e p r o d u c t . So the n u m b e r o f b o a r d layers and a m o u n t o f power d e c o u p l i n g was reduced to the m i n i m u m that achieved the f u n c t i o n a l specifications. A l s o , p r o v i s i o n has not been made for fitt i n g E M I filters to a i l o f the cable c o n n e c t i o n s , because t h i s w o u l d have increased the board's area. Section 1 m e n t i o n e d that r e l y i n g o n a c h i e v i n g the l o w est B O M cost to create profitable products has been k n o w n to be an i n c o r r e c t p r a c t i c e since 2000. P l a i n c o m m o n sense easily reveals the fallacy i n h e r e n t i n t h i s overlys i m p l i s t i c approach - we o n l y have to consider a p r o d u c t t h a t had a B O M cost t h a t was h a l f (or less) o f t h a t o f ail its c o m p e t i t o r s - b u t suffered a 100% w a r r a n t y r e t u r n rate. Clearly, t h i s w o u l d n o t be a successful p r o d u c t , so there is v e r y m u c h m o r e to a product's p r o f i t a b i l i t y t h a n its B O M cost. I see m a n y designs iike the example i n Figure 16 every

DK.riKi

iE?yp77T\

p.j.>,

F r o m S l i d e 4 2 of: "The " G r o u n d " M y t h " . B r u c e A r c h a m b e a u l r . P h . D . . I B M D i s t i n g u i s h e d E n g i n e e r . F I E E E . 18 N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 8 . h n p ; / / e w h . i e e e . o r g y r 6 / p h o e n t x / p h o e n i x e n K / P C B - D e s i g n . p < l f

Figure 15. "Ground" is meaningless

for SI and EMC.

or " g r o u n d " - so i t is i m p o r t a n t to be very c a r e f u l to o n l y use t h e m to mean w h a t they a c t u a l l y are (i.e. m e c h a n i c a l s t r u c t u r e s made o f metal) rather t h a n assume they are ( m y t h i c a l ) i n f i n i t e sinks for noise c u r r e n t s . For m o r e d e t a i l o n t h i s , see 5.7 o f [6] or 2.7.7 o f [7], also

11.1.2 a n d 11.1.3 o f [10]. 8. APPLYING T H E S E "EM DESIGN TOOLS" TO A REAL-LIFE P C B A S S E M B L Y 8.1 Introduction to the example
Sections 2 to 7 above have given us a set o f E M design tools - r e a l l y j u s t m e n t a l concepts for h o w the E M energy t h a t we call o u r power and signals a c t u a l l y prefers to f l o w to m a x i m i z e SI, PI and E M C . N o t i c e t h a t i n sections 2 t h r o u g h 7 I i n t e n t i o n a l l y used very l i t t l e m a t h ; i t is n o t necessary for an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of these i m p o r t a n t concepts, i n fact, u s i n g equations can obscure w h a t is really g o i n g o n , w h i c h every successful E M C designer learns to "see" w i t h h i s / h e r " m i n d ' s eye" j u s t by l o o k i n g at the c o n d u c t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f a p r o d u c t . W i t h the c o m p l e x i t y of m o d e r n p r o d u c t s i t is best for the designer to u n d e r s t a n d the concepts and have "the eye" for t h e m , l e a v i n g the c a l c u l a t i o n s to the a p p r o p r i a t e types o f E M field solvers. A n y w a y , n o w for a real-life example - c o n t r o i i i n g the E M e m i s s i o n s a n d i m m u n i t y o f the t y p i c a l e l e c t r o n i c p r o d u c t sketched i n Figure 16. To m i n i m i z e the o v e r a l l cost o f m a n u f a c t u r e , t h i s PCB assembly s h o u l d have g o o d E M C c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , so t h a t a l o t o f money and t i m e does n o t have to be spent (and add w e i g h t and size) by s h i e l d i n g and f i l t e r i n g i t to get it to pass its E M C tests. Because o u r E M design tools are a i l c o n c e r n e d w i t h c o n t r o i i i n g E M f i e l d p a t t e r n s to m i n i m i z e u n w a n t e d

"noise" coupling, the exact same tools also improve immun i t y (e.g. m a x i m i z i n g i m m u n i t y to nearby w a l k i e - t a l k i e s , cellphones, CPRS, 3C, W i - F i and B l u e t o o t h t r a n s m i t t e r s , and also t r a n s i e n t s , ESD and l i g h t n i n g ) . T h e a s s u m p t i o n s made i n the i n i t i a l design o f the exFigure 16. Overview of the example PCB assembly.

114

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY S DESIGN GUIDE 2012

ARMSTRONG

to the c i r c u i t design and PCB layout, to reduce the areas of the D M and C M c u r r e n t loops a n d make t h e i r near
Near-field intensity

fields more c o m p a c t .

8.2 Improvement #1: C r e a t e an R F Reference


W e replace the m u l t i p l e PCBs, w i t h a single PCB that has a c o m m o n conductor (almost always a OV plane) over its entire area, w h i c h I shall call the RF Reference. You may choose your o w n name for it, as long as it is not "earth" or "ground". T h e RF Reference i n a PCB is at least one solid, c o n t i n u o u s , copper plane layer, w h i c h lies u n d e r n e a t h - and extends w e l l beyond - a i l devices, c o m p o n e n t s , traces and power plane areas. T h e r e s h o u l d be no traces "snuck i n t o " t h i s plane layer, and any gaps i n i t m u s t be unavoidable and as s m a l l as possible. C e l l p h o n e designers f o u n d that t h e i r p r o d u c t s ' close p r o x i m i t y between 2 W a t t U H F or m i c r o w a v e RF t r a n s m i t t e r s , naicrophone a m p l i f i e r s a n d d i g i t a l processors m e a n t that even the clearances a r o u n d via holes added t o o m u c h i m p e d a n c e to t h e i r RF Reference planes, so developed m i c r o v i a PCB m a n u f a c t u r i n g t e c h n o l o g y (also caiied " H i g h D e n s i t y I n t e r c o n n e c t " or H D I , or " B u i l d Up") that provides 100% solid copper RF Reference planes. A n RF Reference achieves v e r y l o w i m p e d a n c e ( Z ) , the value o f w h i c h depends on the devices and the E M C r e q u i r e m e n t s s p e c i f i c a t i o n to be m e t - but it m u s t always be i n over the frequency range that m u s t be c o n t r o i i e d to avoid c a u s i n g / s u f f e r i n g E M I . ' T / i e frequency range that must be controlled to avoid causing/suffering EMI" is a i l o f the D M frequencies created i n the devices on the PCB, and a i l o f the frequencies e x i s t i n g i n the o p e r a t i o n a l e n v i r o n m e n t a n d / o r i n the i m m u n i t y test standards ( i f they r e q u i r e i m m u n i t y over a larger frequency range). D e s i g n i n g a profitable p r o d u c t is a i l about satisfying c u s t o m e r s w h i l s t s e l l i n g a legal p r o d u c t at an o v e r a l l p r o f i t , a n d there can be m a n y m o r e E M I r e q u i r e m e n t s i n v o l v e d i n satisfying customers t h a n m e r e l y passing the m i n i m u m r e q u i r e m e n t s o f the m i n i m u m set o f E M C test standards r e q u i r e d for legal sales. T h e p o i n t o f c r e a t i n g an RF Reference is that i t autom a t i c a l l y provides a l o w - i m p e d a n c e ( h i g h - a d m i t t a n c e ) r e t u r n p a t h for a i l possible power/signai/noise c u r r e n t s , and C M noise c u r r e n t s o n the PCB. Because i t is i n very close p r o x i m i t y to the PCB's c o m p o n e n t s , devices and traces, a i l these c u r r e n t l o o p areas are s m a l l - j u s t w h a t we need for g o o d SI, PI and E M C . It is i m p o r t a n t to realize that we don't have to "make" the r e t u r n c u r r e n t s flow i n the RF Reference and so have the least E and H field emissions - we o n l y have to provide an RF Reference plane and they w i l l n a t u r a l l y "prefer" to

Figure 17. Near-field plot of the example with near-field probes).

(simulated, or

measured

year. T h e y a l l suffer p o o r f u n c t i o n a l p e r f o r m a n c e at first, especially p o o r signai-to-noise (S/N) ratios and unreliable software t h a t take m a n y design iterations to solve, causing project delays, increasing costs and r e d u c i n g p r o f i t a b i l i t y . Once the f u n c t i o n a l problems are solved, they t h e n fail t h e i r E M C tests, r e q u i r i n g m a n y more design i t e r a t i o n s to solve, causing more delays and more project costs, plus r e q u i r i n g the a d d i t i o n o f filters and s h i e l d i n g that increase B O M cost, w e i g h t and size and reduce p r o f i t a b i l i t y even more. T h e y also suffer h i g h e r - t h a n - h o p e d - f o r w a r r a n t y r e t u r n rates, w h i c h erode p r o f i t a b i l i t y even more. A p l o t o f the n e a r - f i e l d emissions 2 0 m m above the PCB assembly, at the stage where i t meets its f u n c t i o n a l s p e c i f i c a t i o n s but has n o t yet been tested for E M C , is s h o w n i n Figure 17. W h a t do such near-fields mean? T h i s close to the PCB and its c o m p o n e n t s they are the w a n t e d D M signals, plus D M and C M crosstalk and noise. H i g h levels mean reduced S/N ratios i n analogue c i r c u i t s , and reduced noise margins i n d i g i t a l c i r c u i t s - l e a d i n g to u n r e l i a b l e software. I n E M C t e s t i n g , h i g h levels o f near-fields over large areas indicate h i g h levels o f c o n d u c t e d and radiated emissions, a n d c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y p o o r c o n d u c t e d a n d radiated immunity. I n real life, h i g h levels o f near-fields over large areas means a lower p r o p o r t i o n o f satisfied customers (increasi n g the cost o f f u t u r e sales, because i t is easier to sell p r o d u c t s t h a t customers like), a n d h i g h e r levels o f w a r r a n t y costs. A i l causing lower p r o f i t a b i l i t y . W e u n d e r s t a n d , f r o m the laws o f physics discussed i n sections 2 t h r o u g h 7, that: a i l c u r r e n t s ( i n c l u d i n g D M and C M "noise" c u r r e n t s ) f l o w i n closed loops c u r r e n t loop shape and area govern field patterns

currents naturally "prefer" to flow in the loops


t h a t have the lowest i m p e d a n c e - hence the smallest field p a t t e r n s a n d best i n t e r n a l and external E M C .

flow i n i t rather than elsewhere! (See Figures 7 and 8).


T h e RF Reference plane w o r k s best w i t h l o w e r - p r o f i l e c o m p o n e n t s , so we also replace any t a i l c o m p o n e n t s and devices w i t h ones that lie close to the PCB and its RF Reference plane iayer(s).

So we can see h o w to make a n u m b e r o f i m p r o v e m e n t s

interferencetechnology.com

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

115

FUNDAMENTALS

OF E M C

DESIGN:

OUR

PRODUCTS

ARE

T R Y I N G TO H E L P

US

See C h a p t e r 7.4 o f [7], 3 and 4 of [12] and 11.2.2 o f [10] for m o r e d e t a i l o n c r e a t i n g effective l o w - i m p e d a n c e RF Reference Planes i n PCBs.

8.5 Improvement #4: Using matched transmission lines


W h e r e device data sheets s p e c i f y the use o f m a t c h e d t r a n s m i s s i o n - l i n e s - u s u a l l y for h i g h - s p e e d c l o c k s or serial data lines - designers a l m o s t always r e m e m b e r to c o n t r o l t h e i r trace g e o m e t r y a n d m a t c h i n g impedances. But they generally do n o t consider t r e a t i n g a l l o f the o t h e r traces as m a t c h e d t r a n s m i s s i o n lines, u n t i l they are i n v e s t i g a t i n g d i g i t a l signal o v e r / u n d e r s h o o t s , r i n g i n g or o t h e r u n w a n t e d noises t h a t cause i n c o r r e c t or unstable s o f t w a r e o p e r a t i o n late i n a p r o j e c t - t h e stage w h e r e delays and design changes are most costly. These o v e r / u n d e r s h o o t s or r i n g i n g are i n d i c a t i o n s o f s t r o n g emissions (and p o o r i m m u n i t y at the e m i s s i o n frequencies), as s h o w n i n [2]. Suppressing t h e m to get g o o d E M C , either by f i l t e r i n g at t h e i r d r i v e r s or by u s i n g matched t r a n s m i s s i o n lines to reduce "accidental antenna" effects and prevent resonances, results i n very l o w over/ u n d e r s h o o t s and no r i n g i n g . I t also reduces crosstalk and makes (bug-free!) s o f t w a r e w o r k very reliably i n d e e d . E M C t e x t b o o k s o f t e n make r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s a b o u t w h e n to treat a PCB trace or cable as a m a t c h e d t r a n s m i s sion l i n e , b u t d i g i t a l device rise- and f a l l - t i m e s are n o w g e n e r a l l y so s h o r t ( t y p i c a l l y < 0.5ns f o r 74-series glue logic a n d < 0.2ns for microprocessors a n d memories) t h a t a l m o s t all p r a c t i c a l trace a n d cable l e n g t h s n o w need either to be f i l t e r e d to s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduce t h e i r f r e q u e n c y c o n t e n t , or else be t r e a t e d as m a t c h e d - i m p e d a n c e t r a n s m i s s i o n lines. See Chapters 4.7 and 7.6 of [7] and 6 o f [12] for m o r e o n d e s i g n i n g w i t h m a t c h e d t r a n s m i s s i o n lines.

8.3 Improvement #2: Decoupling the DC supplies


W e design the d e c o u p l i n g between D C power rails and the RF Reference to achieve l o w Z , the value of w h i c h (as for 8.1) depends o n the devices a n d the E M C r e q u i r e m e n t s s p e c i f i c a t i o n to be met - b u t m u s t always be i n over the frequency range that m u s t be c o n t r o l l e d to avoid causing/suffering E M I . T h i s p e r m i t s the f l u c t u a t i n g D M c u r r e n t s i n the power rails to f l o w i n m u c h smaller loops v e r y close to the devices t h a t cause t h e m - w h i c h they n a t u r a l l y "prefer" to do, rather t h a n f l o w i n g m o r e w i d e l y i n the RF Reference - m a k i n g s m a l l areas o f D M near-fields t h a t create less C M noise emissions t h a n larger areas w o u l d . PC m o t h e r b o a r d s n o w need to achieve power s u p p l y impedances of m u c h less t h a n 0.25 m H to frequencies m u c h m o r e t h a n I G H z . T h i s is i m p o s s i b l e to achieve w i t h low-cost d e c o u p l i n g capacitors, because above about 3 0 0 M H z they are b e y o n d t h e i r self-resonant f r e q u e n c y a n d so act i n d u c t i v e l y - t h e i r i m p e d a n c e rises w i t h f r e quency - m a k i n g l o w - e n o u g h impedances i m p o s s i b l e . However, because we n o w have a RF Reference plane i n the PCB, we c a n p a i r i t w i t h adjacent power planes to p r o v i d e d i s t r i b u t e d d e c o u p l i n g capacitances w i t h i n the PCB's fiberglass d i e l e c t r i c , w h i c h can m a i n t a i n very l o w impedances up to any n u m b e r of G H z . See C h a p t e r 7.5 of [7], 5 o f [12] a n d 12.1.3 of [10] for details on h o w to do effective d e c o u p l i n g on PCBs.

8.4 Improvement # 3 : Cable filtering


W e add d i r e c t bonds or f i l t e r s to the RF Reference o n a l l traces c o n n e c t e d to o f f - P C B c o n d u c t o r s , whatever t h e i r e l e c t r i c a l / e l e c t r o n i c / o t h e r p u r p o s e ( i n c l u d i n g m e t a l mec h a n i c a l p a r t s ; a n d m e t a l h y d r a u l i c / p n e u m a t i c pipes, etc.). Filters on i n p u t s can o f t e n be just a capacitor connected to the RF Reference, b u t f i l t e r s on o u t p u t s w i l l generally need a series resistor or s o f t - f e r r i t e choke so t h a t a d d i n g the capacitor to the RF Reference does n o t s i g n i f i c a n t l y increase the peak o u t p u t c u r r e n t . O f course, we m i g h t need to make more c o m p l e x f i l t e r s by c o m b i n i n g capacitors w i t h resistors a n d / o r s o f t - f e r r i t e chokes a n d / o r C M chokes - b u t there are far t o o m a n y d e t a i l s i n v o l v e d to even s t a r t to address t h i s t o p i c i n t h i s a r t i c l e . For m o r e details o n f i l t e r i n g , see C h a p t e r 5 o f [7], 2 o f [12] or 13.2 o f [10]. These d i r e c t bonds or filters are placed where the traces c o n n e c t to the o f f - b o a r d c o n d u c t o r s , to p r o v i d e l o w - Z paths for C M c u r r e n t s t h a t w o u l d o t h e r w i s e " l e a k " f r o m the PCB i n t o the c o n d u c t o r s . A s for 8.1, the values of Z t h a t are r e q u i r e d depends o n the devices a n d the E M C r e q u i r e m e n t s p e c i f i c a t i o n , b u t m u s t always be i n over the frequency range that m u s t be c o n t r o l l e d to avoid causing/suffering E M I .

8.6 The improved example


T h e appearance o f the e x a m p l e PCB i m p r o v e d by 8.2 t h r o u g h 8.5 above, is s h o w n i n Figure 18. N o t i c e t h a t it s t i l l has one plane s p l i t , u n d e r the m a i n s safety i s o l a t i o n t r a n s f o r m e r - w h i c h c a n n o t be avoided. Despite i n c r e a s i n g the n u m b e r o f b o a r d layers to p r o vide RF Reference and Power Supply planes, and a d d i t i o n a l planes for c o n t r o l l i n g t r a n s m i s s i o n - l i n e impedances, and despite increasing the n u m b e r of d e c o u p l i n g capacitors a n d f i l t e r s , it is q u i t e n o r m a l to f i n d t h a t the o v e r a l l cost o f m a n u f a c t u r e (not the B O M ) is lower. T h i s is because the i n t e r - b o a r d c o n n e c t o r s a n d t h e i r cables have been rem o v e d - s i g n i f i c a n t causes o f assembly errors and r e w o r k ; u n r e l i a b i l i t y and w a r r a n t y r e t u r n s . Figure 19 shows the n e a r - f i e l d p l o t 2 0 m m above the i m p r o v e d PCB assembly, w h i c h n o w has o n l y s m a l l red areas a r o u n d the c o m p o n e n t s . These are a l m o s t e n t i r e l y the D M fields associated w i t h the w a n t e d power and signals, w h i c h we c a n n o t e l i m i n a t e w i t h o u t e l i m i n a t i n g the power or signals themselves. Remember, all f l u c t u a t i n g c u r r e n t s ( w h e t h e r power, signals or noise) are r e a l l y E M energy p r o p a g a t i n g as waves, so the best we can do is p r o v i d e s t r u c t u r e s t h a t a l l o w these c u r r e n t s to n a t u r a l l y f l o w i n loops o f l o w i m pedance ( h i g h a d m i t t a n c e ) so t h a t they n a t u r a l l y create

116

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

EMC DIRECTORY & DESIGN GUIDE O D I S

ARMSTRONG

Figure 18. The improved example PCB assembly.

Figure 19. Near-field plot of the improved PCB assembly (simulated, or measured with near-field probes).
a n d E M I S i m u l a t i o n " , 2 3 r d M a r c h 2011, O x f o r d , U K . w w w . a n s y s . c o m / staticassets/AKiSYS%20UK/statica,ssets/I<eith_Armstrong_Presentation_ANSYS_March_23%2020U.pdf [2]. A r m s t r o n g , K. " E M C a n d S i g n a l I n t e g r i t y , " Compliance ing, M a r c h / A p r i l 1999. [3] "The C o n s u m e r E l e c t r o n i c s B o o m H o w S e m i c o n d u c t o r a n d C o n sumer Electronics Companies Can Improve Cost, T i m e - t o - M a r k e t , and Product Q u a l i t y , " K P M G LLP's I n f o r m a t i o n , C o m m u n i c a t i o n and E n t e r t a i n m e n t (ICE) Practice, 2008. [4] A r m s t r o n g , K. " B O M c o s t , a n d p r o f i t a b i l i t y , " Vie EMC M a y 2009, pp 32-34. [5] A r m s t r o n g , K . " M a x w e l l ' s E q u a t i o n s , Q u a n t u m Electrodynamics, Journal, journal. Engineer-

very small and local field patterns, w i t h great benefits for SI, PI and E M C . W h e n we have achieved t h i s , as s h o w n in Figure 19, we see very l i t t l e f i e l d - s p r e a d i n g is seen due to C M noise c u r r e n t s .

8.7 Improving by using cable shielding


W h e r e the use of f i l t e r i n g and unshielded cable techniques (Chapter 4.4 o f [7], 2 of [12] and 13.1.8 o f [10]) c o u l d n o t suppress the D M or C M fields a r o u n d a cable by e n o u g h , s h i e l d i n g m i g h t be necessary for some (or all) cables and/ or parts of (or the whole) PCB assembly.

9. CONCLUSIONS
A l l e l e c t r i c a l and e l e c t r o n i c activities are really E M energies t r a v e l l i n g as p r o p a g a t i n g waves, and c o n n e c t i n g to safety e a r t h / g r o u n d has no effect o n t h e m so is u n i m p o r t ant and unnecessary for SI, PI and E M C . W e can easily design c i r c u i t s and PCBs to create s m a l l , l o w - Z c u r r e n t loops for b o t h the w a n t e d D M and the stray C M c u r r e n t s , the E M waves n a t u r a l l y prefer to f l o w i n these routes. So, by w o r k i n g with the laws of physics, we a u t o m a t i c a l l y achieve very c o m p a c t field patterns, w h i c h are best for i n t e r n a l a n d e x t e r n a l E M C a n d f i n a n c i a l success. Because these techniques c o n t r o l field patterns to m i n i m i z e u n w a n t e d "noise" c o u p l i n g , because of the p r i n c i p l e or r e c i p r o c i t y the exact same t e c h n i q u e s also m i n i m i z e s u s c e p t i b i l i t y , for example m i n i m i z i n g u n w a n t e d "noise" couplings. T h e p r i n c i p l e s of good design t e c h n i q u e s for SI, PI and E M C are very clear, easy to understand, and easy for everyone to i m p l e m e n t at l o w cost i n practice. Products really are d o i n g t h e i r best to help us pass E M C tests a n d meet E M C r e q u i r e m e n t specifications - all we need to do is give t h e m a l i t t l e help, f r o m the s t a r t of t h e i r design process.

a n d g o o d i n s t a l l a t i o n p r a c t i c e s f o r SI, PI a n d E M C , " Vie EMC Issue 9 1 , N o v e m b e r 2010.

[6] A r m s t r o n g , K. " T l i e Physical Basis o f E M C , " A r m s t r o n g / N u t w o o d U K , O c t o b e r 2010, ISBiV: 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 5 5 5 1 1 8 - 3 - 7 . [7] A r m s t r o n g , K. " E M C D e s i g n T e c h n i q u e s for E l e c t r o n i c E n g i n e e r s , " N u t w o o d U K N o v e m b e r 2010, I S B N : 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 5 5 5 1 1 8 - 4 - 4 . [8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state R.P. " Q E D The S t r a n g e T h e o r y o f L i g h t a n d M a t t e r , "

[9] E e y n m a n ,

P e n g u i n B o o k s , 1990, I S B N : 0 - 1 4 - 0 1 2 5 0 5 - 1 . [10] W i l l i a m s , T . " E M C f o r P r o d u c t D e s i g n e r s , 4 t h E d i t i o n , " Elsevier 2007, I S B N - 1 0 : 0 - 7 5 0 - 6 8 1 7 0 - 5 , I S B N - 1 3 : 9 7 8 - 0 - 7 5 - 0 6 8 1 7 0 - 4 . [11] K l i n g e r , M . " M o d e l i n g a n d S i m u l a t i o n o f P o w e r t r a i n s f o r E l e c t r i c and H y b r i d Vehicles," W o r k s h o p FR-AM-4-1,1EEE 2009 I nternational S y m p o s i u m o n E M C , A u s t i n , T X , A u g 17-21, 2 0 0 9 . [12] A r m s t r o n g , K. " E M C f o r P r i n t e d C i r c u i t B o a r d s Basic a n d

A d v a n c e d Design and Layout Techniques," N u t w o o d U K December 2010, I S B N 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 5 5 5 1 1 8 - 5 - 1 . . [13] A r c h a m b e a u l t , B. "The ' G r o u n d ' M y t h " , 18 N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 8 , http:.// ewh.ieee.org/r6/phoenix/phoenixemc/PCB-Design.pdf

KEITH with

ARMSTRONG an Honours

graduated degree

from

Imperial engineering. Engineer

College, He has since Cherry

London, been a and a

in

1972

in electrical

member Group

10. REFERENCES
[1]. A r m s t r o n g , K. " K e y k n o w l e d g e for the e f f i c i e n t design o f e l e c t r o n i c p r o d u c t s a n d t h e i r EiVlC - t h a t we were never t a u g h t at u n i v e r s i t y " , K e i t h A r m s t r o n g , A N S Y S S e m i n a r "Ne.xt G e n e r a t i o n S i g n a l I n t e g r i t y

of the I EE since 1 European in 1990.

1977,

a UK Chartered since 1988. at

1978, Clough

Engineer can

He founded

Consultants

Keith

be reached

keith.armstrong@cherryclough.com.

interferencetechnology.com

INTERFERENCE TECHNOLOGY

117