The ABCs of EMC: why should you care about EMC testing?

Posted By : Lanna Cooper

 There are several types of interference, and they all have the potential to disrupt our electronic devices. Interference can come from a variety of sources that may cause undesired effects such as electromagnetic interference or EMI; or even physical damage to your device.

Therefore, not only is it imperative to test for electromagnetic emissions coming from your device, but it is also required that all electronic devices/meet electromagnetic compatibility standards set by local regulators. Today, Keysight will discuss the fundamentals of electromagnetic compatibility testing/and why its as important as your ABC's.

Electromagnetic compatibility, or EMC, is the branch of electronics concerned with the unintentional generation, propagation, and reception of electromagnetic energy. EMC testing is the analysis of the interaction of electrical equipment with its electromagnetic environment. Emissions and immunity testing measure the propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy.

When testing for emissions, you're measuring the electromagnetic energy strength of the emissions that your device is outputting. On the other hand, when testing for immunity, you are concerned with your device’s susceptibility to emissions from other surrounding devices.

All electronic devices have the potential to emit electromagnetic energy; however, this only becomes a problem if your device’s emissions are higher than what is deemed acceptable according to standards set by your local regulator.

Since electronic signals are everywhere and can impact the way your device operates, standards set by organizations, like CISPR, ensure that all devices work in harmony. To be sure of this, every electronic device must go through compliance testing in order to measure for unexpected emissions.

Compliance testing ensures the safe and reliable operation of electronic devices. Compliance measurements are determined by standards that vary slightly by country. CISPR’s standards specify equipment and methods for measuring interference and immunity requirements for compliance testing.

CISPR also considers the impact of safety regulations on interference suppression of electrical equipment. These not only protect the device being tested, but also other devices near it.

Compliance testing is a formal process that your device must successfully pass at a certified test house in order to be brought to market.

If you wait until the end of your product development cycle for formal compliance testing and don’t do any compliance testing of your own, this could cause a couple problems. The first of which is most painful: cost.

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