Exploring the Realm of EMC/EMI Standards

Varsha Babu, Application Engineer - Electromagnetics Feb 29th, 2024

In our increasingly connected world, electronic devices are omnipresent, ranging from household appliances to complex industrial machinery. As these devices evolve, the potential for compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) issues grows exponentially.

What is EMC and EMI?
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is the ability of electronic devices to function properly in the presence of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and to limit the emission of unwanted electromagnetic energy. EMC is essential to guarantee that devices can operate in harmony within their intended environment without causing or succumbing to interference.

Figure 1. Image source: IMV; Accessed via: https://we-are-imv.com/en/support/library/emc/

Compliance with EMC/EMI standards are essential for market access, as many regions require adherence before allowing the sale of electronic devices. Meeting these standards ensures device reliability, longevity, and instills consumer confidence by demonstrating rigorous testing and adherence to industry norms for electromagnetic compatibility. To ensure seamless coexistence and functionality, manufacturers adhere to EMC/EMI certification standards.

Figure 2. Common EMC Standards in various industries

Common Certification Standards:

  • CISPR Standards (International Special Committee on Radio Interference):
    • CISPR 11: Focuses on industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) radio-frequency equipment.
    • CISPR 22: Pertains to information technology equipment, including computers and networking devices.
  • IEC Standards (International Electrotechnical Commission):
    • IEC 61000-4 Series:Addresses various aspects of EMC testing, covering immunity to conducted disturbances, radiated disturbances, and more.
    • IEC 61000-3 Series: Focuses on the limitation of voltage changes, voltage fluctuations, and flicker in public low-voltage supply systems.
  • EN Standards (European Norm):
    • EN 550XX Series:Aligns with CISPR standards and outlines emission requirements for different electronic devices.
    • EN 61000-6 Series:Describes EMC requirements for various environments, such as residential, commercial, and industrial.
  • FCC Regulations (Federal Communications Commission):
    • Part 15:Sets forth the rules for unintentional radiators, including limits on conducted and radiated emissions.
  • MIL-STD-461 (Military Standard):
    • Specifies EMC requirements for military systems and equipment. It includes requirements for conducted and radiated emissions, as well as susceptibility testing.
  • ISO 13766-1 (Road vehicles – Electrical disturbances from conduction and coupling – Part 1: Definitions and general considerations):
    • Focuses on the EMC aspects of electrical disturbances in vehicles, defining general considerations for testing and measurement.

Challenges and Future Trends:
Compliance with EMC/EMI standards poses numerous challenges for industries and manufacturers, stemming from the increasing complexity of electronic designs, substantial financial investments required for implementation, diverse global standards, and the interconnected nature of systems. The time-consuming testing and certification processes, coupled with the dynamic regulatory environment and the constant evolution of technology, add to the complexities.

Addressing these hurdles requires a holistic approach that primarily relies on the use of advanced simulation tools to optimize designs early in the development process.

SIMULIA CST Studio Suite can significantly aid in addressing the challenges associated with EMC/EMI compliance. By providing advanced electromagnetic simulation capabilities, CST Studio Suite allows industries and manufacturers to analyze and optimize electronic designs for electromagnetic compatibility. The software assists in identifying potential sources of interference, assessing shielding effectiveness, and evaluating the impact of various design modifications on EMC performance. Through simulation, CST Studio Suite enables a more efficient and cost-effective approach to compliance by allowing users to virtually test and refine designs before the physical testing phase. This helps in minimizing financial investments, streamlining the testing and validation processes, and enhancing the overall EMC performance of electronic systems. The software’s capabilities foster a comprehensive strategy by empowering users with tools to proactively address compliance challenges, leading to more reliable and EMC-compliant products.

Figure 3. Electrostatic Discharge analysis of a smartphone in SIMULIA CST Studio Suite

Navigating the intricate landscape of EMC/EMI certification standards is paramount for manufacturers aiming to deliver reliable and compliant electronic devices to the market. The adherence to these standards not only ensures seamless functionality but also fosters consumer trust and global market access. As technology continues to advance, the commitment to EMC/EMI compliance remains a cornerstone in the ever-evolving world of electronics, and leveraging the advanced simulation capabilities of CST Studio Suite becomes a valuable advantage for engineers and manufacturers in achieving seamless electromagnetic compatibility.

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AUTHOR: Varsha Babu, Application Engineer - Electromagnetics

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