The Year in EMC: from Components to a Congressman's Visit

The run-up to next week's EMC Symposium provides an opportunity to review EMC news over the past year. Recent news ranges from a congressman's visit to an EMC facility to the introduction of feed-through filters that support EMC compliance in automotive applications. Feature articles over the past year have addressed topics ranging from the need to make accurate EMF measurements to the emergence of time-based measurements for EMC applications.

To learn more about this year's symposium, to be held August 3-8 in Raleigh, NC, visit the event's web site, or read Senior Technical Editor Tom Lecklider's preview article in our August issue. And you can read his summary of last year's EMC Symposium here.

The latest EMC news

This month, TDK Corp. said it has developed a new series of 3-terminal feed-through filters that are designed to meet the automotive industry’s demands for EMC components in emerging safety and infotainment applications. The new components are available in case sizes EIA 0603 (1.6 mm x 0.8 mm) to EIA 1206 (3.2 mm x 1.6 mm) with rated capacitance values ranging from 22 pF to 1 μF and rated voltages from 10 V to 100 V. The robust new components, which can withstand temperatures of up to 125 °C and are rated for high currents up to 10 A, are suited for a wide range of noise-suppression applications in automotive electronics. The new components with their broad capacitance range fulfill requirements for EMC filtering – for most types even in applications connected directly to the battery. Mass production is slated to begin in January 2015.

In addition, Moxa introduced its new PowerTrans PT-7528 Series Ethernet switches with MMS data modeling to fulfill the requirements of the IEC 61850-90-4 standard outlining network engineering guidelines for Communication Networks and Systems in Substations. The switches incorporate Moxa Noise Guard technology to ensure compliance with IEC 61850. The switches' EMC immunity exceeds IEEE 1613 class 2 standards to ensure zero packet loss while transmitting at wire speed.

And on July 2, DLS Electronic Systems Inc. announced that Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) had visited the company's Wheeling, IL, facility to witness firsthand the skilled jobs and businesses that the production of U.S. Navy amphibious warships brings to the region and to the local economy. DLS provides EMC, environmental, mechanical, and climatic testing, along with power quality testing for equipment used on U.S. Navy amphibious warships. “I was pleased to have the opportunity to be able to meet the hardworking employees at DLS Electronic Systems and to develop a greater understanding of the significant contributions they make to our local economy and our national defense,” Congressman Schneider said. “As a member of the Committee on Small Businesses, I understand the importance of facilities like this one to a prosperous local economy and a healthy industrial base to guarantee that our soldiers deployed have the equipment they need to fully accomplish their mission.”

The past year's EMC highlights

EE-Evaluation Engineering has run three major feature article on EMC topics over the last year. The article “Knowledge Is Key to Accurate EMF Measurements” takes a look at two books: the newly published Electromagnetic Field Standards and Exposure Systems, by Eugeniusz Grudzinski and Hubert Trzaska, and the revised Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design (third edition), by Michel Mardiguian. In “Exposing the EMI Menace,” Senior Technical Editor Tom Lecklider takes a look at specific application areas that were the focus of EMC equipment companies that introduced new products in 2013. Time-based measurement, he writes, has emerged as a major theme.

And in the article “Assessing Spectrum Occupancy,” Lecklider takes a look at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the U.S. Commerce Department and its role in managing the Federal Government’s use of the radio spectrum.

In addition to reviewing those feature articles, you can peruse these news highlights:

AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation announced in June that it has taken a leap in preparation for what chairman Donald “Shep” Shepherd sees as the future of power amplifiers: The company has expanded its Souderton, PA, headquarters with new facilities and capabilities that enable AR to design, manufacture, and test high-power amplifiers in excess of 100 kW. The company said the move strengthens its position as a leader in the pursuit of higher power as new and varied electronic devices have emerged over the years, following a trend that Shepherd identified when he founded the company more than 45 years ago.

In May, Pulse Electronics has announced its new series of chokes that integrate a common mode (CM) and differential mode (DM) choke into the same component. Combining two separate magnetic components into a single integrated component reduces power losses across the EMI filter portion of the power supply because it reduces the resistance. It also allows for a reduction in the overall space needed for the choke.

In April, ON Semiconductor has introduced five new electrostatic discharge (ESD) suppression devices for today’s most advanced interfaces. Patent-pending design techniques and process technology enable these devices to deliver the industry’s lowest capacitance and ESD clamping voltage, suitable for use with extremely high data-rate interfaces and small-geometry chipsets.

Also in April, Saelig Company Inc. announced it is offering inflatable AirBeam Enclosures for electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio frequency interference (RFI), or chemical biological containment (CBC) applications. The enclosures are configured to rapidly deploy and provide an instant and uncomplicated state-of-the-art environment.

Agilent Technologies (Keysight Technologies as of August 1) in April announced the addition of disturbance analyzer capabilities as a standard feature of its N9038A MXE EMI receiver. For those who need to make discontinuous-disturbance, or click, measurements, the MXE simplifies and automates data collection, analysis and report generation in accordance with CISPR standards 14-1 (emissions) and 16-1-1 (measurement apparatus and methods).

In March, Advanced Test Equipment Rentals (ATEC), a provider of complete rental testing solutions for EMC, announced it carries the latest EMI receiver and analyzers from manufacturers Agilent Technologies and Rohde & Schwarz. The instruments are fully compliant to CISPR 16-1-1 and meet American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and ISO 17025 calibration-certification requirements.

Also in March, Rohde & Schwarz, a supplier of EMC test-and-measurement equipment, announced it would release the R&S EMC32-K35 option for its R&S EMC32 EMC test software. The CISPR 35 EMC standard prescribes disturbance signal testing requirements for multimedia equipment. The new CISPR 35 will combine the current test standards for devices and components in the IT (CISPR 24) and consumer electronics (CISPR 20) fields.

In February, Agilent Technologies (Keysight Technologies as of August 1) announced the opening of its 5-m semi-anechoic electromagnetic compatibility chamber facility for electronic test at the company’s Santa Rosa, CA, site. The new facility expands Agilent’s in-house EMC test capacity, increasing the speed of product development and ensuring products’ long-term conformance to emerging standards for electromagnetic emissions and electromagnetic interference.

Also in February, Würth Elektronik eiSos released a revised an expanded version of its Component Selector software. Six new modules have been added to the four existing ones, released over the last two years to help engineers choose and simulate passive components.

In January, AVX Corp., a manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, said it has become a member of the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (NSF I/UCRC) for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).  The center sponsors research that helps member companies design products that are free from electromagnetic interference problems by keeping them appraised of the latest advances in the field, providing their engineers with access to the latest EMC design tools and technologies, and encouraging the employment of state-of-the-art designs.

And also in January, AMETEK Inc. said it has acquired the Teseq Group, a manufacturer of test and measurement instrumentation for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing, for CHF 83 million ($92 million). Headquartered in Luterbach, Switzerland, the privately held company has annual sales of approximately CHF 48 million ($53 million).

In November 2013, The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRCNC) said it has been certified as a CTIA Authorized Test Lab (CATL) for mobile station radiated performance testing. Wireless devices on all nationwide cellular networks are required to be tested by a CATL using the CTIA's over-the-air (OTA) test procedure in order to receive a certification. As the only CATL in North Carolina, the WRCNC is able to enhance its support of local and regional businesses developing wireless products.

Also in November, DARE!! Instruments introduced a turnkey test solution based on its RadiCentre modular test system for EMC immunity testing applications. The heart of the EMC test system is built on the RadiCentre modular mainframe model CTR1009B, which has a 7-in. color touch-screen display and an intelligent backplane with seven free slots for integration of DARE!! plug-in cards.

In October, Agilent Technologies (Keysight Technologies as of August 1, 2014) announced two new options for its MXE X-Series electromagnetic interference receiver: a 44-GHz frequency range and time-domain scans. With the addition of these capabilities, the MXE continues to address current and emerging customer needs in electromagnetic compliance (EMC) testing.

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