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Solving Electromagnetic Interference Issues Without Testing

Modern life is awash in electrical and electronic devices. You might be in a room right now with a mobile phone, smart watch, smart thermostat, television, Bluetooth speaker, laptop, and probably a few other devices all emitting electromagnetic signals at once. Developers of electronic devices have the difficult job of ensuring electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), a term for the interaction of devices with their electromagnetic environment without interfering with other devices around them.

EMC testing is a critical aspect of electronics design to ensure performance and safety. Manufacturers carry out a series of lab tests at various stages of the product’s development to see how a product interacts with other devices, including whether it creates unwanted spikes of electromagnetic interference (EMI) on surrounding equipment. But as electronics become more complex and more ubiquitous, and as novel devices are developed and launched at lightning speed, how can physical testing alone ensure devices perform as intended while keeping up with the pace of innovation?

To answer, manufacturers are turning to simulation-driven EMC testing. Virtual validation of EMC during the design and analysis stages of product development reduces development costs and development time, and ensures products conform to industry regulations. But EMC compliance isn’t just a staple of good design – it’s mandatory. Compliance failures can lead to costly product recalls and fines.

As a pioneer in engineering simulation technology for over 30 years, we at Altair bring simulation-driven design philosophy to the electronics industry so engineers can collaborate on all aspects of logical, physical, thermal, electrical, and mechanical design, from concept to manufacture. Altair’s solutions for electronics analyze and improve EMC/EMI at the board, subsystem, and system level.

Improve board layouts, and drive designs with Altair® PollExTM simulation tools for signal integrity, power integrity, EMI vulnerability, and ESD protection.
Improve board layouts, and drive designs with Altair® PollExTM simulation tools for signal integrity, power integrity, EMI vulnerability, and ESD protection.

EMC Testing from Board to System-Level

Electronics system and component circuit simulation is typically the first step in the design process. 1D system simulation with Altair® Activate®, which includes a fast SPICE engine, analyzes aspects like the conducted emissions from an electric powertrain inverter.

Sometimes, EMC problems require designers to include the board schematic and layout in their simulations. For this, Altair® PollExTM offers tools for printed circuit board (PCB) design review, electrical verification, and analysis. PollEx provides board-level electrical verification, automatically detects PCB defects related to EMI, signal integrity, thermal, power integrity, and electrostatic discharge early in the design stage, which results in faster PCB signoff while eliminating potential performance, manufacturing, and assembly errors prior to physical testing.

Electromagnetic field simulation with Altair® Feko® is the next step in understanding component-level performance. By coupling Feko with PollEx, EMC compliance test setups can be performed at a component or platform level to analyze, investigate, and find design guidelines related to radiated emissions. Feko can simulate both the radiation and irradiation of cables, antennas, and devices to inform effective shielding design. Feko also provides insight into the interactions of electromagnetic fields close to the body, ensuring safety while enough signal is radiated.

Learn More About Solving Compatibility Challenges

Safe and compliant electronic system design is important across all industries. Conforming to EMC regulations while reducing development costs and development time requires the implementation of simulation throughout the product design lifecycle. In this free webinar, Altair electromagnetics expert Dr. Jordi Soler discusses ways that companies can reduce design iterations and costly laboratory testing while meeting production targets. He also shares examples of how customers have successfully implemented these techniques. Click the link below to watch the on-demand recording.

Watch the On-Demand Webinar