ERDF project description

Project Description

Since the 1970s, the popularity of electronic circuitry has grown exponentially. Ever faster circuit switching speeds have led to increases of unwanted interference (or emissions) that devices emit or receive from others. Plus, lower circuit voltages mean higher failure susceptibility due to such emissions (a clear example is this recent interference case: the TV that brought down a Welsh village’s broadband). The combination of these two factors has driven stringent Global EMC testing standards to ensure that all newly designed products have their emissions limited. Low emissions and high immunity to interference are directly related to quality and reliability of any electronic device.

Product Developers invest large sums in (1) re-designing products to meet emission´s targets and (2) conducting testing to obtain the required pass certificates and approval to sell. The problem is that (1) and (2) must be repeated several times before obtaining a compliant product, causing severe delays and overruns (the percentage of a project budget intended for EMC control can be over 10%, and increases exponentially with time[1]; when a redesign is needed due to EMC problems, the project may be delayed up to 12 weeks[2]; 32% of the companies cite EMC problems as the most common cause of time and budget overruns2). Even experienced engineers following EMC best practices cannot ensure that their designs will meet EMC regulations.

Once a prototype is built, emissions can only be mitigated by adding power-line filters (Figure 1), which are chosen by trial and error. This is a painful and time-consuming task because the current EMC measurement systems, designed according to 30+ old regulations, only indicate if the product is compliant, but cannot either identify the root cause of emissions, or assist in their mitigation. Besides, the most cost-effective solution is not usually found, and over-spending continues throughout sales. Today’s technology with high-speed multiple-core electronics is driving the problem to new levels of complexity.

Figure 1: Sketch of a power-line filter as a conducted emissions (interference) suppressor

At EMZER, we have developed the prototype automated all-in-one tool for the measurement of the conducted interference and the design of the optimal power-line filter for an electronic device, MeDiF. It is based on our most recent scientific work. It designs the optimal power-line filter for a given prototype automatically. This instrument will radically change how electromagnetic interference (EMI) filters are designed. Product designers will almost instantly be provided with the optimal power-line filter design allowing them to meet standards with the minimal time and cost expenditure, saving several days of work.

Figure 2: EMSCOPE design



Project Objectives

In this project, a new system has been developed for the mitigation of conducted interference produced by all electronic equipment, through an optimal and automatic design of the most suitable network filter for each measured equipment.
This new system groups

  1. a conducted emissions measurement system (EMI receiver or spectrum analyzer),
  2. an impedance measurement system (network or impedance analyzer),
  3. an automatic filter design system, and
  4. a database with the filter response and filter components available on the market.

Project Funding

This project has been developed thanks to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the Operational Program of Catalonia 2014-2020.

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