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Does EMC stand for Exasperating, Magic, or Confusing?

Posted: 12 Apr 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electromagnetic compatibility  EMC 

While EMC is merely a nuisance to experience radio interference, it is definitely a serious matter if an ABS or airbag suffers a malfunction because a vehicle passes a TV tower too closely. Thus, mastering EMC is a basic requirement for automotive electronics designers.

The acronym EMC stands for "electromagnetic compatibility" and means the ability of an electronic device (or a module, printed circuit board or integrated circuit) to operate in an electromagnetically distorted environment while keeping its own distortions below certain thresholds so that other devices do not suffer any serious adverse effects. For many people this field of expertise seems more like a form of black magic: No matter what work is done related to EMC, not only will something completely unexpected and unpredictable happen, worse than that it can be assumed that things will always take a turn in the wrong direction. It will become apparent through this article whether this viewpoint is accurate and what engineers can do to gain more facility in this field.

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