Stop designing products guaranteed to fail EMC testing.

Au: This article emphasizes the need to concentrate on design of transmission lines, or the “spaces,” instead of the “wires.” The industry focus has been on the movement of charges in the wires, which only occurs because the electric fields are moving. The energy is carried by the fields, not the displacement current. My apologies to the EM physicists for oversimplifying these concepts, but this approach will increase the chances of success for most designs.

Engineering teams worldwide are facing increasingly difficult challenges to design electronic products and achieve good signal integrity and compliance. However, the status quo is  to expect the design to fail EMC testing not once, but three, four, or as many as five times. Each time the design is sent to be retested, there is little confidence in success. This cycle is expensive in both the time it takes to redesign the product and the cost of expediting fabricating the new PCB and assembly. Add this to the cost of retesting the product, and the numbers add up very quickly. This expense and delay in product certification are not in the budget or the schedule. The cost not only directly affects the bottom line of the electronic supply company, but also affects the customers waiting for the product. Instead of designing the next big thing, teams are trying to fix the current one. As a result, billions of dollars are lost each year designing products that are expected to fail.

What is wrong here? The billion-dollar mistake.

The billion-dollar mistake is rooted in the misunderstanding of the nature of electronic energy. One drawing is to blame.

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