Pat Hindle, SI Journal Contributing Editor
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Pat Hindle

Pat Hindle is responsible for editorial content, article review and special industry reporting for Signal Integrity Journal and Microwave Journal magazines plus their web sites. He also leads social media and special digital projects. Prior to joining the Journals, Mr. Hindle held various technical and marketing positions throughout New England, including Marketing Communications Manager at M/A-COM (Tyco Electronics), Product/QA Manager at Alpha Industries (Skyworks), Program Manager at Raytheon and Project Manager/Quality Engineer at MIT's Space Nanostructures Laboratory. Mr. Hindle graduated from Northeastern University - Graduate School of Business Administration and holds a BS degree from Cornell University in Materials Science Engineering.

Compatibility in the Capital - IEEE EMC 2016

July 31, 2016

EMC 2016 featured Dr. Robert Scully, NASA Johnson Space Lab, kicking off the plenary session with his light hearted talk, “EMC in 2016 and Beyond: What Is It and Why Do We Care?”. As the IEEE EMC is an international organization, they periodically hold EMC outside of the US so traveled to Ottawa, Canada this year. Dr. Scully discussed the evolution of an engineer who has the “knack” for fixing things. He colorfully reviewed the history of electromagnetics from Maxwell to Marconi. Then talked about the future of connected cars, drones and IoT, pointing out that signal integrity, power integrity and EMC/EMI challenges will continue to increase as clock speeds of processing circuits increase and circuit size decreases.

Here is a link to our Photo Gallery from the event and a few photos of Ottawa. The exhibition seemed smaller than in previous years, probably complicated by the location. These are the companies that we visited and the new products and capabilities on display.

Altair/FEKO discussed how EMC has become a key topic for OEMs and their suppliers in many industries. It is not only important to ensure electromagnetic problems will not occur when integrating components and devices in a system, but also to fulfill the related EMC regulations. FEKO is used for EMC to simulate problems related to electromagnetic interference and immunity. FEKO includes a complete cable-modeling tool to analyze both radiation and irradiation of cables into or from other cables, antennas or devices, which can cause disturbance voltages and currents resulting in problems in the system. FEKO is also used to simulate radiated emissions of Electronic Control Units (ECU) in a system, shielding effectiveness, radiation hazard analysis, electromagnetic pulses (EMP), lightning effects and High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF).

AR Worldwide is a leader in the field of EMC with a wide range of amplifiers, test products and antennas. They were featuring some new amplifiers including a CW unit with 1000 W output from 1 to 2.5 GHz (available power to 3000 W) and pulsed amplifiers with 2000 W operating from 1 to 2 GHz (available up to 150 kW). Their “A” Series ranges up to 400 MHz / 25 to 50,000 watts CW depending upon frequency range and the “W” Series ranges up to 1,000 MHz / 1 to 10,000 watts CW.

The AR PSP Series wideband USB pulse power sensors turn a PC or laptop with a standard USB 2.0 port into a pulse power analyzer, without the need for any other instrument. Power measurements from the PSP Series can be displayed on the PC or can be integrated into a test system with a set of remote commands. The PSP Series power sensors include 6, 18 and 40 GHz models for measurement of wideband modulated and unmodulated signals over a frequency range of 50 MHz up to 40 GHz. The PSP Series Wideband USB pulse power sensors are supported by both AR’s emcware® software and PulsewARe. PulsewARe is a Windows-based software package that provides control and readout of the sensors.

ARC Technologies was featuring their new hot melt absorbers that offer customers a simple and fast way to apply absorber in their own facility, to a surface that requires noise suppression, for example a PCB. With any heat gun that reaches 300 degrees F, the customer can apply this product. Different hot melt products are available depending on application and frequency requirement: HM1000 – a lightweight dielectric absorber well suited for applications that require a high frequency absorber above 10 GHz; HM2000 – a 1 to 18 GHz magnetic absorber well suited for high frequency applications, such as connectors, wiring, chips, etc., that require superior near-field EMI attenuation from 1-18 GHz; HM3000 – a UHF Band Magnetic Absorber HM3000 designed for low frequency EM radiation applications and is useful when suppressing noise from transformers, switching power supplies, and other VHF and UHF radiators; and HM5000 –a conductive hot melt shielding solution that is ideal as a direct replacement for potting and encapsulation compounds.

AMETEK Compliance Test Solutions was featuring many new products from its various units. MILMEGA introduced a solid state power amplifier designed to deliver CW power to 800 W. The 80RF1000-800 extends the functionality of the 80RF Series, which previously only delivered 175 W, 300 W, 600 W or 1200 W of power, by providing a mid-range power level. Well suited for radiated RF EMC immunity testing, the new 80RF1000-800 uses a new three-way power combiner that offers users more choices to optimize the power level required in their test system.  If more power is needed, this broadband amplifier can be integrated with additional units to achieve power levels up to 1200 W P1dB. Teseq now offers an RF power amplifier series with power levels up to 3 kW and a broadband range of 10 kHz to 6 GHz.  The CBA B series is well suited for radiated and conducted RF EMC immunity testing in the commercial, automotive, aerospace and military markets. EM Test recently announced an electrostatic discharge simulator (ESD) that generates up to 30 kV of electrostatic discharge in both air and contact discharge mode.  The esd NX30 is designed for use in ESD testing of automobiles and their subassemblies as well as ESD testing of all consumer electronics and white goods as well as information technology, medical and industrial equipment. EM Test also announced a dropout switch (DS) option to its NSG 5500 to simulate momentary loss of power to automotive electronics.  The NSG 5500 +ARB +DS is the most compact, all-in-one unit for the most common automotive conducted immunity testing according to the company.

CST was showing how simulation using the CST EMC STUDIO® software package – a module of CST STUDIO SUITE® – allows problems to be identified and corrected from the start of the design process before the first prototype is even built. By including EMC compliant design at an early stage, additional costly development iterations can be avoided later on. The software includes a range of solvers, ranging from PCB design rule checkers to full-wave 3D solvers to specialized cable and PCB solvers, which can be linked and hybridized with the CST® System Assembly and Modeling framework.

Empower RF was conducting remote live demonstrations of their broadband, high power amplifier. The amplifier was housed in Los Angeles while viewed in the Ottawa exhibit with live streaming video while controlling the amplifier from the booth through a standard web browser. They demonstrated remote operation of the Empower 2170 1 kW RF amplifier in a test setup that includes a signal generator, spectrum analyzer, external power meter, and load, simulating In-Situ EMC testing. Empower now has 500 W in a 3U chassis, 1 kW in 5U chassis and 2 kW in 8U chassis.

Keysight Technologies demostrated two EM software solutions designed to help signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) engineers improve high-speed link performance in printed circuit board (PCB) designs. The solutions – SIPro and PIPro – are available in the newest release of Keysight EEsof EDA’s Advanced Design System (ADS) software. SIPro uses a new composite EM-technology that delivers high-frequency accuracy, together with the speed and capacity required for densely-routed cutting-edge PCB design. When compared to gold-standard Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations, SIPro demonstrates very good agreement at a small-fraction of the time and memory consumption, even above 20 GHz. The PIPro solution is a collection of three PI-specific simulation engines for DC IR drop, AC power delivery network (PDN) impedance, and power plane resonances analysis.

Keysight also was demonstrating the N9038A MXE EMI Receiver operating from 3 Hz to 44 GHz but can be extended into the mmWave region with extensions such as those from VDI. Key functions include performing EMC tests with a standard-compliant receiver: CISPR 16-1-1 & MIL-STD-461, keeping the test queue flowing with the accuracy, repeatability & reliability you need to test with confidence, reducing overall scan time with time domain scanning enabled by fast FFT scans, easily identify the frequencies of peak emissions prior to final measurement with monitor spectrum, enhancing diagnostics using spectrum & real-time analysis, Strip Chart, markers, span zoom, zoom span & spectrograms.

While MVG-EMC offers a wide area of chambers, they also have a full array of high-performance/low-cost absorber materials. A new addition is the HyPyr-LossTM product line includes absorbers that satisfy all of today’s EMC applications. ULTRA UH series polypropylene based hybrid electromagnetic absorbers are the latest technology for EMC/RF test applications. The polypropylene material has a highly uniform carbon density, throughout the material, which provides for more predictable results with no discontinuities. It is the unique production technology which is the critical factor in achieving the highest electromagnetic reflectivity performance in an MVG test chamber. The UH series includes several different model designs UH30, UH50 and UH75. This enables each of the test ranges to achieve full compliance as per CISPR 16, ANSI C63.4, IEC61000-4-3 and other international standards. The UH series provides an exceptional wideband performance for EMC test chamber applications in the frequency range from 30 MHz to 40 GHz and above.

Ophir was featuring their model OTG117 induced lightning system that is a two part system designed to cover section CS117 of Mil-Std-461G. The system consists of two independent generators. Model OTG117.1 Multiple Stoke Generator is capable of producing waveforms 1, 2, 4 and 5A. Model OTG117.2 Multiple Stroke/Burst Generator is capable of producing waveforms 3 (1 and 10 MHz) multiple stroke and multiple burst and waveform 6 multiple burst. Single event triggering is also available. Waveforms are produced at both internal and external equipment levels. Model OTC117.3 Voltage/Current Reducer is an adapter to reduce the output levels of Model OTG117.1 generator to the level 1 and 2 requirements of Mil-Std-461G, CS117.

Rohde & Schwarz expanded its R&S BBA150 broadband amplifier family with the D series to cover the frequency range from 690 MHz to 3.2 GHz and power levels up to 800 W. With the new addition, the company's amplifier portfolio can also be used for tests in the automotive and wireless communications sectors. The models in the new series are available in the power classes 30, 60, 110, 200, 400 and 800 W. With a frequency range starting at 690 MHz, the amplifiers meet the requirements of the LTE, GSM700, UMTS and WLAN mobile communications standards and cover up to 3.2 GHz with only the single amplifier unit.

The new power sensors from R&S take power measurements to the next level by offering USB capability and can be additionally controlled via LAN. In EMC applications, usually only the average power is of interest so the R&S®NRPxxA(N) average power sensors are the good fit. They cover measurement ranges that are used in radio telecommunications as well as the important lower frequency bands down to 8 kHz. Users benefit from the properties of the three-path diode power sensors, including a dynamic range of up to 93 dB, very low influence of the modulation on the measurement and outstanding impedance matching.

The R&S ESW receiver is well suited for conducted as well as radiated certification measurements and even meets the stringent demands placed on EMI measurements in the automotive sector stipulated by internal company standards. It comes in three versions for the frequency ranges from 2 Hz to 8 GHz/26 GHz/44 GHz. The instrument includes as standard an extremely fast FFT based time domain scan, which significantly reduces the time required for standard compliant certification tests. The spectrogram function seamlessly displays the analyzed spectrum versus time, making even rapidly changing interferers visible. Real-time spectrum analysis with a bandwidth of 80 MHz, with tools such as persistence mode and a frequency mask trigger, delivers important information on critical and hidden signals.

In 2017, IEEE EMC takes place in Washington DC – see you there.

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