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# Things Every Electrical Engineer

Todd H. Hubing
Michelin Professor of Vehicular Electronics
Clemson University
“Signals have a current
as well as a voltage.”

## Kyoto University Presentation

October 30, 2006 2
Ground Loop Example

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Ground Loop Example

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Ground Loop Example

## Kyoto University Presentation

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source and take the path(s) of
least impedance.”

## Kyoto University Presentation

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EMC course final exam question

## After passing through a CMOS input, signal

current always ultimately flows:

## a.) to digital ground

b.) to the earth
c.) back to the source
d.) all of the above
e.) it doesn’t matter.

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Current Paths

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Current Paths

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Current Paths

## > 100 kHz this is generally the path of least inductance

< 10 kHz this is generally the path(s) of least resistance

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Current Paths

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Ground Loop Example 2

D/A

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Ground Loop Example 2

D/A

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Ground Loop Example 2

D/A

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Rules for Gapping a Ground Plane

1. Don’t do it!

## 2. If you must do it, never ever allow a trace or

another plane to cross over the gap.

## 3. If you must do it, never ever place a gap

between two connectors.

## Kyoto University Presentation

October 30, 2006 15
“Fast transition times correspond
to more high-frequency content
in digital signals.”

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Signal Termination

t
f

t f

## Kyoto University Presentation

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“Efficient antennas below a
few GHz are easy to spot.”

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Antennas

λ/2

Half-Wave Dipole

• Size
• Two Halves

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Recognize Coupling Mechanisms

Voltage Driven
Signal or component voltage appears between two good antenna parts.

Example:

## Vs = 1 volt @ 500 MHz

Erad ≈ 360 mV / m @ 3 meters

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Recognize Coupling Mechanisms

Current Driven
Signal current loop induces a voltage between two good antenna parts.

- Vcm +

## Current driven voltage tend to be 3 or 4 orders of magnitude

smaller than voltage driven voltages. However, antenna
efficiencies can be 5 or 6 orders of magnitude higher.

## Kyoto University Presentation

October 30, 2006 21
“The circuit board traces with the
most high-frequency current are not
necessarily the high-frequency signal
traces.”

## Kyoto University Presentation

October 30, 2006 22
Identify Sources
Active Devices (Power Pins)

For some ICs, the high-frequency currents drawn from the power pins
can be much greater than the high-frequency currents in the signals!

## Kyoto University Presentation

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Identify Sources
Noise on the low-speed I/O

## For some ICs, significant high-frequency currents appear on low-speed

I/O including outputs that never change state during normal operation!

## Kyoto University Presentation

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To Avoid EMC Problems

## Use common sense!

Visualize signal current paths
Locate antennas and crosstalk paths
Be aware of potential EMI sources

## Kyoto University Presentation

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