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Will 4% Steps Find
Troubleshooting EMC Problems Like an MD

The American National Standards Committee on EMC – C63®

Exporting Radio Equipment to Saudi Arabia: A Look at the Law

Troubleshooting EMC Problems Like an MD

The American National Standards Committee on EMC – C63®

Exporting Radio Equipment to Saudi Arabia: A Look at the Law

July 2021
July 2021
Volume 13 l Number 7
By David Arnett and Edward Blankenship
CISPR Publications 24 and 35 allow radiated and conducted immunity tests to be performed using I% or 4% steps. This article looks at measured radiated immunity test data to determine the typical shapes of radiated susceptibilities for multimedia equipment. The authors consider what those shapes tell us about the validity of the 4% step method.
By Daryl Gerke, PE
This article describes three troubleshooting methodologies doctors use to diagnose (troubleshoot) medical problems. These same techniques have proven useful in my own EMC consulting practice.
By Daniel D. Hoolihan
This article describes the activities of the C63 Committee on EMC over the last two years. It summarizes how the Committee has been remotely meeting and reports on the progress the Committee has made on its active EMC standards.
By Alex Martin
This article discusses the legislation that applies when placing radio equipment on the Saudi market. For product manufacturers intent on exporting radio equipment to Saudi Arabia, the fact that the relevant legislation was adopted at the national level is significant. The article gives an overview of the Saudi legal framework, including obligations falling upon radio equipment manufacturers and importers.
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compliance news
FCC Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the launch of a program to fund consumer discounts on broadband services and equipment.

According to an Order issued by the FCC, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will offer consumers discounts of up to $50 per month on their broadband services, as well as a one-time $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer from participating providers. The discounts are available until the $3.2 billion in federal funding…

FDA Releases 510(k) Third-Party Performance Metrics
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published its most recent data on the performance of accredited third parties conducting primary reviews of medical devices under the Agency’s 510(k) process.

The FDA’s “Third Party Review Organization Performance Report” summarizes the activity of third parties accredited by the FDA’s Accredited Persons Program who completed at least five 510(k) submissions in each federal fiscal year between October 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.

Created under the scope of the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the FDA’s Accredited Persons Program…

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Feature Article
Will 4% Steps Find Radiated Susceptibilities?
By David Arnett and Edward Blankenship
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Editor’s Note: The paper on which this article is based was originally presented at the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility & Signal/Power Integrity (EMC, SI & PI), where it received recognition as the Best Symposium Paper. It is reprinted here with the gracious permission of the IEEE. Copyright 2021 IEEE.


CISPR Publication 24 [1] allows the use of 1% or 4% frequency steps when testing a product for immunity to both radiated RF disturbances and conducted RF disturbances in the frequency range from 150 kHz to 1 GHz. When testing using 4% steps, the disturbance voltage level is doubled. This is a 6 dB increase. CISPR Publication 35 [2] has carried forward the same testing option. CISPR 35 currently includes spot frequency tests above 1 GHz rather than swept frequency tests. However, other standards such as the ETSI EN 301 489‑1 [3] implement swept frequency testing above 1 GHz. A swept frequency test from 1 GHz to 6 GHz is under consideration for inclusion in a future edition of CISPR 35.

During a February 2018 meeting of CISPR/I Maintenance Team 8 (MT8), a discussion about the necessity of 4% steps for certain products led to the question of whether it is valid to allow 4% testing at twice the disturbance level. Some of the experts expressed concern that this is a relaxation in the standard since susceptibilities could be missed using the wider step size.

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Issues & Answers
EMC Antenna Calibration: Importance of Specifying What You Actually Need
EMC antenna calibration is often over-specified resulting in customers paying more, and waiting longer, for a calibration service than actually needed. Doug Kramer explains how to maximize your EMC calibration experience, now and in the future.
Why are EMC antenna calibration services over-specified?

Often we are asked to provide a calibration in vague terms, such as “per CISPR 16” or “the same as last time”. This results in customers over-specifying calibration services rather than purchasing what they actually need. EMC testing provides a wide variety of different requirements and test methods. Calibration is the process used to provide the traceability of the measurement to the International System of Units (SI). Depending on the product testing method and standards writing body, the three most commonly referenced documents for antenna calibration are CISPR 16-1-6, ANSI C63.5, and SAE ARP 958. Many customers only require a portion of the services that can be offered per these standards. It’s important when requesting a calibration service to understand how to specify these services as needed.

What do you recommend people do BEFORE they request an EMC antenna calibration service?

They should understand that different applications result in different calibration methods. For example, military (MIL-STD), automotive, and aerospace applications currently tend to reference the SAE standard. For industrial consumer products, such as radio devices, ISM, ITE, and/or multi-media equipment, these applications reference the CISPR and ANSI C63 standards. Keep in mind that the ANSI C63 and CISPR standards also specify the Standard Site Method (SSM) which requires an acceptable calibration site. We are happy to educate our customers so they can confidently specify the calibration method for their measurement application to ensure they get the calibration service they actually need. Additionally, they should consider tracking the three most common standards noted above as these documents are continually updated and revised.

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How does a well-specified request for calibration services benefit industry?

Knowing exactly what the customer needs for their calibration service allows calibration labs to provide for a competitive quote and allocation of the appropriate resources necessary to perform a quality calibration. This expedites the calibration service time so the antenna is returned to the customer quicker. Less down-time benefits commercial labs who charge for test lab time; for design engineers, less down-time means more time for product R&D. A detailed calibration service request also avoids potential “surprises” when the antenna is received at the lab or returned to the customer, which can result in further delays. We recommend spending a little more time upfront on your calibration service specification. As a result, you’ll have less down-time and save money. This efficiency benefits industry in the long run.

To learn more about EMC antenna calibration, view the webinar by ANSI C63.5 and CISPR 16-1-6 experts at
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Feature Article
Troubleshooting EMC Problems Like an MD
First-Hand Lessons From Three Medical Professionals
By Daryl Gerke, PE
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ver ponder how a physician troubleshoots medical issues in their patients? Neither did I until a consulting client pointed out I was following a medical methodology known as “differential diagnosis.”

Intrigued by the comment, which led me to further investigate how doctors work to fix patients, just like we work to fix EMC problems.

But first, a little background…

Early in my EMC consulting career, a client asked me to explain each step as we worked to improve ESD immunity on an existing product. In addition to solving the problem, he wanted to better understand my thinking process. Fair enough, I thought.

Feature Article
The American National Standards Committee on EMC – C63®
An Update on Recent Standards Development Activities
By Daniel D. Hoolihan
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uring the COVID-19 pandemic, the C63 Committee, which has always been closely associated with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has continued to meet by using modern video-conferencing capabilities. The last face-to-face meeting of the full C63 Committee was in November of 2019 in Santa Rosa, California when eight Subcommittees, the C63 Steering Committee, and the C63 Main Committee all met in a series of week-long meetings. Since then, there have been four meetings of the C63 Steering Committee and each of our eight Subcommittees have met approximately every quarter. Each of the Committee’s Working Groups (WG) is responsible for one C63 standard, and the WGs have continued to meet remotely on an as-needed basis to continue work on their respective standards.

This article outlines the activities of the C63 Committee in 2020 and 2021. It describes the EMC standards that have been approved recently as American National Standards and outlines the EMC standards that are actively being worked on as American National Standards.

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Feature Article
Exporting Radio Equipment to Saudi Arabia: A Look at the Law
An Overview of the Legal Framework and the Obligations Applicable to Equipment Manufacturers and Importers
By Alex Martin

ith a gross domestic product of 793 billion (USD) in 2019,1 the economy of Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest in the world. Indeed, it is one of the world’s top 20 economies with Saudi Arabia a G20 member country. A high-income nation, Saudi Arabia also has a large and fast-growing population – over 34 million and rising in 20192 – with approximately 39% under the age of 25.3 The latter is noteworthy with regard to Saudi Arabia’s emergence as an increasingly favored export destination for North American, European, and Asian manufacturers of consumer electronics and information communications technology (ICT). In particular, Saudi Arabia’s young consumer market has been identified as including some of the world’s most prominent early adopters of new technologies.4

Combine this with new consumer electronics and ICT products that usually incorporate wireless functionality as a standard feature, and an understanding of Saudi radio equipment regulation becomes imperative for ensuring market access. This article discusses the national legislation in place, including, as relevant, its references to international and European product standards.

EMC concepts explained
Part 3: DC/DC Converter – Baseline EMC Emissions Evaluation
By Bogdan Adamczyk, Scott Mee, and Nick Koeller

his is the third article in a series of articles devoted to the design, test, and EMC emissions evaluation of 1- and 2-layer PCBs that contain AC/DC and/or DC/DC converters, and employ different ground techniques [1, 2]. In this article, we evaluate the performance of the baseline DC/DC converter (e.g., use only IC vendor recommended components and no additional EMC countermeasures). Specifically, we present the test results from the radiated and conducted emissions tests performed according to the CISPR 25 Class 5.

Like so many industries at this time, while working on the DC/DC converter we were faced with a semiconductor shortage issue in our design with the main controller integrated circuit. This forced us to redesign the converter using a different DC/DC IC that is widely available in quantities. After selecting a new integrated circuit, a new design was created and appropriate components were chosen. Then the PCB layout was updated and a ‘quick turn’ PCB fabrication was ordered and received. The schematic, PCB layout, and a photograph of the assembly are shown below for the new design which was tested and results are discussed in this article.

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45 Sessions including over 180 Workshops & Tutorials
64 Sessions & 225 Technical Papers
4 Special Sessions including 30 presentations selected to encompass the latest technologies
11 Hardware & Software Demos during Experiments and Demos presented by qualified professionals
4 Ask the Experts Panel Discussions with the chance to interact with respected members of the EMC + SIPI community.
10 Lectures & 20 hours of in-depth Clayton R. Paul Global University classes
Visit the Virtual Hall
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hot topics in ESD
Next to FinFET, How Will ESD Suffer?
By Shih-Hung Chen for EOS/ESD Association, Inc.

oughly a decade ago, starting at 22nm technology nodes, the transistor architecture changed from planar to FinFET [1-3]. Bulk FinFET (FF) which is a multi-gate transistor built on Si substrate has been the mainstream in the state-of-the-art logic CMOS technologies for many mobile SoC applications [1-3]. Fortunately, ESD reliability has not been an obstacle in the FinFET era from 22nm to 5nm technology nodes. Nowadays, with the increased requirements of high-performance computing applications, logic CMOS technologies need further evolutions. Several new transistor architectures have been proposed to achieve more powerful computing capability. In this article, we will look at the impacts of these transistor architectures on ESD reliability.

New GAA Transistor Architecture
Next to bulk FinFET technologies beyond 5nm nodes, bulk gate-all-around (GAA) technology has been proposed as a promising candidate because of improved channel electrostatic and leakage control [4-8]. The vertically stacked horizontal nanosheets (NS) can further maximize the driving current per layout footprint [8-11]. Compared with nanowires (NW), the NS can provide more driving capability per layout footprint due to the larger effective channel width (Weff) [10, 11], as shown in Figure 1.

In addition to the new GAA transistor architecture, the integration of a Source/Drain (S/D) dual epitaxy process with strain engineering [3, 12-15] has been proposed to continuously enable better, faster, and more compact devices [13]. For example, in p-type MOSFETs, the Si S/D epitaxy structure is replaced by a SiGe S/D epitaxy structure [13-15] for providing the channel strain engineering. These examples of architecture and material options can bring critical challenges of ESD reliability.

Spectrum reallocation to reduce interference with emergency services radiocomms

26 January 2005: Philadelphia FOP Wants Radios Replaced; failures characterized as possible life-or-death issue. In a follow-up to a story reported earlier on Interference Technology’s website, major news outlets in the Philadelphia metropolitan area report that the head of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has called on city officials…

‘Broadband over power line’ (PLC) will interfere with radio astronomy

Sharing studies between the radio astronomy telescopes and the power line communication systems in the HF region. Summary: Radio Astronomy has frequency allocations in 13.36-13.41 MHz and 25.55-25.67 MHz on a primary basis worldwide. These bands are extensively used by radio astronomers to observe electromagnetic waves emitted by the Sun…

Interference from lighting is an ever-increasing threat

Standard CISPR15 (EN 55015) is a special product family standard for electrical lighting and similar equipment that has served the market well for many years, but in recent times the incidence of interference from lighting has increased [1]. This has coincided with technological developments in the lighting industry [2]. With the increasing pressure…

Rice cooker interferes with pacemaker, plus other examples of interference

This is an excerpt from a monthly newsletter that sends out interesting news items. I don’t believe this is an April Fools’ item, but then who knows? A Japanese woman’s automatic rice cooker changed the settings on her pacemaker. Doctors doing a routine check up were baffled to find that the hi-tech pumping device they had implanted in the woman, 60…

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