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August 2012

Surface Voltage and Field Strength – Part 1: Insulators

Associate Professor Neils Jonassen authored a bi-monthly static column that appeared in Compliance Engineering...

ESD Electronic Design Automation Checks

The verification of electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in a complex integrated circuit (IC) design is extremely challenging. Leading-edge designs have many supply domains and voltage levels for different functional parts like radio frequency (RF), digital and high voltage blocks, making ESD checking a complex and error prone task. Relying on manual verification alone poses a significant risk of missing design flaws, which can be very costly during manufacturing and in the field. Consequently, automated ESD checking is highly desired in today’s design flow. This article outlines the essential requirements of the ESD verification flow as defined by the ESD Association (ESDA) Electronic Design Automation (EDA) Tool Working Group [1].

Thermal Testing: A Primer

Thermal testing, also known as heat testing, is one of the most critical tests required by the majority of regulatory safety standards in determining the safety of a product.
Excessive heat is the number one enemy in any electrical or electronic circuit. Designers are perpetually trying to improve the way to reduce heat or partially cool their products because they are being asked to design products with higher power density into smaller sizes, while operating temperatures of components or devices have not changed greatly over the past few decades. This means that component temperatures must be well controlled to avoid any failure and to increase the reliability of the product.

Site Attenuation Measurements Using External Source Control

A method of determining the performance of an open area test site (OATS) or an anechoic chamber is to perform a site attenuation measurement. The process used is to step a signal source at the transmitting antenna and use a receiver or spectrum analyzer at the receiving antenna. The two are stepped together to give a set of data that shows the performance of the test site or chamber. ANSI C63.4 outlines the process for performing normalized site attenuation (NSA) measurements. In these measurements, the spectrum analyzer controls the signal source.

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Conductors and “Conductive Paths” – What Is Really Happening (And why should anyone care?)

When people are asked what is the most commonly used component in electrical or electronic circuits, the typical answers are “Well, of course everyone knows its resistors”, or “It must be capacitors”, and even sometimes “Nothing operates without transistors”. In fact, none of those answers are correct; the real answer is that conductors are the most common type of component.

The iNARTE Informer – August 2012

It is now time to introduce the officers and staff of RABQSA International who...

The Evolution of EMC Testing for Electrified Powertrains in Automotive Vehicles

3 evolution-of-emc-testing-smallFrom the time when automotive vehicles were essentially mechanical with spark ignition the only electrical system, through the many decades that brought the development of electrical, electronic and computer controlled automotive systems, the need for and methods of automotive testing have evolved along with the vehicles. At one time, electrical testing was sufficient. But with the dawn of the digital computer era, compatibility became a major issue. Those pesky clocked systems are inherently noise producers and are also subject to immunity issues.

Arc Flash Safety Labeling: Avoiding 9000°C Explosions

In this column we’ll explore the kinds of safety markings designed to warn against...
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The Performance of Shields

The myth: The representation of shield performance (in dB) as applied to products will...

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