What You Need To Know About PCB Design and EMI

What You Need To Know About PCB Design and EMI

November 30, 2022 0 By Hoofer

One of the most crucial factors in whether a PCB design fails or succeeds is the EMI. Below, we discuss what you need to know about EMI and PCB design and offer tips for reducing electromagnetic interference in your PCB.

What Is EMI?

Before we get into EMI and PCB design, we’ll discuss and define EMI so that PCB designers know what they’re dealing with. EMI stands for electromagnetic interference—energy transmitted through radiation/conduction from one electronic to another that corrupts the signal quality.

EMI can come from many sources, but the most common is from within the electronic device due to poor PCB design. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is another term PCB designers should be familiar with, as it relates to the ability of an electronic system to operate within an environment without generating EMI.

How Can I Prevent EMI in My PCB?

EMI has ruined many PCB designs. Below are some helpful tips on what PCB designers can do to keep their designs from failing due to EMI.

Utilize Ground Plane

One of the best tools in a PCB designer’s toolbox for reducing EMI is the design of the PCB’s ground plane. The ground plane is the first defense against EMI, as every circuit needs a ground to work properly.

To help disperse EMI signals more broadly and reduce cross-talk, increase the ground area of the plane as much as possible. Also, reduce the signal length as much as possible so that it takes less time for the signal to travel to and from the source.

Pro tip: Connect every component in the PCB to a ground plane so that it can act as a neutralizing agent for the board’s design.

EMI Shielding Technology

Another way to protect your PCB from EMI is with EMI shielding. Some components in a PCB design will produce EMI no matter what. In those cases, EMI shielding can be a designer’s best friend.

PCB designers can utilize component and board shielding that fully encapsulates the board in a metalized package that keeps EMI from entering and interfering with the board’s circuits. Some PCB designers also shield cables that carry digital currents, which are common culprits in EMI issues.

Those are some key things designers need to know about EMI and PCB design. If you’re struggling with EMI in your PCB design—you’re not alone! Consider our PCB tips and keep working to produce the best design you can create.