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EMC chamber at LTU
EMC chamber at LTU View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)

Published: 7 October 2020

Wireless and radio technologies are pervasive, with a steady increase of electronic components in everyday life. At Luleå University of Technology, we research and teach on Electromagnetic Compatibility or EMC.

EMC is concerned with the generation, transmission, and reception of electromagnetic energy. The introduction of digital signal processing and computation brought the present emphasis on EMC. The most significant increases in the interference problem occurred with high-density electronic components such as the bipolar transistor in the 1950s, the integrated circuit (IC) in the 1960s, and the microprocessor chip in the 1970s. The frequency spectrum also became more crowded with the increased demand for voice and data transmission. 

Electromagnetic compatible devices should not cause interference with themselves or cause the malfunction of nearby devices. Electronic devices can be incompatible with other devices, or even with themselves. The ”incompatibility” shows as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Interference is the undesirable effect of noise. Noise is any electrical signal present in a circuit other than the desired signal. Noise cannot be eliminated, but interference can. Noise can only be reduced in magnitude until it no longer causes interference.

Would one drive an autonomous electric car that has not passed the electromagnetic compatibility tests? Or, would one work in a robotic factory where electromagnetic interference has not been assessed? The need for competent engineers in the EMC field is and will only grow. At LTU, we have the knowledge and the equipment to prepare the EMC engineers of the future.