Advanced Printed Circuit Board Design for EMC

Next open-enrollment offering: May 24, 2018 in Stoughton, WI  · Registration will open in January 2018  ·  Location and Accommodations


Checking PCB against schematic

This is an advanced course for engineers who design products that must comply with EMC requirements on the first test pass. The course discusses basic methodologies for reviewing circuit board layouts and schematics to identify and evaluate potential EMC and signal integrity issues.  Examples derived from actual circuit board designs are used to illustrate proper and improper layouts in various situations. Implementation and layout strategies for various types of circuits are reviewed including high-speed digital, RF analog, LF analog, power inverters, controllers and mixed-signal designs.  

It is assumed that students taking this course have a basic understanding of fundamental EMC concepts. (For example, students that have completed the Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance course or the Design for Automotive EMC Compliance course.) The focus of the course will be on the application of these concepts to actual product designs. Students completing this course will have the skills necessary to conduct well-organized circuit board design reviews and make good decisions regarding component selection, component placement, layer stack-up, trace routing and grounding.

Continuing Education Credit: 0.75 CEUs, 7.5 PDHs

Course Outline

Exploded view of cell phone Rasberry Pi video board Rack Mount Board
  1. Introduction
    • Recognizing the Impact of Layout on Product Compliance and Cost
    • Avoiding Common Board Layout Mistakes
    • Conducting an EMC Design Review
  2. Review of Important Fundamental EMC Concepts
    • Tracing Current Paths
    • Identifying Noise Sources and Coupling Mechanisms
    • Identifying the Ground Structure
    • Identifying the Unintentional Antennas on a Board
    • Terminating Signal Nets and Traces
  3. Printed Circuit Board Planes
    • Determining the Function of a Plane
    • Evaluating Plane Layouts and Layer Stackup
    • Evaluating Gaps, Islands, Clear-Outs and Layer Fills
    • Checking for Traces Connected to Planes
    • Checking for Overlapping Planes
  4. Input/Output
    • Identifying I/O Traces in the Schematic and Layout
    • Evaluating I/O Filters
    • Evaluating ESD and Transient Protection
    • Evaluating Potential Crosstalk Issues
  5. Critical Nets/Traces
    • Identifying Critical Nets and Traces
    • Evaluating Long Traces
    • Evaluating Impedance Controlled Traces
    • Evaluating Critical Inputs
    • Checking for Proper Signal Terminations
  6. DC Power Distribution and Decoupling
    • Recognizing an Effective Power Distribution Strategy
    • Identifying and Evaluating Decoupling Capacitor Placement and Mounting
    • Evaluating Power Inverter Circuit Layouts
    • Isolating PLLs and Other Sensitive Devices
  7. EMC Filters and Shields
    • Evaluating Filter Component Selection and Placement
    • Identifying Unintentional Coupling that Bypasses Filters
    • Evaluating the Necessity for Board-Level Shielding
    • Recognizing Good and Bad Board-Level Shielding Implementations
  8. Special Design Considerations
    • Integrating Wireless Devices
    • Implementing High-Voltage Isolated Grounds
    • Designing Boards for Harsh EM Environments
    • Addressing Product-Specific Design Constraints

Course Instructor

Prof. Todd Hubing

Dr. Todd H. Hubing is a Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University and Director of the Clemson Vehicular Electronics Laboratory. He and his students at Clemson have worked on the development and analysis of a wide variety of electronic products. EMC design rules can vary greatly depending on whether you are designing high-speed computing equipment, low-cost mixed-signal consumer products or high-power industrial controls; but the basic EMC principles are the same in all industries. By applying these principles in an organized manner, it is possible to review a design circuit-by-circuit to guarantee that any particular EMC requirement will be met. This approach is more effective than the blind application of design guidelines and is the primary emphasis of every EMC design class taught by Dr. Hubing.