We are very delighted to have Dr. Min Zhang in this episode. Min is an independent EMC consultant based in the UK. Today, we'll be talking about EMC, both on board and off the board. It will be a very interesting discussion because we will look a little bit deeper at the system level of the board.

Show Highlights:

  • Zach met Min at EMCLive 2021
  • Let’s hear more about Min’s background and his early exposure to EMI issues
    • Earlier in his career, he worked with big companies as a motor drive engineer and power electronics design engineer for 10 years
    • He started his engineering consulting business, Mach One Design EMC Consultants 2 years ago
    • His first experience dealing with EMI issues was at the university while doing research for his PhD
  • The lack of education in the university in regards to EMI issues is one of the reasons that sparked Min’s interest in EMI
    • The university he went to specializes in motor and power converter design, but did not offer any solutions in fixing the EMI issues
    • Min recalls being fascinated by his first time seeing an EMI diagnosis kit composed of the spectrum analyzer, lots of ferrites, and cable shooting copper tape in a suitcase
    • It was his first time seeing a step-by-step diagnosis and troubleshooting EMI issues - checking the grounding, checking the bonding, and applying ferrites at the right place, performed by his friend’s father who was then a principal engineer in the European Space Agency
  • Min’s recommendation to design engineers solving EMI issues is to understand the fundamentals – “only when you understand the fundamentals, understand the basics, and the first principle, then you can really design a system” - Min Zhang
  • What happens when EMI problems exist off the board and they interfere with the system or create so much noise that the system is never going to pass EMC?
  • How to deal with cables connected to another system that is outside of the shielding?
    • Shielding is a good solution, but understanding fundamentals are necessary to avoid increased cost, weight, and also the bending ratio would be affected
  • Min shares a recent video he did with Robert Feranec which discusses the topic of EMI troubleshooting on immunity
  • 70% of the EMI issues are somehow related to resonance
    • For high-speed design, PCB designers really need to understand how the wave propagates
  • Ferrite is not a 100% inductive component
  • Min recommends the book by Douglas Smith – High Frequency Measurements and Noise in Electronic Circuits which focuses on the test and measurements in terms of high-speed design
  • Other experts to learn from in terms of EMI troubleshooting and high speed designs are Eric Bogatin, Steve Sandler and Heidi Barnes

Links and Resources:

Learn more about Min Zhang and his company Mach One Design EMC Consultants
Watch Min’s Keynote at EMCLive 2021
Watch How a Few Components Make a Big Difference in EMC/EMI with Min and Robert Feranec 
Read Min Zhang’s article on SI Journal
Great book recommendation: High Frequency Measurements and Noise in Electronic Circuits
Watch Rick Hartley's famous YouTube video about grounding
Watch previous episodes with EMI and High-speed experts:
    Eric Bogatin Debunks Common Misconceptions About Transmission Lines
    Secrets of PCB Optimization with Rick Hartley
    Being Right Matters! When, Why and What to Simulate with Steve Sandler
    Power Integrity and Simulations with Heidi Barnes

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