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Book Reviews

This page comments on a few other books which have appeared on the Elmac bookshelves in the last few years. They are not listed in any particular order of preference.


Electromagnetic Compatibility Goedbloed & Coenen

Electromagnetic Fields in Electrical Engineering van der Laan

Electromagnetic Compatibility of Integrated Circuits Ben Dhia, Ramdani, Sicard

Electromagnetic Compatibility in Power Electronics Tihanyi

Cable Shielding for Electromagnetic Compatibility Tsaliovich

PCB Design Techniques for EMC Compliance Montrose

Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems Ott

Grounding and Shielding Techniques in Instrumentation Morrison

EMC: Electromagnetic Theory to Practical Design Chatterton & Houlden


Mart Coenen, Jasper Goedbloed, Electromagnetic Compatibility, mybusinessmedia 2010, ISBN 978-90-8572-034-8, 429 pp, hard cover

Second edition

The classic Electromagnetic Compatibility by Jasper Goedbloed has been revised by his colleague Mart Coenen. Goedbloed's book has long been a required textbook for anyone wishing to enter the EMC field. Goedbloed himself retired some years ago, but Mart Coenen (now working independently under the name EMCMCC) was a well-known member of the same team at Philips Eindhoven from 1979, and has been a major contributor to many EMC standards committees in this time. He's particularly associated with IEC 61000-4-6, and the more recent development of IC-level EMC standards, IEC 61967 and 62132.

He shares the original author's concern with the need for insight. From the preface:

One is to remain critical and sceptical to all EMC information, e.g. accompanying reports, application or installation guidelines provided with components and products that you intend to use. Most of these guidelines provided are incompatible with one another and block straightforward integration or may leave the reader in despair ...

Coenen has restricted his revision to minor editorial changes and the occasional amplificatory comment, based on experience over the years. Anachronisms have been corrected, although since the book deals much more with fundamental principles than with the detail of actual circuits, most of the examples remain relevant 20 years on. Indeed the main value of the book is in its exposition of underlying theory and linking this to simple practical examples, and the revision has not changed this.

A criticism that can be made of the second edition is that the layout and presentation of the book is noticeably more sloppy than the original. A different publisher is involved, and their house style and layout rules are not as well controlled as in the 1992 edition. For this reason, and because the changes are not major, I wouldn't recommend rushing out to get the new edition if you already have the first; but if you have never encountered the book before, and you are a practising EMC engineer, this is an essential addition to the library.

Review of the first edition

Here is a book which is worthy of a place on any bookshelf. Jasper Goedbloed is someone who has contributed immensely to both the understanding and the practice of EMC from his position in the EMC group of Philips Research Labs at Eindhoven. As well as being a key figure in the international scene and member of many CISPR and IEC working groups, he has developed an in-house EMC course for Philips companies, and this book has grown from that.

His preface describes the aim of the book admirably: EMC, he says, can be classified in terms of a limited number of fundamental interference problems. The book addresses these fundamentals so that the reader, "starting out correctly, will be able to design in an EM-compatible way or to analyse and solve EMI problems. Insight here is considered more valuable than the recipe for tackling a symptom". And indeed, insight is the mainstay of this work.

In this respect he does not shirk the mathematical underpinning of the subject, but it is never obtrusive; his maths is no more difficult to follow than that which is commonplace in ordinary electronics textbooks. He tackles crucial issues such as the transfer impedance, the screening properties of plates and enclosures, and the design and performance of filters in such straightforward fashion that insight flows naturally from it. The fundamental question of system reference design is clearly distinguished from the vague and confusing notion of "earthing" with which most engineers are unhappily familiar. Also, questions of immunity from impulsive disturbances and the issue of device non-linearity are each given a chapter; a proper treatment of immunity is often lacking in other works.

Jasper Goedbloed offered a 16-page tutorial at the 1997 Zurich EMC conference (Aspects of EMC at the Equipment Level, Supplement paper T2) which references many parts of this book, and which would act as an excellent introduction to his style and method of teaching. But my advice would be, stump up the forty quid and get the real thing.

Prof.dr. P.C.T. van der Laan, Electromagnetic Fields in Electrical Engineering, Shaker Publishing 2005 revised 2010, ISBN 90-423-0271-2, 100 pp, soft cover

The subtitle of this little book is "Understanding basic concepts". Piet van der Laan has retired from the Technical University of Eindhoven where he was professor of Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on high voltage power engineering and, consequently, an unavoidable interest in EMC. This book tackles the basics of electromagnetic field theory, from the perspective that "too much mathematics in field theory has - unfortunately - convinced many people that circuit theory is more practical and relevant."

Van der Laan does not denigrate circuit theory; by contrasting Maxwell and Kirchoff, he merely shows that it is in fact derived from the more universal field theory. The mathematics is not absent, but neither is it overwhelming, and it is clearly and profusely illustrated with many diagrams. The various aspects of electromagnetic fields are concisely covered and put into context with what electrical and electronic engineers are more familiar with - components, wires, motors and structures. He is not above a little whimsy; having calculated as an example the capacitance of the Earth as 708F, he says "notice how inconveniently large a Farad is; even our Sun with a radius of 696000 km has only a capacitance of 77.4mF". As an aid to understanding the physical basis of, well, the whole of electrical and electronic engineering, this book is invaluable.

Sonia Ben Dhia, Mohamed Ramdani, Etienne Sicard, Electromagnetic Compatibility of Integrated Circuits, Springer 2006, ISBN 0-387-26600-3, 473 pp, hard cover

A new addition to the EMC library, this book fills a gap that has been yawning for some time. ICs themselves contribute greatly to the EMC of a product and their characteristics can make or break a particular design. The authors, from INSA-LESIA and ESEO in France have edited the contributions of more than thirty other experts to produce this compendium.

Both emissions and immunity are covered. There is an extensive description of IC EMC measurement methods, drawn from the new standards IEC 61967 and IEC 62132. Modelling of parasitic effects and EMC phenomena in ICs is also covered, looking at ESD mechanisms and internal current switching which creates emissions, and progressing to equivalent PCB and package models along with IBIS, ICEM and IMIC. Chapters on case studies and guidelines for improved EMC round off the book.

The main readership for this book should be IC designers rather than product designers; the latter will find it interesting, but will mostly be unable to have an impact at the chip design level, where it is needed. That is one of the problems with this area of EMC. Among the contributors, the only semiconductor manufacturers represented were Philips, Freescale, STM, Hitachi and Infineon. It would be helpful if all IC manufacturers were to take on board the problems that their devices create and the solutions that can be implemented in the design stage. As it is, it is evident that the driving force for good chip-level EMC is the automotive industry's requirements; the manufacturers listed above (as well as several other contributors) are all heavily involved in this sector, and the tests that have been recently standardized all show evidence of an automotive industry pedigree. But despite its partiality, there is much good material in here which should have a wide circulation.

Laszlo Tihanyi, Electromagnetic Compatibility in Power Electronics, Elsevier Science 1995, ISBN 0-7506-2379-9, 403 pp, hard cover, £30.00

Apart from a brief chapter devoted to the organization of CISPR and other standard bodies, Tihanyi concentrates almost exclusively on the filtering and suppression of power circuits, and the testing of their conducted emissions and immunity. Screening and radiated testing are omitted entirely. Given its subject scope, this is not a serious fault and indeed allows the author to focus on the detailed aspects of filter design, including parasitics, and the noise generation characteristics of power components. One noteworthy inclusion is a chapter devoted to transient susceptibility analysis using amplitude density functions; another is a very comprehensive bibliography extending to 365 references.

Due to its rigorously practical approach, serious designers of switchmode power supplies, triac AC phase controllers and thyristor chopper circuits will find this an essential reference for dealing with the EMC of their equipment.

Anatoly Tsaliovich, Cable Shielding for Electromagnetic Compatibility, Van Nostrand Reinhold (Chapman & Hall) 1995, ISBN 0-442-01425-2, 500 pp, hard cover, £52.50

Tsaliovich, the EMC guru of AT&T Bell Labs, is well known in the EMC community. His book fills a very significant gap in the EMC bookshelf - a reference source for understanding cable shielding performance. He himself describes it as "a serious monograph that addresses cable shielding as applied to solving EMC problems in electronic systems, emphasizing both theory and the `nuts and bolts' of design, evaluation and application in the system". Solidly grounded in classical shielding theory, with non-intrusive expositions of the mathematics underlying key coupling concepts, the book still manages to give good practical advice on the choice of shielding techniques and terminations.

Its readership will fall naturally into three groups: the EMC engineer who must understand how cable shielding construction affects systems and equipment EMC, the equipment designer who must understand the constraints on the interface to the cable, and the system designer who needs to know how (and indeed when) to specify and terminate the cable shields themselves. All three are well catered for.

Mark I Montrose, Printed Circuit Board Design Techniques for EMC Compliance, Second Edition IEEE Press 2000, ISBN 0-7803-5376-5, 306 pp, hard cover

Review of the first edition

There has for some time been a need for a book which addresses in detail the EMC design aspects of printed circuit board layout. Particularly for high speed and performance in digital circuits, PCB design is probably the single most important issue in enabling a product to meet EMC requirements.

This book gives a good review of the techniques that are required for implementing EMC in PC layout. Going beyond the usual simplistic recommendation for ground and power planes, Montrose discusses the optimum layering of multi-layer boards, different ground systems, and partitioning. Whole chapters are devoted to clock circuits, decoupling, and ESD control; there is particularly valuable advice on interface layout and the use of backplanes and daughter boards.

If the book has a fault, it is that in common with many American texts, it tends to be overly prescriptive at the expense of a deeper understanding of the principles involved. The consequence of this is that, while the techniques described will work in general, there will always be applications for which they are inappropriate and for which the designer needs to start from scratch. Also as with other American books, the focus is almost exclusively on emissions from high performance digital circuits - there is little about design for immunity, nor about EMC design of cost-limited PCBs; multilayers are assumed to be the norm. But for its intended audience, this will be a useful addition to the bookshelf.

Review of the second edition

The second edition of Montrose's book was published in 2000. Aside from various editing changes, he has extensively revised many of the chapters to add in new concepts and extend others. His chapter on "additional design techniques" now has several comprehensive sections, with new parts on planes and his favourite the 20-h rule, as well as more information on corners in trace routing, and some helpful tables of creepage and clearance distances and current-carrying capacity. The book remains a standard in the EMC engineer's bookshelf.

Henry W Ott, Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems, 2nd Edition Wiley 1988, ISBN 0-471-85068-3, 426 pp, hard cover, £70.00

This book is probably the most widely read of all EMC textbooks. First published in 1976, the second edition appeared in 1988. A new version (not yet reviewed), entitled "Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering", was published in 2009. At the beginning of the book, Ott quotes Einstein, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler", and this is a good indication of the approach he takes.

The meat of the book is in the chapters covering cabling, grounding, balancing and shielding, and contact suppression. There are also useful chapters on thermal and device noise although these are somewhat out of place in an EMC book. Since Ott was writing in the days when the major EMC problems were digital circuit RF emissions (regulated by FCC rules) and susceptibility to electrostatic discharge, he includes specific chapters on these aspects.

It's inevitable that there have been many developments in the field of EMC since the late '80s, which the book of course does not cover. Notable omissions are any discussion of immunity other than for ESD, and no significant discussion of PCB layout. Understanding of shielding design has moved on considerably, and there is naturally no mention of the huge proliferation of EMC test standards or of modern test methods. Given these limitations though, the book is still a widely respected and valuable reference for most aspects of EMC design.

Ralph Morrison, Grounding and Shielding Techniques in Instrumentation, 3rd Edition Wiley 1986, ISBN 0-471-83805-5, 172 pp, hard cover, £65.00

This is not an EMC book in the sense that it will help you to meet the usual regulatory emissions and immunity compliance requirements - it won't. It is written in a style which makes a haiku seem verbose. Also, it is another old book - first written in 1967, the third edition was published in 1986. However, the subject area it treats is one which does not date and for which the "state of the art" is based on absolute fundamentals, Ohm's law being the most important.

The difficulty that most engineers have in dealing with low-frequency grounding and shielding is that the parameters involved don't normally appear on circuit diagrams - stray capacitance, ground impedance and field phenomena are all-important, yet they are unrepresented in the usual engineering drawings. Morrison's achievement is to bring these aspects to the fore, through a clear description of how the shielding and grounding equivalent circuits are laid out. His audience is primarily instrumentation designers, but all circuit disciplines benefit from his examples.

Although there is a chapter on "RF processes in instrumentation", this is of little help to designers who have to deal with RF emissions and immunity issues. But if you are faced with a low-level amplifying circuit that doesn't work because of noise and you want to shield it properly and ground it properly - ignore the terse delivery, this is the book for you.

P A Chatterton and M A Houlden, EMC: Electromagnetic Theory to Practical Design, Wiley 1992, ISBN 0-471-92878-X, 295 pp, hard cover, £65.00

One of the major problems with EMC is that the field theory underlying many of the coupling phenomena is very difficult for non-academic, practising engineers to deal with. Without a good understanding of the theory, many EMC fixes do indeed look like black magic.

This book makes a valiant effort to put the theory into practical terms. There are still plenty of equations - if you react badly to equations then EMC is probably not for you - but they are placed in context so that each section can be seen to apply to particular circumstances. The major areas covered are basic field theory, guided waves (transmission line theory), shielding, and spectral analysis. A final chapter titled "Important factors in practical EMC design" rounds up a number of loose ends.

The book was published in 1991 and so misses out on many of the important developments in EMC over the last decade, but is nevertheless still a useful reference for engineers seeking to understand and apply the basics to real world problems.

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