Electronic Products & Technology

Connected vehicles drive up EMC testing demand

EP&T Magazine   

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SGS sees upswing as automotive electronics expands

Last year, the global consumer electronics market is expected to be worth more than USD $1-billion, with a predicted annual growth rate of 2.32%. The largest segment in the sector is telephony, with an estimated value of USD 498.3 billion.

The connected vehicle sector is also growing rapidly. Worth almost USD $60-billion in 2020, it is forecast the global market will reach USD $191.83 by 2028.

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Connectivity has become a central part of everyday life, with most automobiles and consumer electronics now connected to the internet of things (IoT). This is true even for those who do not actively engage in the online world. Behind the scenes, many of the devices we all rely on for safety, entertainment, information and communication constantly interact with the IoT for updates and the data they need to provide a good level of user functionality.

This makes it vital that consumer electricals are independently tested to ensure electromagnetic radiation won’t negatively impact function or other electronic devices.


Electromagnetic radiation

All electric devices emit electromagnetic radiation. In isolation, this will not cause an issue for the user but, with the proliferation of electrical devices, there is a high chance that radiation from one or more devices could impact the operability of other devices in the area.

This would mean equipment failing to function properly. At best, the user is left frustrated and disappointed but, at worst, it could place them at risk if the device is designed to protect them. For manufacturers and suppliers of electronic devices this could mean more than just unhappiness, it could also mean noncompliance with market regulations.


Governments around the world enforce regulations to protect consumers and ensure the continued functioning of infrastructure. For example, EMC and RF are covered under the radio equipment directive 2014/53/EU (RED) in the European Union (EU), which establishes a regulatory framework for placing radio equipment on the market. In Great Britain (GB), there is the Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016 and, in the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Both national and international organizations have published EMC/RF standards to ensure the correct functioning of electrical devices to help manufacturers and governments protect users and vital infrastructure. This includes the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which has several committees dedicated to the issue of EMC/RF.

EMI/EMC testing

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can occur naturally, for example in electrical storms, but it is more often associated with electronic devices. If EMI emissions are not minimized, they can disturb the functioning of other equipment that is not sufficiently immune to the impact of electromagnetic radiation.

EMC measures a device’s immunity/susceptibility to electromagnetic energy and the amount of EMI it generates in its internal electrical systems. EMC testing ensures a product is sufficiently protected from external electromagnetic radiation while also ensuring it won’t affect other pieces of electrical equipment.

Failure to evaluate the EMC/RF compliance of a device can have severe negative consequences, such as safety risk, product failure and data loss. Manufacturers therefore need to ensure their products are properly tested to ensure proper function, regulatory compliance and consumer satisfaction.

Tests include:

  • Conducted emission
  • Radiated immunity
  • Radiated emission
  • Bulk current injection (BCI)
  • Magnetic field immunity
  • Magnetic field emission
  • Conducted transient immunity
  • Conducted transient emission
  • Mobile phone (handy transmitter) test
  • Electrical fast transients
  • Electrical surge
  • Harmonics and flickers measurements
  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
  • Human exposure measurements of electric and magnetic field


The article was written and submitted by SGS, providers of EMC/RF testing solutions for automobiles and consumer electronics.




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