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EMC Expert Systems

Computer modeling software based on EMC expert system algorithms can be used to identify problems with electronic systems before the first hardware is built. Unlike numerical EM modeling software (which solves for fields due to specific structures) or EMC design rule checkers (which look for system features that violate specific design guidelines), expert system tools examine electronic systems in much the same manner as a professional EMC engineer would. They search for possible EMI sources, coupling paths and antennas, then identify and quantify potential EMC problems.

An expert system provides assistance to the non-expert, by identifying potential problems and helping to guide the designer towards possible solutions. Expert systems are also useful tools for human EMC experts, because they can process an enormous amount of information quickly, allowing human experts to focus their attention on specific problems identified.

As electronic product designs become more complex and product design cycles shrink, it is becoming more important to simulate the performance of products and identify potential problems well before the first prototypes are built and tested. EMC expert systems are designed to locate and identify EMC problems early in the design process, when they can often be fixed with little or no impact on the product cost or schedule.

Algorithms for three types of EMC Expert Systems have been developed at the University of Missouri-Rolla and Clemson University. A printed circuit board expert system reviews circuit board designs to identify potential problems with the component placement or trace routing. A set of system-level extensions to these algorithms is also being developed that will examine configurations with several boards along with their attached cables and enclosures. Algorithms for an automotive EMC expert system review automotive system designs in order to identify potential EMC problems as they arise, usually long before the first prototypes are ever built.