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RE: New thread on EMI

Hi Joel:

I will be more than glad to share my thought with you.  After all, we all
share knowledge each other anyway.

The worst signals are always those clocks and synchronous data from their
associated synchronous circuits.  In GbE, for example, there are serial
clock, transmit byte clock, receive byte clock, I/O clock, and other logic
clocks.  Those clocks are high frequency with sharp rise/fall edges (high
frequency components).  When a synchronous clock switches, all other
associated circuits also switch to provide multiple synchronous noises,
which enhance the EMI amplitude many times more than a single signal --IDLE.

Especially, if all parallel bits (for example, 64 bit-wide PCI bus) switch
the same data pattern (all "0", and all "1') at the same time, the EMI
radiation level will far exceed any EMI level generated by a single signal.
The occasional IDLE signal is much weaker than those clocks and their
associated synchronous signals.

The IDLE signal in the 8B/10B code is alternately reversing the polarity
every 10 bits as any other 8B/10B data pattern does.  The only unique thing
about IDLE is "REPETITIVE" during the idle period.  If "repetitive" is the
reason for EMI concern, then how are we going to deal with clocks which are
REPETITIVE all the time, and have much stronger EMI level.

For an EMI design, there are always two design objectives; namely, reduce
source strength and prevent leaking-out.  In other words, we can not make
those clock and associated synchronous noise go away, but we can prevent
them from leaking out the cabinet.  In a general engineering practice, the
mechanical designer and the electrical designer will work together to
achieve the optimum EMI design to assure the worst EMI radiation caused by
clocks and their synchronous data are well shielded to comply to the EMI
emission limit set by agencies.  Any equipment can pass those worst emission
test will automatically pass the relatively non-existing IDLE emission test.

For example, the EMI test report from a Gibe equipment has the highest EMI
emission level of 20 dBuv/m caused by clock related signals shown as the
harmonics of a clock frequency.  The rest of emission levels are well bellow
10 dBuv/m level.  The upper limit of emission level of FCC Class B is 40
dBuv/m, which still allows 20 dBuv/m margin for the equipment.  As long as
the good, commonly practiced EMI design is implemented, EMI is not the major

I believe, the codes, 8B/10B, scramble, PAM.... etc by itself will not cause
EMI problem.  However, the clocks and associated synchronous signals will
cause EMI problem, if EMI design is not correctly implemented.


Edward S. Chang
NetWorth Technologies, Inc.
Tel: (610)292-2870
Fax: (610)292-2872

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-stds-802-3-hssg@xxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-stds-802-3-hssg@xxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Joel Goergen
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 11:57 AM
To: stds-802-3-hssg@xxxxxxxx
Subject: New thread on EMI


I was hoping you would expand on this more, but these other data patterns
refer to, what percentage would you see them as taking in 'everyday' network
traffic?  Relative to idle, are they such a small percentage, or does data
have collected over the years indicate this to be a viable concern.

I have not as yet analyzed any network data to determine if there is
deterministic about the day to day spectral content, other then idle.  I
not, but until one actually looks at it, it is difficult to answer with
certainty.  I would really like to here more thoughts here.

Take care
Joel Goergen

> There are many other data patterns with much stronger signals to cause
> EMI headache for a system, than the occasional IDLE signals.  Therefore,
> IDLE should not become a problem, if the system is well designed to pass
> test for all repetitive strong signals; for example, clocks and their
> synchronous data.
> AS a result, if we only take care of IDLE by scrambling, the system still
> need a good EMI design to prevent those, strong, repetitive clock and
> synchronous data signals to cause EMI problem.  It implies scrambling the
> IDLE is unnecessary.
> Regards,
> Edward S. Chang