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By definition, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) describes the ability of a system, a piece of equipment, or some other electrical device that utilizes electromagnetic energy, to operate in its intended environment without suffering an unacceptable degradation in its performance, or negatively impacting the ability of another device to perform its intended function.

This paper is intended to provide the reader with a basic understanding of Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility, the various standards and specifications associated with being compliant, the types of testing available to help the engineer quantify the performance of his equipment and some of the basic approaches utilized to help him meet his requirements.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is either a continuous or intermittent electromagnetic disturbance or electrical signal that, if not properly addressed, can be transmitted into, or out of, electronic equipment and can disturb the normal and intended operation of electronic systems. EMI is discernible across the entire electromagnetic spectrum and can be generated across either a narrow band or a broad spectrum of frequencies, with the more typical areas of interest extending from the low kHz range to the upper GHz range.