A study of the changes in electromagnetic radiation from a microprocessor due to changes in clock cycles and data programs


Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) has become increasingly important in present electronic design. Modern high-speed circuitry has earned amplified attention from engineers due to its ability to interfere with neighboring circuitry through electromagnetic interference (EMI). As the operating speed and layout complexity of electronic circuit systems continues to increase, electromagnetic interference (EMI) becomes a serious issue facing circuit designers of the present and future. In this paper, the radiated emissions of a small PCB (including a microprocessor, SRAM, and flash memory) placed within a 1-GHz Crawford TEM (transverse electromagnetic) cell are analyzed. Various programs are executed while the microprocessor runs at different clock speeds. The dissimilarities in the radiated emission spectrums provided by the DUT (device under test) while running various programs at different clock speeds are compared and analyzed. All five programs run by the microprocessor show similar effects when the clock speed is varied. It is demonstrated that when the clock rate of the microprocessor increases, the overall radiation from the system increases. However, varying the software executed by the microprocessor is found to have effects on the emitted radiation pattern. The greatest noise within the radiated emission spectrum is found to come from programs in which the microprocessor communicates with the external SRAM chip. It is also found that the radiation levels for each program executed by the microprocessor change differently as the position of the microprocessor inside the TEM cell is varied. The fast paced lifestyle of modern society has undeniably led to an increase in desire for higher functionality of electronic devices. Whether it is a wireless device, a portable computer, or simply more electronic components inside an automobile, the need for electronics with more capabilities has become a standard in electronic design. However, to increase the function of a digital device, clock frequencies and software have to be altered. It is hoped that this paper will help engineers to take into consideration how changes in clock frequencies and software can affect the radiated EMI within their designs. An engineer's consideration of the effects of EMI within his/her design will help lead to safer, more reliable devices.


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Thesis Completion





Yuan, Jiann S.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering;Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic;







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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