EMC FLEX BLOG A site dedicated to Automotive EMC Testing for Electronic Modules

CISPR 25 Ground Plane Size

  Differential-mode RF emissions in a CISPR 25 component level configuration occur due to


Differential-mode RF emissions in a CISPR 25 component level configuration occur due to the flow of current (IDM) via signal paths in which the forward and return conductors are not routed together, thereby forming a conductor loop. The resulting magnetic field from the conductor loop is proportional to the current IDM, the area of the loop and the square of the frequency of the RFI current.

Common-mode RF emissions occur due to undesired parasitic effects, e.g. due to inductances in the current return path or unsymmetries during signal transmission. If we connect a cable to a DUT of it may function like an antenna allowing a common-mode current ICM to flow. Both signal and power supply lines can function as efficient antennas. Here, our rule of thumb is that line lengths that do not exceed λ/10 are uncritical, whereas longer lines (e.g. λ/6) must be treated as potential sources of RF emissions.

The magnitude of the voltage drop on the ground plane and thus the magnitude of the common-mode current coupled into the connected line are determined by the parasitic inductance and the slope steepness of the signal.





We cannot assume that differential mode radiated emissions are not dominant nor an infinite ground plane. A ground plane with finite width has inductance.

Common-mode RF emissions can also occur due to differential mode signal transmission.
If the parasitic terminating impedances of a differential mode transmission path differ substantially, in addition to the desired differential-mode current IDM a common-mode current ICM will also flow via the ground plane that connects the transmitter and receiver modules. This unwanted ground current ICM can then also be coupled into lines connected to DUT and cause emissions in the far field.

The strength of the common mode current and the level of radiated emissions depend on the inductance of the ground plane. The value of this inductance depends on the structure of the transmission line.

The ground plane inductance in a symmetric structure is:
L21 = (µ0/) * ln((/W)+1)
W is the width of the ground plane
t is the height of the harness

The ratio of the height of the harness and the width of the ground plane determines the GP inductance.



As the harness is closer to the edge of the ground plane, the measurement tolerances are higher since the ground plane inductance increases. The tolerances in RE measurments are acceptable when the distance of the harness to the ground plane edge is 10 cm.
Since common mode radiated emissions occur through the ground plane (or the whole setup), the length of the ground plane can impact the tolerances in RE measurments. Longer the ground plane, higher the radiated emissions level.


Christian Rosu, 2022-03-07



RF Boundary in automotive EMC for electronic components

RF Boundary is the element of an EMC test setup that determines what part of the harness and/or&nbsp

RF Boundary is the element of an EMC test setup that determines what part of the harness and/or peripherals is included in the RF environment and what is excluded. It may consist of, for example, ANs, BANs, filter feed-through pins, RF absorber coated wire and/or RF shielding.


RF Boundary is also an RF-test-system implementation within which circulating RF currents are confined


  • to the intended path between the DUT port(s) under test and the RF-generator output port, in the case of immunity measurements (ISO 11452-2, ISO 11452-4, ISO 1145-9), and
  • to the intended path between the DUT port(s) under test and the measuring apparatus input port, in the case of emissions measurement (CISPR 25),


and outside of which stray RF fields are minimized.


The boundary is maintained by insertion of BANs, shielded enclosures, and/or decoupling or filter circuits. The ideal RF boundary replicates the circuitry of the device connected to DUT in vehicle.

The standard test harness lenght for automotive EMC electronic components is (1700mm -0mm / +300mm). This 1.7m test harness runs between the DUT and the Load Simulator (Shielded Enclosure) that plays the role of RF Boundary.


If the Load Simulator enclosure does not include all DUT loads and activation/monitoring support equipment, additional support devices may be placed directly on the ground plane. The connection of additional devices to LS enclosure must be done via short wiring running on the ground plane.


Testing at subsystem level is preferable to any simulation. Whenever possible, use production intent representative loads.


Running long coax cables directly from DUT outside the chamber via SMA bulk filter panel would violate the 1.7m test harness length rule invalidating the test result. Ideally is to use Fiber Optic to exchange data with devices placed outside the test chamber.


Running long coax cables between Load Simulator and a support device placed outside the chamber is acceptable as long as the I/O line in question is not just an extension from DUT without proper RF boundary at the end of maximum 2-meter length of standard test harness.


It is critical to use the test harness length as defined by CISPR-25, ISO 11452-2, ISO 11452-4, and ISO 11452-9 to achieve valid compliance for your product. The length of the test harness as well as the grounding method (remote vs local) can result in different RF emissions level. Longer the test harness, higher RF emissions above 100 MHz due to its resonance pattern. The local grounding would show less magnitude variation across resonance peaks above 100MHz.


Christian Rosu



CISPR 25 Conducted Emissions Current (CEI) Grounding Scheme

An incorrect DUT grounding scheme can easily make the difference between compliance and non-complian

An incorrect DUT grounding scheme can easily make the difference between compliance and non-compliance to CISPR 25 CEI limits. Sometimes we have to evaluate CEI from two modules, one used as DUT and the other one used as DUT's load (e.g. Module #1 is a PWM maker while Module #2 is an LEDs Lamp).


Christian Rosu, 2021-06-09

Common Test Requirements in EMC Validations

19. April 2021 09:30 by Christian in EMC/EMI, EMC TEST PLAN, Load Simulator
Based on FMC1278R3 and CS.00054:2018 Production Representative Hardware and Software should be used

Based on FMC1278R3 and CS.00054:2018 Production Representative Hardware and Software should be used for all verification testing unless approved differently by OEM via EMC Test Plan. 

The Production Representative Test Sample is built using production representative hardware and software constructed using production representative processes, tooling, etc.

Following Software Changes in addition to PCB Changes re-validation for test methods like ESD, CISPR 25 RE, BCI, RI ALSE , Hand Portable Transmitters, Transients, Voltage Dips and Dropouts may be required. 

FMC require DV testing to be performed using production representative components but not necessarily components constructed from production tooling.

EMC DV1 Testing for PCM (Powertrain Control Module) is normally performed with test software mutually agreed to by FMC D&R, EMC and the supplier.
EMC DV2 Testing for PCM must be completed using Production Intent Hardware and the latest available Application Software.

FCA require DUT Validation Testing done on Production Intent Samples using Production Intent Hardware and Software.
Production Intent Components must be used for the inputs and loads including switches, sensors, pulse width modulated loads, solenoids and motors.

Using DC Power Supply to simulate Automotive Battery for EMC testing

19. April 2021 08:23 by Christian in EMC/EMI, EMC TEST PLAN, Load Simulator
The DC Power Supply should be selected as follows:Rs (Internal Resistance) < 0.01 OHM DCZs (Inter

The DC Power Supply should be selected as follows:
Rs (Internal Resistance) < 0.01 OHM DC
Zs (Internal Impedance) = Rs for frequencies < 400 Hz.
Output Voltage:
▶ does not deviate more than 1 V from 0 to maximum load (including inrush current)
▶ recovers 63% of its maximum excursion within 100 ms
Vr (Superimposed Ripple Voltage):
▶ does not exceed 0.2 V peak-to-peak
▶ maximum frequency of 400 Hz

 When a battery is used for EMC testing, a charging source is needed to achieve the specified voltage reference levels.

It is important to ensure that the charging source does not affect the test.

 Linear Power Supplies are preferable vs Switching Power Supplies.

 Prior to CISPR 25 test methods ensure that the RF noise produced by the power supply is at least 6 dB lower than the limits specified in EMC Test Plan.

 If the Power Supply is located outside of the EMC test chamber, ensure thzt a bulkhead RF filter is used to prevent RF noise from entering or leaving the shielded enclosure.

 If using a HV battery, then it must be contained in a shielded enclosure.

 12V Power Supply Volatge = 13.5 (+0.5/-1.0)V

 24V Power Supply Voltage = 26 (+1.0/-2.0 V