Importance of understanding electromagnetic interference and the related industries
Electromagnetic wave is a form of energy that occurs due to the use of electricity, which has a broad range of frequency. Notably, studies have shown that lengthened exposure to frequency below 500KHz can harmful impacts on human body such as change in body temperature, reduction in number of sperms, and menstrual irregularity. Electromagnetic wave is accumulated in human body as a form of energy, producing harmful effects by reducing biorhythms. Recently, the rapid distribution of digital devices such as PC and cell phones are leading to a flood of electromagnetic waves throughout workplaces and households. Harms of such electromagnetic waves include computer malfunction, fire accidents in factories, and harmful effects on human body. Consequently, the technology for electromagnetic interference on various electrical and electronic products is rising as a key technological area in the electronics industry.
[Figure 1. Classification of electromagnetic waves by frequency]
Age of IoT and electromagnetic pollution
According to “Comprehensive measures on protecting human body from electromagnetic waves” announced by Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning on August 27th, 2014, the increased distribution of Smartphones, increased use of new wireless services such as LTE, and appearance of wearable devices are forecasted to lead to a sharp increase in electromagnetic wave in daily lives. Notably, in near future, the expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to exacerbate the exposure to electromagnetic waves by citizens in their daily lives.
In 2011, World Health Organization (WHO) already classified electromagnetic wave from cell phones as Group 2B, ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans,’ which led to the nationwide increase in the attention and anxieties on the effects of electromagnetic waves on human body. In response to this, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has been reviewing the effects of electromagnetic waves from devices and systems with latest technologies, such as wearable devices, electric cars, and wireless power transmission, on human body, and is planning to enforce standards for human body protection.
[Figure 2. Trend of increase in people using domestic Smartphone services, size of global wearable devices market, and prospect of growth on IoT. (Source: Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning ,2014)]
Status on electromagnetic interference technology (EMI)
When an electromagnetic contacts a conductor, it is reflected. Therefore, in order to shield electromagnetic waves that are produced, conductive materials need to be used. Metal materials in the forms of plate, mesh, and ionized gas are being used selectively according to the purpose of using the product and the required costs.
The methods of electromagnetic interference technology are twofold: one that protects external equipment by covering the surroundings of the electromagnetic origin and one that protects the equipment from external electromagnetic origin by putting it inside a covering material. Regarding such methods, studies on shielding materials for electromagnetic interference are gaining heated attention, but there remain many limitations in terms of capabilities, applicability, and costs of shielding materials.
1. Electromagnetic interference using sheet metal
[Figure 3. Basic overview on EMI]
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