Archive for the ‘Book Rviews’ category

Three Book EMC/Signal Integrity Library

January 29, 2012

Would you like to have a mini-library on the subject of EMC and Signal Integrity that covers the frequency range from DC to light. The following three books, all highly recommended, will accomplish that. All the books are very readable, with a minimum of mathematics, and as a bonus there is very little overlap between the material contained in each of the books. I refer to all three of these books regularly.

Three Book Mini EMC Library

Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering, by Henry W. Ott, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2009 has won the PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers for the best book published in 2009 in the category of Engineering and Technology. It is the most comprehensive book on the subject and is the first EMC book that you should read. In addition to the core subjects of cabling, grounding, balancing, filtering, and shielding that made my previous book, Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems, an international success (translated into six other languages), this new book includes additional coverage of equipment and systems grounding, switching power supplies and variable speed motor drives, digital circuit power distribution and decoupling, PCB layout and stackup, mixed-signal PCB layout, rf and transient immunity, power line disturbances, and simple pre-compliance EMC measurements. Written in an easy to read and understandable style, it’s full of real-life practical examples. This book contains eighteen chapters, six appendices, and 872 pages.

High-Speed Digital Design, by Howard Johnson and Marty Graham, published by Prentice Hall in 1993 picks up where Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering leaves off, with respect to high-speed digital circuits. Despite its title, this is more an EMC book than a classical digital design book. Its subtitle, “A Handbook of Black Magic,” gives away its true nature. Besides containing much practical information on the EMC aspects of high-speed digital design, the book also contains useful information on various measurement techniques that can be used to measure such things as power-ground plane impedance, metastable states, etc. Subjects include transmission lines, terminations, vias, clock distribution, clock oscillators, ribbon cables and connectors, layer stackup, and power distribution. This book is considered by many as a “crossover book” covering both EMC and signal integrity. Everything in this book is easy to read and practical. A “must have” book if you are designing high-speed digital circuits! This book contains twelve chapters, three appendices, and 447 pages.

High-Speed Digital System Design, by Hall, Hall, and McCall, published by John Wiley and Sons in 2000 continues where the Johnson and Graham book ends. This is a signal integrity book! It is very well written with a good balance between theory and practical applications. The first sentence of the book sets the tone of the book; it reads, The speed of light is just too slow. Subjects include transmission line considerations, crosstalk, IC package and pin-out considerations, power delivery and decoupling, non-ideal current return paths, simultaneous switching noise, timing and skew considerations, and radiation. The book also includes a chapter on design methodologies useful in the design of high-speed systems with a large number of variables. As does the Johnson and Graham book, this book  contains a chapter on high-speed measurement techniques. The information contained in this book is useful at both the IC and PCB level. This book contains eleven chapters, six appendices, and 347 pages.


Want to expand your library by adding two additional books that fall on either end of the spectrum from the above three core books? Then consider the following two books:

Two Additional EMC Books

EDN Designer’s Guide to Electromagnetic Compatibility, Second Edition, by Bill Kimmel and Daryl Gerke, 2000 (originally published by EDN magazine in 1994), is a practical nuts and bolts approach to EMI, written for the non-EMI expert. One hundred pages of down-to-earth practical advice on EMC, without any equations or mathematics, by two authors who work regularly in the EMC trenches. The paperback book is available on the authors’ web site.

Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility, Second Edition, by Clayton Paul, published by John Wiley and Sons in 2006 is more theoretical than any of the other books, as it was intended to be used for a university course in EMC. A good book to get more detail on the theory behind EMC. Lots of useful information, especially the chapter on crosstalk, a subject that Dr. Paul is considered to be a leading expert. This book contains eleven chapters, four appendices, and 1016 pages.

So there you have it, three, (or possibly five) books that cover 90% of what you need to know about Electromagnetic Compatibility.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering, Digital Edition

January 7, 2012

2012 is officially here, and I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

Electromagnetic Compatibility EngineeringEver since my new book “Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering” was published in August 2009, I have wished for an iPhone/iPad compatible digital version so that I could easily carry the book around with me on my various business trips. At almost 900 pages, the print edition was not the most convenient book to carry on trips. Well for 2012 my wish has been granted.

Digital versions of “Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering” are now available for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as for the Kindle. The iPad/iPhone version is available from Apple’s iBook store, and the Kindle version is available from

An e-book version, for your laptop or desktop computer, has been available since 2009 from the publisher (John Wiley). To see the range of digital versions available visit and look under Other Available Formats.

More information, as well as an errata sheet, on the book is available on my website

Best wishes to one and all for the New Year.