Sub-mm Metamaterial Breakthrough Replaces Traditional Shielding

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Intel funded a breakthrough in noise suppression, by quelling electro-magnetic interference (EMI) to enable easier electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) of next-generation high-speed interfaces. By folding a metamaterial up into the third dimension (3D), a new development has been achieved for noise suppression.

The development is important because new high-speed signal transmission design and high-frequency noise suppression technologies can enable wider data bandwidth in cloud computing and other applications.

The breakthrough, which is a single sub-millimetre sized component that replaces bulky traditional shielding by suppressing noise at each source by 20dB, was funded at the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Lab at National Taiwan University (NTU).

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Measuring just 1mm x 0.8mm x 0.6mm, the tiny metamaterial components are folded to suppress EMI problems in high-speed interfaces whose wavelength is much longer than the physical size of the noise suppression component. The NTU EMC Lab claims to be the first to use the invention of planar electromagnetic band-gap (EBG) power planes to suppress switching noise of packaged circuits.

The metamaterial components are also much cheaper than traditional shielding techniques for any electronic component with external interfaces. It is possible to achieve more than 20dB by placing more than one component in-line with the high-speed transmission line.

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