Why Does My Smartphone Need EMI Shielding?

One of the most crucial factors to the functionality of a smartphone is its EMI (electromagnetic interference) shielding. We’ll show you why your smartphone needs EMI shielding, where EMI comes from, and more below.

What is Electromagnetic Interference?

Even if you’ve never heard of EMI before, it’s something we all encounter every day as we use our electronic devices—usually without even realizing it. Whether it’s your phone or a medical device such as an MRI machine, every electronic device creates an electromagnetic field through the acceleration of charged particles such as electrons. With so many devices creating these electronic fields, the various fields can interfere with one another, disrupting circuits and distorting signals.

In the case of cell phones, we’ve all experienced staticky or dropped calls. In many cases, this malfunction is due to EMI interrupting the circuits and the signal of the phone.

Sources of EMI

Although most EMI comes from man-made electronic devices, natural EMI can also disrupt electronic devices in some instances. The sun is a prime culprit, with solar flares emitting electromagnetic fields that can cause intense EMI. Even lightning can wreak havoc on electronic machines that don’t have adequate EMI shielding.

What is EMI Shielding in Smartphones?

Using smartphones would be impractical if EMI constantly interfered with their signals and circuits, so EMI shielding is critical for cell phones. Today, smartphones come with shielding metal that protects the device’s sensitive circuits by absorbing EMI before it can cause disruption. It also prevents EMI from escaping smartphones, so it has a two-pronged effect in mitigating the effects of EMI on electronic devices.

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Manufacturers make EMI shielding from numerous different metals, including:

  • Copper
  • Steel
  • Nickel
  • Aluminum

If you’ve noticed that your smartphone keeps malfunctioning or dropping calls, it could be due to faulty EMI shielding.

Other Applications for EMI Shielding

As we mentioned, EMI isn’t exclusively for smartphones—it can affect practically any electronic device. With so much of our daily lives depending on various electronic devices, you can see how critical this is to the proper functioning of so many things.

Along with telecommunications, other industries that utilize EMI shielding to protect their machines and devices include:

  • Health care
  • Military
  • Aerospace
  • Consumer electronics
  • IT
  • Automotive

Now you know why your smartphone and so many other personal electronic devices need EMI shielding to function correctly. Think of how different our everyday lives would be without EMI shielding!

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