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The EMC Standards List: Common Standards and Their Significance

Key Takeaways

  • To overcome EMI, devices need to have electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

  • EMC standards specify the acceptable limit of EMI in any electrical or electronic system. 

  • EMC standards ensure that a device’s operation does not disturb the communication system around it or the devices adjacent to it.

EMC graphic

All electrical and electronic devices produce electromagnetic fields that interfere with their own workings as well as the workings of neighboring devices. Manufacturers of commercial, residential, and industrial electrical and electronic systems have to work to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) so that the service life of a device can be extended without too many EMI-induced problems.

By following the rules, regulations, and guidelines set by regulatory bodies, EMI can be reduced and the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of a system can be increased. For each industry sector, there are specific EMC standards to follow. For example, the EMC standards list set for the automotive industry is different from the EMC standards list that governs consumer electronics. In this article, we will take a look at a few key EMC standards and discuss their significance.  

What Are EMC Standards?

To minimize EMI, devices need to have EMC. Devices that are electromagnetically compatible can prevent the worst effects of EMI without interfering with the device’s functioning or the operation of other devices. EMC standards ensure that a device does not generate EMI, is not affected by EMI, and that the device’s operation does not disturb the communication system around it. Additionally, EMC standards standardize testing procedures for measuring EMI so that repeatability and comparison grounds are established for measurements.

To keep compliance with EMC standards, manufacturers implement EMI reduction techniques—like proper grounding, EMI filtering, or product EMI shielding—to keep EMI within acceptable limits. Manufacturers also ensure that products are tested under the various electromagnetic environments mentioned in the specific EMC standards. The failure rate of EMC-compliant products due to electromagnetic disturbances is low. Adhering to EMC standards boosts customer’s trust in products and manufacturers.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common EMC standards in the EMC standards list. 

The EMC Standards List

Here are some common EMC standards and their significance:


Common EMC Standard(s)



IEC 60601-1-2

This standard regulates the safety and performance of medical equipment and systems under electromagnetic environments. 


SAE, ISO7637, IEC CISPR-25, ISO1145-1, ISO1145-2

Addresses test procedures, measuring techniques, and the allowable limits of electromagnetic disturbances affecting electrical and electronic components in the automotive sector. 


MIL-STD-461, DEF STAN 59/411, MIL-STD-704, MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-1399 

Regulates the electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility of the systems used in military applications.


FCC Part 15 class A, EN 61000-6-4 (generic), EN 61000-6-2(generic)

A general set of EMC standards for regulating the intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiations for devices used in commercial, industrial, or business environments. 


FCC Part 15 class B, EN 61000-6-3 (generic), EN 61000-6-1(generic)

Devises the immunity requirements for electrical and electronic equipment used in commercial, public, light-industrial, or residential locations. 

Switchgear and control

EN/IEC 60947-1 

Regulates low-voltage switch gears and control gears with working voltages within 1500 V DC and 1000 V AC.

Power station and substation

IEC TS 61000-6-5

Sets the immunity levels for the equipment utilized in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 

Process control and measurement

EN/IEC 61326-1

Specifies the immunity and emissions levels of electrical equipment or devices with a working potential less than 1000 Vac and 1500 V DC. 

EMC standards

EMC standards are defined by various international, national, or regional agencies. There are global standards set by agencies such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Some countries have their own standards set by national agencies such as the VDE in Germany, BIS in India, the Canadian Standards Association in Canada, and the FCC in the USA.

Understanding the standards on the EMC standards list is important when designing or manufacturing electronics. Cadence software offers SI/PI tools that can help maximize EMC compliance. 

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