Noise is generally unwanted and in the electrical sense this can be unwanted electronic signals and high frequency noise. Also known as electromagnetic interference, such noise can disrupt information carrying signals and lead to the entire computing or electrical system functioning inefficiently or not at all.
What is electrical noise?
Noise can occur on both power and signal cables but will present as more of a problem on signal cables. It is something that commonly exists and yet if not dealt with it will cause an adverse effect on many printed circuit boards especially those operating at high frequencies.
Noise is caused when there are spikes in electronic signals, which happens when transistors switch on and off. This is a constant process in computing and the resultant noise can affect the integrity of the information signals that need to occur at the same time as these spikes. It is thus imperative to consider what can be done to deal with such electromagnetic interference to avoid any detriment to computing capability.
What can you do?
Noisy power cables
Using common mode chokes to filter high frequency noise where there are more than two cables is a common and prescribed practice. The filter will allow the DC current to pass while blocking noise from unwanted radio signals and unshielded electronics. If you deal with noise at the most common source, you are likely to have less to do further along the system.
Use properly shielded cables
In a busy workplace or even a single office where there are a number of devices and a host of electrical and data cables, it is advisable to use properly shielded cables. An insulated cable is protected from abrasion and moisture, but not from noise. In a less noisy environment a simple foil shield will do, while in noisier environments you will need to consider braids or foil braid combinations.
Route the cable
Signal cables must be routed away from electrical or power cables, electrical motors, power sources and any other electrical fixture. Routing the signal cable even a few inches away from the aforementioned items and other electrical cables and sources will go a long way to protecting your data signals from noise.
Shorten the traces on your PCB
The copper wiring on your printed circuit board should be as short as possible to avoid them being affected by noise. If there are two layers of circuit board then the traces should run such that they do not cross over or overlap, to avoid crosstalk.
These are three simple ways to deal with the noise that is generated in a normal workplace or office. Its also important to note that if you rely on cloud technology for gaming and online interaction, any disturbance to the data signal will affect the immediacy of your online interaction.
Noise is something that we may have got too used to, but with the requirements for cleaner signals and to improve reliability of a data signals, all you need to do is implement the ideas mentioned above.