Measurement Investigation on Acoustic Noise Caused by "Singing" Capacitors on Mobile Devices


Acoustic noise from mobile devices can be annoying for customers. Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) soldered on printed circuit board (PCB) are known to be a main source of acoustic noise. The PCB in these devices feature hundreds of MLCCs. In this paper, a measurement methodology to identify the major vibrating MLCCs on board is presented. Laser Doppler vibrometer scanning result is used to find the dominant MLCC source. The correlation between board vibration and acoustic noise is confirmed with microphone probe. As a result of the piezoelectric properties of MLCCs, the root cause of the vibration is analyzed from an electric point of view. The problematic MLCCs are find to share the same power line which renders the same noise peaks as in the vibration and sound pressure measurements. After replacing the vibrating MLCCs with low acoustic noise MLCCs, the board clearly shows decreased level of vibration.

Meeting Name

2019 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Signal and Power Integrity, EMC+SIPI 2019 (2019: Jul. 22-26, New Orleans, LA)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Laboratory

Keywords and Phrases

Acoustic Noise; Color Map; Laser Doppler Vibrometer; Microphone; Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitor; Vibration

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2019