One of the most impressive things that I saw at Panasonicâ€™s facilities was the huge Anechoic chamber at Kobe. Now, Iâ€™ve been in anechoic chambers before, but Iâ€™ve never seen one quite as large as the example in Kobe. Measuring approximately 10m square, this chamber is used to measure the electromagnetic radiation produced by notebooks. The walls of the chamber are lined with ferrite and then covered with anechoic projections to ensure that there is no reflection of radio waves.
At one end of the chamber is a table mounted on a revolving platform. On the table was a notebook with every possible accessory attached to it, ensuring that the maximum amount of electromagnetic radio waves were produced. At the other end of the chamber is an antenna that measures the radio wave output from the equipment on the table. Because the chamber is completely isolated from the kind of electromagnetic interference that surrounds us every day, Panasonic can measure exactly how much electromagnetic radiation its notebooks are producing.
In another sealed room adjacent to the chamber, the operator will monitor the radio waves and log the data. This kind of research is paramount, since electronics manufacturers have to adhere to strict electromagnetic radiation emissions standards around the globe.
To give you an idea of scale, I asked Oliver from Panasonic to stand next to the antenna. As you can see, this really is a huge room where even a big rugby player dude like Oliver looks tiny. The shot from the outside shows just how large the building that houses the chamber is, especially since there is nothing in there apart from the anechoic chamber and the small control room.
Because Panasonic manufactures its notebooks in-house from start to finish, any important findings from research like this can easily be implemented into the production cycle.