May 5, 2021

Latest Decisions by Regulators

Governments in the USA, Canada and Germany made statements in April on the adoption of the latest SAR measurement standards. Regulators are adopting the latest standards for SAR scanning systems while vector array systems are not yet accepted for full compliance evaluation. In addition, at the recent TCB workshop, the FCC reported on the acceptance of the Application Specific Phantoms.

The FCC presented updates regarding its radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines during the semi-annual TCB Council workshop on April 20 – 22. The highlights are:

  • For wearable device testing, the Application Specific Phantoms, i.e., the Head-Stand, Face-Down and Wrist phantoms that are described in IEC/IEEE 62209-1528, are accepted on a case-by-case basis via KDB inquiry.
  • For RF exposure testing in the 6 – 10 GHz frequency range (particularly for U-NII 5 to U-NII 8), FCC’s interim testing procedures include measurement of specific absorption rate (SAR) using IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 followed by power density for the highest SAR test configurations.
  • Regarding broad adoption of IEC/IEEE 62209-1528, the FCC will create a draft of KDB 865664 by Fall of 2021 and will present the highlights during the October 2021 TCB workshop.
  • IEC 62209-3 is still not recognized. SAR array systems are not accepted for final compliance testing although they are allowed for pre-screening on a case-by-case basis via KDB inquiry. More test data from these systems is requested.

Canadian and German government agencies also made statements in April about SAR measurement standards. ISED published an updated Notice 2020-DRS0020 on April 20, 2021, that IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 has been adopted in Canada with the exception of procedures for measurement of Time-Average SAR, LTE mode, and the 6 – 10 GHz frequency range. This Notice also stated that IEC 62209-3 is not accepted, re-affirming their position in a previous Notice in January 2020. The German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) made an agreement last month with the German notified bodies not to accept the results of SAR array systems for conformance of wireless devices, although they may be used for pre-screening. This agreement, which is similar to the statements of the FCC and ISED, applies until improvements in both the standards and manufacturer implementations are published.

application specific phantoms4

SPEAG and the IT’IS Foundation are committed to working with the standard groups and regulators toward eliminating the important technical shortcomings of IEC 62209-3 that cause substantial differences in the test results (amounting to several dBs), with the goal of making IEC 62209-3 technically equivalent to IEC/IEEE 62209-1528. To achieve this, one main focus will be to strengthen the performance validation sections, i.e., the sources, protocols and acceptance criteria. 

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