Sales of cSAR3D have risen sharply after the publication of IEC International Standard 62209-3 on September 24, 2019. The number of cSAR3D systems delivered has surpassed 250 units since its introduction by SPEAG in 2014. cSAR3D has been developed in collaboration with leading wireless device manufacturers, and it is the fastest specific absorption rate (SAR) measurement system available in the market. The measurement speed of cSAR3D is essential for both laboratory testing and factory automation, including the variety of applications required for production line surveillance and compliance assurance evaluations.
However, even after publication of IEC 62209-3, its applicability in satisfying regulatory requirements for compliance testing remains unclear. Wireless manufacturers and test laboratories have continued to seek clarifications from regulatory authorities about using vector measurement-based systems for SAR compliance evaluations. The gold standard established by DASY6 has also become the industry standard for assessing the accuracy of vector measurement-based systems. It is still uncertain whether a system that is compliant with IEC 62209-3 may be equivalently used as a scanning system that complies with IEC 62209-1 and IEC 62209-2 requirements.
Regulatory agencies are still in the process of evaluating IEC 62209-3 to determine the necessary steps to adopt or apply the procedures of that standard. Despite their continued participation in IEC standards activities, both ISED in Canada and FCC in the U.S. have recently reiterated their hesitation in adopting IEC 62209-3 during the recent TCB Council workshop in November. Some of the reasons of their reluctance can be associated with the results from studies performed by independent laboratories showing that vector measurement-based systems had consistently, and for some systems significantly, lower measurement accuracy than DASY6. The results also showed that not all vector measurement-based systems available in the market were able to pass the IEC 62209-3 system validation criteria. Copies of the summary reports for these studies are available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FCC is currently seeking additional measurement data from several SAR test laboratories and system manufacturers to determine the conditions for commercially available vector measurement-based systems to be considered for general compliance testing, whether as a standalone system or in conjunction with a scanning system, such as DASY6, to expedite SAR testing. ISED and other regulatory authorities have taken a similar position. In the EU, the new IEC 62209-3 standard has not yet been harmonized for adoption by CENELEC.
In an effort to assist and address these regulatory concerns, the IT’IS Foundation is collaborating with regulatory authorities and a number of independent international laboratories that have vector measurement-based measurement capabilities to develop an inter-laboratory comparison study using commercially available wireless devices and canonical sources. One of the goals of this new study is to identify any potential limitations of vector measurement-based systems. The on-going concerns for measurement accuracy and system uncertainty, and questions relating to whether IEC 62209-3 compliant systems can achieve an equivalent level of measurement accuracy as systems that comply with IEC 62209-1 and IEC 62209-2, can also be assessed. Until more conclusive data is available, worldwide adoption of this newly released standard is generally not anticipated.
Information on vector measurement-based systems for SAR compliance testing presented by the FCC at the November TCB Council workshop.
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IEC Standard 62209-3 defines the performance requirements and test procedures for SAR measurements using vector measurement-based systems such as cSAR3D. A core component of the standard is to establish a set of sufficiently rigorous system acceptance criteria that must be satisfied before a vector measurement-based system is considered compliant with IEC 62209-3. It took more than five years for stakeholders to develop the validation procedures and requirements required to demonstrate system acceptance.
The IT’IS Foundation, SPEAG’s research partner, was deeply involved in the development of rigorous validation approach for this standard. The validation antennas required were designed and developed by IT’IS, in partnership with several leading research centers.
SPEAG is an early innovator in the development of SAR systems. It has been a trusted leader in electromagnetic exposure solutions for 25 years. SPEAG launched the first SAR array system available in the market in 2006, which led to the development of the next generation system, cSAR3D, in 2012. In 2019, cSAR3D V3.1 with real-time uncertainty analysis was introduced to provide confidence in the measured results. The measurement uncertainty calculations are fully compliant with the requirements in the published IEC 62209-3. Full validation is performed for all cSAR3D systems in accordance with IEC 62209-3.