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RF & MICROWAVE DESIGN Fig. 1: The increase in wireless applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA since 2000. been updated several times over the last few years, so the situation is not static and is subject to change. In a nutshell, this guidance states that when an R&TTE compliant module is integrated into a final host product, no further radio testing is necessary on the host product, provided the module is integrated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. But, the host product must always meet the other essential requirements of the Directive, namely the safety and EMC aspects. However, integrating a wireless module is not always as straightforward as it may seem. The most common method of demonstrating compliance with the R&TTE essential requirements is by using ‘Harmonised Standards’. These are written and published under a EU mandate, and provide a ‘presumption of conformity’ (or compliance), provided they are applied in full. However, Harmonised Standards are always evolving, and manufacturers must keep abreast of them if they are to continue placing products on the EU market. The Harmonised Standards which provide a presumption of conformity are published in the EU’s Official Journal, which is updated on a regular basis (usually once a year as a minimum). This means that some Harmonised Standards have what is effectively an expiry date as they become superseded by more up-to-date standards, which may well have different requirements. Manufacturers may therefore need to perform a gap analysis CircularConnAd2-EETimesEurope_Layout 1 9/26/14 3:51 PM Page 1 between the two sets of standards in order to bring their products up to speed with the latest requirements. In many cases this may not lead to any additional testing, as updating the DoC may be all that is required. However, in some cases, the changes are significant and involve a significant amount of additional testing and of course expense. Take for example the very common standard EN 300 328. As this standard applies to devices such as WiFi, Bluetooth and Zigbee operating in the 2.4GHz unlicensed band, it is extremely common. Version 1.7.1 expires on 31st December 2014 and Version 1.8.1 will be the only version against which manufacturers can declare compliance. The technical differences between these two standards are significant enough to warrant a full re-test. This means that they will need to update their DoC to reflect the current version of the Standard (V1.8.1) if they are to remain compliant with the R&TTE Directive. The manufacturer of the final product is responsible for its overall compliance and must therefore take responsibility for the wireless module compliance as well as the host product. Ideally, the manufacturer of the wireless module should provide clear instructions about the correct integration of the module to the host manufacturer, including details of how to comply with the wireless regulations. The R&TTE Directive will be superseded by the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) in June 2016. The essential requirements of the RED are largely identical to those of the R&TTE Directive, so the situation regarding wireless modules will remain unchanged. Different standards In the USA and Canada, the use of wireless modules is also commonplace, place, so the routes to compliance are laid down and are reasonably clear compared to Europe. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules can be difficult to understand. So, for those wishing to export products to North America, it may be prudent to seek guidance from an authorised test laboratory or from an FCC-designated Telecommunications Certification Body. The FCC rules on module integration are laid down in CFR 47 Pt15.212. For further clarification, the FCC has also issued a guidance document (KDB996369). A wireless module must meet the specialty but these countries have formal approval processes in circular connectors emi filtered & unfiltered NOW Designed & Manufactured in UK • MIL and Hi-Rel connectors with the industry’s shortest lead times (10-12 weeks, std) • Rapid mate “hot shoe” and mini-MIL circular connectors • Our EMI expertise gives you a better filtered connector • 100% testing of all vital electrical parameters • Broad range of standard ITAR free filtered and unfiltered circular connectors available Call Email Visit +49.9122.795.0 eisSales@apitech.com eis.apitech.com EMI Filters • EMI Filtered Connectors • Ceramic Capacitors • Power Filter Capacitors • Magnetics www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2014 35


EETE OCT 2014
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