A testing standard applied to most electronic/digital devices, the Federal Code of Regulation (CFR) (Federal Communication Commission Part 15) encompasses regulations mandated for unintentional and intentional RF/emissions radiators. The compliance process for FCC Part 15 depends on the category of equipment and compliance level under which the equipment falls: certification or supplier’s declaration of conformity.

The FCC considers an intentional radiator as any device that intentionally produces and emits radio frequency (RF) energy by induction or radiation. Examples of intentional radiators include cellphones, alarm transmitters, and cable-detecting equipment. Per the FCC, an intentional radiator must utilize a connector to avert unauthorized use of antennas or have an antenna permanently attached to the device. 

Unintentional radiators do not deliberately generate RF emissions. Examples of unintentional radiators include personal computers, radio transmitters, receivers, and cable TV residential terminals. 

What are Class A (Intentional) Devices?

Manufactured and marketed for use solely in business, industrial, or commercial environments, Class A devices comprise all intentional radiators. Intentional radiators deliberately produce radio waves to initiate an operation. Examples of Class devices include cell phones, wireless microphones, and remote opening controls.

What are Class B (Unintentional) Devices?

Class B represents most electronic devices that are specifically made and marketed for the general public. Anything that requires IC chips, clocks, oscillators, or other electronic components is generally considered a Class B device. 

Contrary to what many manufacturers believe, the FCC mandates testing for compliance of both Class A and Class B devices. Part 15 Subpart B is an FCC rule that indicates certain unintentional devices must be tested as well. 

The FCC Suppliers Declaration of Conformity

The FCC SDoC requires manufacturers to prove that their products comply with strict standards established by the FCC. Emissions requirements and limits are listed on the Part 15 Subpart B document. The only way a manufacturer can ensure their product is in compliance with limits is to have the product tested by an accredited compliance testing laboratory. 

Examples of devices that are required to receive an SDoC or certification include:

  • Class B personal computers, and the internal power supplies and CPU boards used to make Class B computers
  • Class B digital devices/peripherals
  • Access Broadband over Power Line
  • Class A digital devices, external switching power components, and peripherals

What is Radiated Emissions Testing?

Also called electromagnetic interference emissions (EMI) testing, radiated emission testing measures the strength of the electromagnetic field emitted unintentionally by a product. Naturally generated within digital circuits, radiated emissions are tested to determine the amount of the emissions and if they comply with FCC emissions limits.

When products fail FCC compliance tests, this indicates the product could interfere with the normal operation of electronic devices or interrupt certain frequencies. Identifying the cause of the failure and making appropriate adjustments to components and/or the overall design is necessary before re-testing the product. 

Schedule a Consultation Today with Compliance Testing

For ensuring your Class A product is in complete compliance with FCC regulations, Compliance Testing offers reliable, cutting-edge testing processes for intentional devices. Contact us today to learn more about FCC compliance for Class A devices by calling (866) 311-3268.