ANSI/IEEE Release New C63 Standard and Standard Revisions

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In a world of ubiquitous electrical devices and the ever-increasing demand for wireless connectivity, overcoming electromagnetic interference and its possible negative impacts have standards bodies pursuing solutions to alleviate growing concerns, as well as to ensure conformity to government rules and regulations. The IEEE Beyond Standards blog recently caught up with Dan Hoolihan, IEEE volunteer and chair of ANSI Accredited Standards Committee C63, Electromagnetic Compatibility, to learn more about recent ASC C63 activities and standards developments.

Q: What’s the latest news as it relates to ANSI/IEEE Standards?

A: This year we’ve released two update revisions to existing standards, as well as the introduction of a new standard. The first revised standard is ANSI C63.5–2017: American National Standard for Electromagnetic Compatibility – Radiated Emission Measurements in Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Control – Calibration and Qualification of Antennas (9 kHz to 40 GHz). The second revision is ANSI C63.2–2016: American National Standard for Specifications of Electromagnetic Interference and Field Strength Measuring Instrumentation in the Frequency Range 9 kHz to 40 GHz

Q: What is the significance of these standard revisions?

A: The standards that have been revised are key documents for electrical calibration laboratories and EMC testing laboratories—both of which are invaluable in qualifying electronic products, such as personal computers, cell phones, tablets, etc., in compliance with United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Rules.

Q: What is the new standard that has been released and how did it come about?

A: The new standard is ANSI C63.27—2017: American National Standard for Evaluation of Wireless Coexistence. In fact, this new standard on “wireless coexistence” has been developed with a good deal of involvement from the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA), as it is a very important standard for electrical medical devices and their practical utilization in medical facilities where there is growing concerns about Wi-Fi interference and mitigating possible risks related to patient care.

Q: Have there been any other significant announcements related to C63 standards?

A: Absolutely. In fact, the recently released FCC Report and Order has amended the FCC Rules to include ANSI C63.26-2015 as an acceptable measurement procedure for equipment that operates in the spectrum for authorized radio services covered by the measurement standard. The Order states that accredited laboratories may test to the ANSI C63.26 standard for up to two years from the date of adoption without an explicit expansion of their scope by an accrediting body.

Q: That should be of interest to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). What laboratories are accredited to conduct testing?

A: There are three Accreditation Bodies accepted by the FCC for accrediting EMC Laboratories; they are NIST/NVLAP (www.NVLAP.gov), A2LA (www.A2LA.org), and ANAB (www.ANAB.org). Together the three United States accreditation bodies have accredited over 600 testing laboratories around the world to perform EMC testing to various Parts of the FCC Rules.

To learn more about ANSI ASC C63 standards, please visit the C63 Committee’s landing page.