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Notice 2020-DRS0020

November 3, 2020

Updated April 20, 2021 (Clarified the applicability of FCC KDB 941225 D05 for LTE devices)

Applicability of IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 and IEC 62209-3 Standard

The Radio Standards Specification (RSS)-102 entitled Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency Bands) incorporates by reference the latest version of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62209 and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-1528 standards for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) assessment of wireless devices.

On October 19, 2020, the IEC and IEEE published the IEC/IEEE 62209-1528:2020 ED1 (IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 thereafter), entitled Measurement procedure for the assessment of specific absorption rate of human exposure to radio frequency fields from hand-held and body-worn wireless communication devices - Part 1528: Human models, instrumentation and procedures (Frequency range of 4 MHz to 10 GHz).

Although the IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 defines procedures to evaluate SAR up to 10 GHz, as per Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, SAR measurements shall only be performed up to 6 GHz to assess RF exposure compliance. Above 6 GHz, power density is the appropriate metric to assess RF exposure compliance.

In addition, the SAR assessment procedures for long term evolution (LTE) devices provided in FCC KDB 941225 D05: SAR for LTE Devices v02r05 take precedence over Clause 7.9.3.6 of IEC/IEEE 62209-1528.

This notice announces that for the purposes of wireless devices certification, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is adopting the IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 procedures and requirements with the exception of Clause 7.6 – Time-period averaged SAR considerations. In lieu of Clause 7.6, ISED intends to publish SPR-004 entitled Time-Averaging SAR Assessment Procedures, which will provide standardized procedures for the certification of final products implementing ISED approved time-averaging SAR algorithms. In the meantime, Notice 2020-DRS0007 provides guidance that shall be followed by the applicant.

This notice also announces that for the purposes of wireless devices certification, ISED accepts the fast SAR testing procedures set forth in Clause 7.9.2 of IEC/IEEE 62209-1528. The procedures of IEC 62209-3 entitled Measurement procedure for the assessment of specific absorption rate of human exposure to radio frequency fields from hand-held and body-worn wireless communication devices - Part 3: Vector measurement-based systems (Frequency range of 600 MHz to 6 GHz) are still not accepted for device certification in Canada (see Notice 2020-DRS001). However, consistent with IEC/IEEE 62209-1528, Class 2 fast SAR systems compliant with IEC 62209-3 are permitted to be used to identify the worst SAR test configurations (relative SAR measurements) that shall subsequently be measured with full SAR testing to assess compliance (absolute SAR measurements).

Starting immediately, all certification bodies (CB) and test labs may apply the adopted procedures and requirements of the IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 standard on a voluntary basis. However, starting on May 3, 2021, the adopted procedures and requirements of IEC/IEEE 62209-1528 standard shall be mandatory for the certification of wireless devices operating in the frequency range from 4 MHz to 6 GHz.

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