Below are the questions asked during the live event, along with their respective answers.
Q: Is there an agency or authority that regulates “IoT”?
A: No particular agency regulates IoT matters. By way of other regulatory structures, such as the FCC and EU authorities, the IoT-enabling technologies are regulated.
Q: You mentioned that wireless modules are a good way to turn a product into an “IoT” product. What sort of things should I look for when considering the selection of a module?
A: The main thing is that the approvals should be up-to-date. Check and verify that any applicable certifications have been performed.
Q: What are some of the non-EMC vulnerabilities in IoT devices?
A: The most important non-EMC vulnerability for IoT devices are cyber-security issues.
Q: Where do you see the intersection of IoT and 5G impacting spectrum allocations and decisions?
A: 5G and IoT are quite deeply linked. 5G spectrum will enable IoT applications, in many ways.
Q: When using certified modules, do I need to certify the final product?
A: Depends. Typically, some measure of re-testing is required. For the U.S., if you’re using a certified module, you have to perform FCC Part 15B testing up to the 10th harmonic of the intentional emitter. Similar in EU (but the top frequency is 12.75 GHz).
Q: Do you typically have people asking to test to product-specific standards or international?
A: When performing an assessment/testing, it is critical to know the application and usage of the end-device. This determines the testing regimen. For example, is the application industrial? Medical? Consumer? This forces the final compliance requirements.
Q: What IoT specific standards are there?
A: The IoT standards that I am familiar with are typically “private sourced” rather than public-sourced. That is, there are IoT ‘schemes’ that adopt proprietary standards for IoT use-cases.
Q: Are you seeing a decline in Military testing and/or increase in commercial testing?
A: We’re seeing pretty steady flow of work in MIL and consumer areas.
Q: For Wifi products, can you talk about India certification?
A: The latest India scheme is requiring certification using in-country resources (test labs). The problem is that the India lab industry is not tooled up for performing the testing. The deadline has been pushed back a few times, but the latest requirement should be in effect by the end of the year.
Q: Throughout the lifetime of a product, the product’s hardware and software may change significantly due to software updates, hardware updates, or even hardware obsolescence. At what level do these regular changes begin to warrant re-certification testing?
A: Some assessment of the effect on EMC performance should be performed. This is a manufacturer’s decision, based on their understanding of the product use and potential risks to the EMC profile of the device
Q: From a design point of view, what do you need to consider for WLAN, WIFI products? Thanks.
A: Spectrum usages and contention are some of the main aspects when implementing wireless technologies. In addition, it is useful to look at coverage and connectivity in the actual environment. Link budgets should take into account interference potentials from crowded spectrum.
Q: Mike, do you see many spread spectrum crystal oscillators being used by your customers to reduce EMI?
A: A few times. An interesting technology and a couple of products could benefit from the SS techniques.