5G, Millimeter Wave, and Their Effect on Laptop SAR Testing

5G, Millimeter Wave, and Their Effect on Laptop SAR Testing

As the millimeter wave frequency expands, so has 5G availability. Though 5G started as the domain of cell phones and tablets, it’s now extending to other devices, such as laptops. However, enabling laptops to support 5G can add a layer of difficulty to laptop SAR testing. 

Keep reading to learn more about laptop SAR testing and the effect of 5G and millimeter wave.

Laptops & RF Energy Emission

Let’s start by discussing the basics of laptop SAR testing. Laptops are devices that just about every person uses daily, and they are often used in very close proximity to the body. 

In addition to this, laptops emit radio frequency (RF) energy in order to perform their most common function: wirelessly connecting to the internet. In order to transmit signals such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 5G, laptops are designed with built-in receivers and transmitters. These transmitters produce RF energy, which is why these products require SAR testing.

Whenever a person uses a laptop or tablet placed directly on their body, RF energy is emitted directly into the body. It’s important to make sure that the RF energy emitted doesn’t exceed federal regulations, ensuring that these devices are safe to use. 

5G and Millimeter Wave Basics

The band of electromagnetic radio frequency from 30 to 300 GHz has been designated as extremely high frequency (EHF), or millimeter wave, by the International Telecommunication Union

Frequencies near the bottom of this band are now in use to power 5G networks. This is used for many services on mobile and wireless networks due to its ability to enable higher data rates for Wi-Fi and cellular networks. 

This spectrum has significant bandwidth that can considerably expand network capacity and provide broad support for multi-Gbps speeds. 5G can also efficiently address rapidly increasing mobile data consumption, which is only expected to increase. This is what makes it possible to meet new and emerging uses for mobile data, like gaming and high data streaming.

5G in Laptops

As this technology rapidly develops, consumers will demand that their devices keep up as well. This will require that laptops become faster and capable of supporting 5G technology just like their cellphones and tablets can. This is especially important as consumers’ lives become more mobile and need to be able to connect to high-speed service from anywhere. Instead of being forced to rely on Wi-Fi, users will now be able to access faster download speeds and improved connectivity and frequency with help from 5G laptops. 

However, an update in technology like this one will inevitably affect laptop SAR regulations. Let’s discuss these ramifications and what they mean for manufacturers.

Laptop SAR Testing

Any wireless device sold in the United States must be compliant with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulations for RF energy exposure. This requires following the FCC’s approval process to ensure that the device does not exceed exposure limits when operating at its highest possible power level. The FCC’s allowable SAR limit is 1.6 W/kg for wireless devices used near or against the body that operate at or below 6 GHz.

If a laptop’s antenna is located within 20 cm of the body while being used, the device will require SAR testing. All transmitters installed in the device must be tested. In addition to this, if the WLAN is a diversity antenna design, all antennas will need to be tested and evaluated for SAR compliance. If the laptop is a convertible device multiple sides may need to be tested.

In addition to these requirements for laptop SAR testing, 5G capability in these devices will further complicate compliance testing. The testing required for 5G laptops is also dependent upon the design of the device. In some devices, the transceiver will need to be tested along with the antennas, while for other devices, only the antennas will need to be tested. Ultimately, transceivers, antennas, the device package, the speed, and the integrity of the signal may need to be tested. 

Get Help with 5G Laptop SAR Testing at RF Exposure Lab

If you are a manufacturer of laptops, especially 5G laptops, understanding SAR testing for these devices is the key to success for your business. Working with an experienced SAR testing lab as early in the process as possible will help you successfully navigate the maze of SAR regulations and prove that your product is compliant with all applicable regulations.

At RF Exposure Lab, we go above and beyond to make sure our clients understand what we do and assist them in understanding what SAR testing is required for their products. Through our unique expertise and commitment to our clients, we guarantee accurate SAR testing and results.

We offer SAR testing services for a variety of wireless devices including laptops, tablets, cell phones, wireless modems, medical products, and much more. If you’re looking for SAR testing help provided with speed, accuracy, expertise, and integrity, contact us to get a quote for our services.