The Challenges of SAR Testing for Millimeter Wave Products

The Challenges of SAR Testing for Millimeter Wave Products

Not all SAR testing labs are equal when it comes to compliance testing for millimeter wave products. There are a variety of factors that complicate SAR compliance testing for these devices, and it’s important to work with a lab that can address these factors during testing to provide you with the most accurate results. Keep reading to learn more about the millimeter band, what makes SAR testing for millimeter wave devices different from other wireless devices, and how RF Exposure Lab can help.

What is Millimeter Wave?

The part of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 30 to 300 GHz is known as Extremely High Frequency (EHF) and is also known as millimeter wave. This frequency is known as the millimeter band because its wavelengths range from 10 to 1 millimeter. Millimeter wave is often abbreviated as MMW or mmWave.

Some frequencies near the bottom of the millimeter band are currently being used in 5G networks, enabling higher bandwidth, low latency, broad network coverage, high reliability, high throughput, high connection density, low power consumption, and high gain. Millimeter wave has many applications such as for high-speed, point-to-point wireless local area networks (WLANs), and broadband access.

This frequency band is ideal for short-distance wireless transmission of ultra-high-definition video and communications from small, lower power IoT devices. The limited distance of MMW also makes it ideal for communications between autonomous vehicles. 

However, the variety of applications for this frequency and the many millimeter wave products now being manufactured do lead to some challenges for SAR testing.

SAR Testing Challenges for Millimeter Wave Products

High path attenuation is a common issue for millimeter wave products as a result of its high frequency. Manufacturers may be able to compensate for this by using antennas that provide multipath suppression and interference mitigation, however, specific absorption rate needs to be taken into account when making these adjustments. 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and IEEE have set SAR compliance regulations that must be followed to determine whether or not products are safe for consumer use. Keep in mind that these regulations differ between public and occupational environments.

SAR compliance testing for millimeter wave products can also be challenging because of the millimeter band’s short wavelength and because these products typically have an increased number of antennas.

In addition to this, millimeter wave devices are capable of operating in far-field as well as near-field, and many MMW wireless devices even support near-field connectivity. This adds yet another layer of complexity for SAR testing because near-field power absorption depends on many factors, including frequency of operation, the medium in which the electromagnetic field is transmitted, and the distance between the antenna and the body. All these factors require that thorough SAR testing be conducted to prove compliance of these products with FCC standards.

RF Exposure Lab: Experts in SAR Testing for MMW Products

What’s the best way to ensure that your millimeter wave products get accurate testing to prove compliance with FCC standards? By working with a lab that has the equipment necessary to properly test millimeter wave devices, near-field devices, and is even A2LA certified. Jay Moulton, our Chief Engineer, has more than 25 years of regulatory experience and can guide our clients through the SAR testing process in ways that few other labs can.

Working with us, you can also expect clear communication throughout the SAR testing process so you’ll always feel confident about what is going on with your product. 

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