Of interest mostly to manufacturers . . .
A year ago, the FCC adopted rules on "modular certification," under which it can approve a transmitter module for use in multiple host devices. But the rules have not yet taken effect due to delays at the Office of Management and Budget.
The delays are almost over. The FCC announced today that the rules will take effect on April 15.
Notwithstanding the late rules, modular certification has been an available option since 2000, when the FCC issued a public notice on the subject. The new rules carry over most of the 2000 public notice intact, with two significant changes.
First, devices incorporating modular transmitters may now display the FCC ID in electronic form. Electronic FCC ID display has previously been allowed only in software-defined radios.
Second, the FCC adopted new rules to govern "split modular transmitters." In these, the radio front end and controlling firmware are separate, possibly located in different components. Manufacturers must ensure that only components that have been certified together are capable of operating together.
An escape clause allows a manufacturer to bypass any of the modular requirements if it can persuade the FCC that the device will nonetheless comply in all of the end products in which it is used.