Through the use of this website, you are accepting the terms and conditions stipulated in our Privacy Policy and our use of cookies.

Inside anechoic chamber

FCC Part 15 Testing

The Federal Code of Regulation (CFR) FCC Part 15 is a common testing standard for most electronic equipment. FCC Part 15 covers the regulations under which an intentional or unintentional (incidental) radiator can be operated without an individual license. FCC Part 15 also covers the technical specifications, administrative requirements, and other conditions relating to the marketing of FCC Part 15 devices. The process for FCC Part 15 compliance is dependent on the type of equipment. Devices fall under either supplier’s declaration of conformity or certification

See the FCC website for more descriptive information.

FCC Part 15 Subpart A contains specific information regarding testing and certification. Information such as the scope of the rules and legal implications, definitions, prohibition against eavesdropping, labeling, etc.

Definitions of interest from FCC Part 15:

Digital Device - “An unintentional radiator (device or system) that generates and uses timing signals or pulses at a rate in excess of 9,000 pulses (cycles) per second and uses digital techniques; inclusive of telephone equipment that uses digital techniques or any device or system that generates and uses radiofrequency energy for the purpose of performing data processing functions such as electronics computations, operations, transformations, recording, filing, sorting, storage, retrieval, or transfer. A radiofrequency device that is specifically subject to an emanation requirement in any other FCC Rule part or an intentional radiator subject to Subpart C of this part that contains a digital device is not subject to the standards for digital devices, provided the digital device is used only the enable operation of the radio frequency device and the digital device does not control additional functions or capabilities.”

FCC Intentional Radiator 

“A device that intentionally generates and emits radio frequency energy by radiation or induction.”

FCC Part 15 Class A Digital Device 

“A digital device that is marketed for use in a commercial, industrial or business environment, exclusive of a device which is marketed for use by the general public or is intended to be used in the home.”

FCC Part 15 Class B Digital Device

“A digital device that is marketed for use in a residential environment notwithstanding use in commercial, business, and industrial environments. Examples of such devices included, but are not limited to, personal computers, calculators, and similar electronic devices that are marketed for use by the general public.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart B

Subpart B applies to unintentional radiators. The category of unintentional radiators includes a wide variety of devices that contain clocks or oscillators and logic circuitry but that do not purposely generate radio frequency emissions. Among the common unintentional radiators are personal computers, peripherals, receivers, radios, TV sets, and cable TV home terminals.

The following table from FCC Part 15.101 indicates the classification of these various devices.

Type of Device

Equipment Authorization Required

TV broadcast receiver


FM broadcast receiver


CB receiver

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

Superregenerative receiver

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

Scanning receiver


Radar detector


All other receivers subject to part 15

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

TV interface device

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

Cable system terminal device

Declaration of Conformity

Stand-alone cable input selector switch


Class B personal computers and peripherals

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

CPU boards and internal power supplies used with Class B personal computers

Declaration of Conformity or Certification

Class B personal computers assembled using authorized CPU boards or power supplies

Declaration of Conformity

Class B external switching power supplies


Other Class B digital devices & peripherals


Class A digital devices, peripherals & external switching power supplies


Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL)


All other devices


Two levels of radiation and conducted emissions limits for unintentional radiators are specified in FCC Part 15 Subpart B. The two levels are Class A digital devices, the higher or less strict limits, and Class B digital devices, the lower or more strict limits. Manufacturers are encouraged to meet the Class B digital device limits.

FCC Part 15 Subpart C

Subpart C applies to intentional radiators. The various types of intentional radiators covered by Subpart C include cable-locating equipment, cordless telephones, remote control and alarm transmitters, field-disturbance sensors for opening doors, and spread-spectrum systems for wideband data transmission. Intentional radiators governed by FCC Part 15 Subpart C must either have a permanently attached antenna or provide a unique connector to prevent the use of unauthorized antennas. The FCC Part 15 Subpart C rules for operation of radio transmitters detail the fundamental field strength, power, power density, frequency accuracy, and permitted harmonic and spurious emissions.

FCC Part 15 Subpart D

Subpart D outlines the regulations for unlicensed personal communication service (UPCS) devices operating in the 1910 – 1930 MHz frequencies bands.

FCC Part 15 Subpart E

Subpart E sets out the regulations for unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices operating in the 5.15 – 5.35 GHz, 5.47 – 5.725 GHz, and 5.725 – 5.825 GHz bands.

FCC Part 15 Subpart F

Subpart F sets out the regulations for unlicensed ultra-wideband transmission systems.

FCC Part 15 Subpart G

Subpart G sets out the regulations for Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) devices operating in the 1.705-80 MHz band over medium or low voltage lines. This section outlines the geographical area within which Access BPS operations are not permitted in certain frequencies bands.

FCC Part 15 Subpart H

Subpart H sets out the regulations for Television Band Devices (TVBDs) which are unlicensed intentional radiators operating on available channels in the broadcast television frequency bands at 54–60 MHz, 76–88 MHz, 174–216 MHz, 470–608 MHz, and 614–698 MHz bands.

Get in Touch with VPI Laboratories to Discuss Electronic Testing Solutions for Your Product Today

VPI provides conformity assessment services that assist you in complying with regulatory requirements to help your product get to market. With over 40 years of experience, our lab and resources are equipped to meet your testing requirements. As technology is innovated, regulations change; our knowledge and experience help your product’s compliance and certification testing go smoothly. VPI test lab engineers have extensive knowledge in EMC/EMI testing to help guide you through your electronic product testing needs.

VPI has demonstrated its competence to perform regulatory compliance testing by being accredited by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) (Lab Code 100272-0).

Contact us to discuss your regulatory compliance needs with one of our experienced engineers.