Compliance testing

Some people have been in touch to ask about an email they’ve received from RS Components, talking about compliance testing and Raspberry Pi.

The compliance testing referred to here relates to assessing the device’s electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and in particular the extent to which it generates unacceptable levels of electromagnetic noise. EMC testing is a necessary prerequisite to obtaining various consumer-protection certifications including (in the European Union) CE marking. It is common practice for development hardware to be sold without such certification, with the proviso that it should not be considered to be a “finished end product”; for example the BeagleBoard System Reference Manual contains the following disclaimer:

This evaluation board/kit is intended for use for ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT, DEMONSTRATION, OR EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY and is not considered by BeagleBoard.org to be a finished end-product fit for general consumer use. Persons handling the product(s) must have electronics training and observe good engineering practice standards. As such, the goods being provided are not intended to be complete in terms of required design-, marketing-, and/or manufacturing-related protective considerations, including product safety and environmental measures typically found in end products that incorporate such semiconductor components or circuit boards. This evaluation board/kit does not fall within the scope of the European Union directives regarding electromagnetic compatibility, restricted substances (RoHS), recycling (WEEE), FCC, CE or UL, and therefore may not meet the technical requirements of these directives or other related directives.

While we had intended to defer compliance testing of Raspberry Pi until the cased educational release later in the year, demand for the uncased version (and the level of interest from outside the engineering community) has been so high that both RS Components and Premier Farnell have asked us to bring this forward. We did a first trial run in a test chamber this week, and will have a detailed technical update for you in the next few days.