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1. What is the Radio Equipment Device Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU?

A relevant excerpt from European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) webpage for RED 2014/53/EU clarifies the scope of this directive:

  • "On 16 April 2014, the European Union adopted a new set of rules for placing radio equipment on the European market, and putting them into service.
  • EU Member States have to adapt their National laws to this new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (2014/53/EU, published on 22 May 2014), and apply its provisions from 13 June 2016. Manufacturers who were compliant with the existing legislation (RTTED or LVD/EMCD) will have until 13 June 2017 to comply with the new requirements.
  • The existing Radio & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED) (1999/5/EC) was repealed on 13 June 2016”

Microchip’s clients manufacturing end-products with radio communication capabilities and shipping into the European Union (EU) market are responsible for ensuring their products comply with RED. Microchip plans to provide necessary technical support needed to enable our clients to complete their regulatory compliance obligations for their end-products.

The following FAQ will help outline the clients’ obligations and Microchip’s support for RED compliance.

Also refer to these FAQs – Radio Equipment Directive (RE-D) and Guide to the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU from the European Commission for additional information.

2. What are new or additional responsibilities that conformity to RED requires of End-Product Manufacturers (in comparison to previous directives such as R&TTE)?

(Note: Reference to end-product manufacturers are typically users/clients of Microchip’s who use Microchip’s RF ICs and modules in their products.)

End-product manufacturers should review RED and referenced standards in entirety to fully understand new and additional responsibilities required by RED compliance. A few of these responsibilities are summarized below with respect to the end-product (i.e. not Microchip’s IC or wireless module):

  • All end-products with built-in radio need to be assessed under RED
  • Updated Declaration of Conformity (DoC) should be made available for compliant products by the end-product manufacturer
  • End-product User Manual must be updated with RF specifications such as frequency range, transmit output power and software version
  • End-product must meet traceability requirements (e.g. by providing contact information, website address etc.)
  • End-product manufacturers should be prepared for Market Surveillance activities and comply with the latest regulations

Harmonized standard for RED can be found at the link below:


3. What are the major differences in radio regulatory compliance testing between RED and its predecessor directive, the R&TTE?

RED requires compliance to specific new ETSI standards. These new standards list technical requirements to be met that necessitate testing. Below is a list of standards applicable to Microchip’s RF products.

ETSI Standards Review RF Platform
Former (R&TTE - now obsolete) Current (RED)   2.4 GHz/Wi-Fi® Bluetooth® Bluetooth Low Energy 802.15.4 LoRa®/Sigfox
EN 300 328 v1.9.1 EN300 328 v2.1.1 2.4 GHz RF X X X X  
EN 300 220-2 v2.4.1 EN 300 220-2 v3.1.1 Sub-GHz RF       X X
EN 301 489-1 V1.9.2 EN 301 489-1 V2.2.0* EMC X X X X X
EN 301 489-3 V1.6.1 EN 301 489-3 V2.1.1* EMC         X
EN 301 489-17 V2.2.1 EN 301 489-17 V3.2.0* EMC X X X X  

The above ETSI Standards Reviews are published standards and in the “Official Journal”, except for reviews marked with an asterisk*, which are currently draft standards.

(Last Updated: April 6, 2017)

4. How has Microchip progressed towards compliance to RED, as the June 13 2017 deadline approaches?

Microchip has a long history of certifying radio module products to the latest standards and maintaining our compliance obligations with regulatory bodies worldwide, including ETSI. Microchip is also a member of RED Compliance Association (REDCA) and has been working closely with several regulatory compliance laboratories worldwide.

Specific to RED, Microchip has monitored the progress of various ETSI standards (both draft and harmonized) and identified laboratories worldwide which have setup test and measurement systems to perform the new tests mandated by the standards (for example, Receiver Blocking).

Microchip has scheduled/is scheduling time at various laboratories worldwide to certify our products in order to enable our clients to leverage our certification. See the current list of Microchip products that are compliant to RED in section 8.

5. What steps should Microchip's clients take in order to comply with RED?

Microchip strongly recommends our clients take the following steps:

  1. Get familiarized with RED and several new standards from ETSI and identify the standards relevant to their end-product.
  2. Identify laboratories and start to execute RED-compliance testing for their end-products utilizing Microchip’s RF ICs and Modules.
  3. Complete compliance-testing, collateral & logistical updates

Creating/updating collateral and making changes to packaging labels, etc. may take time. Starting early will help reach compliance in a timely manner.

6. How will Microchip help its clients in complying with RED? What is Microchip's responsibility in helping a customer's end-product comply with RED?

Conformity Assessment to RED by way of ETSI Standards compliance testing in the EU can be performed in multiple ways as shown in the table below that has been reproduced from ETSI Guide EG 203 367 V1.1.1 (2016-06) “Guide to the application of harmonised standards covering articles 3.1b and 3.2 of the Directive 2014/53/EU (RED) to multi-radio and combined radio and non-radio equipment”

Based on RED conformity assessment, ETSI compliance testing can be performed as follows:

  1. Testing Approach #1: Testing the entire end-product including the RF module as “Combined equipment”- Microchip’s RF ICs and modules are simply used as components in the client’s end-product. This is depicted in Scenario 3 above.
  2. Testing Approach #2: Testing Microchip’s RF module as a “Radio product” shown in Scenario 2 followed by leveraging the test results in end-product conformity assessment procedure (CAP) shown in Scenario 1. Note the following text in Section 6.1 of the ETSI Guide that provides some criteria for leveraging the results (note: please review the entire document). For Testing Approach #2, clients should utilize the test reports and the module interface information in the product data sheet to determine what would constitute an equivalent host and what variations are allowed in the end-product to determine if additional assessment is required.

The conformity assessment performed on a radio product can be used as part of the conformity assessment of the combination of that radio product with a non-radio product. If the manufacturer of the combined equipment installs the radio product in a host non-radio product in equivalent assessment conditions (i.e. host equivalent to the one used for the assessment of the radio product) and according to the installation instructions for the radio product, then no additional assessment of the combined equipment against article 3.2 of the RED [i.1] is required.

To facilitate the above scenarios, Microchip will provide the following collateral support to our clients for RED compliance.

  “RED-assessed” Microchip Module: (Use in Testing Approach #2) RF ICs and other Microchip Modules: (Use in Testing Approach #1)
Declaration of Conformity Yes No
ETSI Test Report Yes No
Datasheet Yes Yes
RF Test Interface, Tools and Documentation* Yes Yes

For Testing Approach #2, section 8 below provides the schedules for Microchip’s modules to be assessed to RED.

For Testing Approach #1, Micrcochip’s clients should pursue RED assessment of their end-products immediately. Note that Microchip may choose not to have some modules assessed under RED. These modules would typically be modules that do not have a shield or do not carry a CE mark today.

7. What are the criteria Microchip's clients need to consider while selecting a laboratory for RED conformity assessment / compliance testing?

Once our clients are familiar with the relevant ETSI specifications governing RED-assessment of their end-product, laboratory test time needs to be scheduled for testing. Please check with the laboratory you are considering using if they are ready to perform RED compliance testing as incremental tests may require the labs to setup new testbeds. If a specific lab has certified the client’s end product in the past, then the Client only needs to perform the incremental tests required by the latest ETSI standards under RED. This may help shorten the time to transition to RED and optimize costs.

8. What is the current list of Microchip's RED-assessed modules (to be used by clients for end-product Testing Approach #2)?

Products list and associated timelines are provided in the next section, Microchip Wireless Modules Certification schedule regarding Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

Microchip Wireless Modules Certification Schedule Regarding Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

Please refer to the relevant product page for RED documentation

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