FCC Gives Nod to ANSYS' FEM Simulation Method

DN Staff

March 4, 2011

2 Min Read
FCC Gives Nod to ANSYS' FEM Simulation Method

Engineers building electromagnetic applications for thehealthcare industry just got clearance to use ANSYS simulation software as partof their process for evaluating whether biomedical device transmitter designsare compliant with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards.

The FCC ruled that ANSYS' finite element method (FEM) isconsidered a valid technique to simulate a medical device that must communicatewith other similar devices. As a result, medical equipment manufacturers cantap ANSYS' HFSS GB pound software and leading FEM electromagnetic field simulation methodto evaluate the RF emissions and Specific Absorption Rates (SARs)of transmitterdesigns in a digital world instead of having to manually build and testphysical prototypes. The move will enable medical device developers in thisfield to reduce development time and costs without jeopardizing theirrequirement of meeting safety standards.

While the FCC has recognized competing simulation methods,this is a first for ANSYS. ANSYSpetitioned the FCC to grant a waiver to the Medical Device RadiocommunicationService rules to permit FEM to be used to evaluate medical implant or body-wornequipment and to be recognized as a sound engineering technique. ANSYS' HFSS GB pound software lets engineers design, simulate and validate the behavior of complexhigh-performance RF, microwave and millimeter-wave devices in next-generationwireless devices, biomedical devices, consumer electronics and defensecommunications systems.

For engineers in this space, the ruling means more freedom."Now engineers have more choices in how they want to validate theirprototypes," explains Martin Vogel, ANSYS senior application engineer.Engineers can either opt for the traditional route, which requires them tobuild a physical prototype in a lab, measure it and send the results to the FCC,or they now have a wider range of digital simulation methods to choice from."They now have a wider choice of methods and if they choose simulation, theycan work with the software they like best," Vogel says. "And simulating aprototype in the computer is often a lot cheaper than building and measuring aphysical prototype in a lab."

The FCC ruling applies to transmitters that are placedinside or in close proximity to the human body. It's a scenario that's morecommon with today's sophisticated medical implants, which frequently employtransmitters to communicate with other devices, usually to transferphysiological data to a doctor via wireless communication. Developers ofmedical devices have to ensure their equipment meets radio frequency (RF)emission safety standards as well as that it complies with SAR regulations,which is a measure of how the body absorbs energy when exposed to an RFelectromagnetic field. ANSYS' software can used to verify both SAR and RFemissions.

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