IEC 62779-1 Ed. 1.0 b:2016— Semiconductors for Human Body

Semiconductor chip in electronic device adhering to IEC 62779-1:2016.

What if we could use the human body itself to transfer and collect information? This area of research is known as human body communication (HBC, also termed intrabody communication): a novel transmission technique that uses the human body as the transmission medium (i.e., conductor) for electrical signal transfer. IEC 62779-1 Ed. 1.0 b:2016—Semiconductor Devices – Semiconductor Interface For Human Body Communication – Part 1: General Requirements defines general requirements for a semiconductor interface used in human body communication (HBC).

What Is A Semiconductor?

A semiconductor is a substance with specific electrical properties that enable it to serve as a foundation for computers and other electronic devices. Semiconductors are used in nearly every sector of electronics and are essential components of electronic devices because they control and manage the flow of electric current. As a result, they are a popular component of electronic chips made for computing components and a variety of electronic devices.

What Are Semiconductors Used For?

Semiconductors enable advances in communication (satellite systems, wireless communication systems, network equipment, etc.,), computing, healthcare, military systems, transportation, clean energy, etc. They are also used in everyday consumer electronics: mobile phones, laptops, games consoles, smart watches, microwaves and refrigerators. These devices all operate with the use of semiconductor components, such as integrated chips, diodes, and transistors.  As electronic devices become smaller and faster (especially with the adoption of wearable technologies like smart watches and rings), these devices interact with the human body in ways that are very different from those of a computer.

Moreover, the interface of biological components with semiconductors is a growing field with numerous applications. The interfaces, for example, can be used to sense and modulate the electrical activity of single cells and tissues, serving as a promising physical layer solution for the Body Area Network (BAN) also known as the Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN). WBAN connects independent nodes (e.g., sensors and actuators) that are situated in the clothes, on the body or under the skin of a person, allowing them to move about freely and unconstrained. The network typically expands over the whole human body and the nodes are connected via a wireless communication channel. WBAN offers promising new applications in the area of remote health monitoring, home/health care, medicine, multimedia, sports, and more because it consists of sensors that constantly measure specific biological functions—temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration, etc.

What Is IEC 62779?

The IEC 62779 series for Semiconductor Devices is composed of three parts:

  1.  IEC 62779-1 defines general requirements of a semiconductor interface for human body communication. It includes general and functional specifications of the interface
  2. IEC 62779-2 defines a measurement method on electrical performances of an electrode that constructs a semiconductor interface for human body communication.
  3. IEC 62779-3 defines functional type of a semiconductor interface for human body communication and operational conditions of the interface.

What Is IEC 62779-1?

IEC 62779-1:2016 defines general requirements for a semiconductor interface used in human body communication (HBC). An HBC semiconductor interface processes an electrical signal that is transmitted to the human body or received from the human body while located between the human body and consists of an electrode and analog front end. The standard further specifies that the HBC modem converts data into an electrical signal and sends it to the electrode, or receives an electrical signal from the analog front end and converts it into data IEC 62779-1:2016 includes general and functional specifications of the interface, as well as limiting values and its operating conditions.

Human Body Communication (HBC) Technology

In human body communication (HBC), the body of a user is used to transmit data from one device to another. Devices can thereby communicate without a wire or wireless technology. An electrical signal including data is transmitted through the body, so the user simply touches the devices, and then the devices are connected to each other via touch-and play (TAP) technology.

HBC technologies use electrodes instead of antennas to couple signals to the human body. This can be used to conduct an electric field from a transmitter to a receiver, thereby communicating data. HBC receivers work very similarly to radio frequency receivers, but it is much more difficult to determine their input impedance.

IEC 62779-1 Ed. 1.0 b:2016—Semiconductor Devices – Semiconductor Interface For Human Body Communication – Part 1: General Requirements is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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