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ThingMagic Releases New Tiny Reader Module

The M6e-Micro's small size enables equipment manufacturers, such as Zebra Technologies, to further shrink the size of their devices to meet customers' needs.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 05, 2012RFID products provider Zebra Technologies is installing the new M6e-Micro EPC Gen 2 reader module, from Trimble's ThingMagic division, into new printers currently under development. According to the company, this will help enable a smaller footprint than previous such devices. The new module arrives on the heels of a new upgraded version of firmware for the M6e series, providing higher performance. ThingMagic's new ultra-small module, with upgraded firmware, is commercially available now, and is also expected to be built into such products as handheld and fixed readers and printers supplied by other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

ThingMagic's development of the technology resulted from Zebra's request for a smaller module that would fit within its designs for a more compact RFID printer-encoder. "We needed a small compact module, but we still needed it to be feature-complete," says Michael Fein, Zebra Technologies' senior product manager. "RFID in retail has been one of the markets we focus on," he explains, and the industry requires smaller printers, mobile printers and handheld readers that are easy to carry. Zebra has yet to release a product made with the M6e-Micro module, but as the company builds these smaller devices, Fein says, the M6e-Micro "really drives that effort."

ThingMagic's EPC Gen 2 RFID reader module, M6e-Micro, is 46 millimeters long, 26 millimeters wide and 4 millimeters thick.

The M6e-Micro measures 46 millimeters (1.8 inches) in length and 26 millimeters (1 inch) in width, according to Tom Grant, ThingMagic's general manager. The reader module has two antenna ports and can transmit up to 1 watt of power.

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