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RFID News Roundup

MAINtag introduces new RFID-enabled, ATA Spec 2000-compliant FLYchip; Voyantic launches new HF RFID tag-measurement system; Secura Key launches new RFID flat-pad antenna; Technology Solution (UK) Ltd. announces Bluetooth handheld UHF RFID reader; Times-7 intros durable, low-profile RFID ground antenna; GlobeRanger selected as supplier for U.S. Army contract, partners on oil-and-gas solution; Checkpoint Systems launches RFID solution to protect merchandise.
By Beth Bacheldor
May 02, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week.

MAINtag Introduces New RFID-enabled, ATA Spec 2000-compliant FLYchip
MAINtag has announced a new addition to its family of RFID solutions for the aerospace industry. The next-generation silicon FLYchip is compliant with specifications from the Air Transport Association of America (ATA)—now known as Airlines for Amercia—as outlined in the ATA's Spec 2000 (newest version 4.0), and is embedded in the FLYtag range of RFID tags for the parts-marking of life vests, seats, medical kits, oxygen generators, in-flight entertainment systems and other flyable parts with life-cycle or expiration dates requiring inspection and inventory checks. The company unveiled the new FLYchip in booth 504A at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. The ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID chip, compliant with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards (meeting requirements in the most recent EPC TDS 1.6 standard), supports both single- and dual-record (2 kilobits) formats, and offers data-retention capability of more than 30 years. The company says it expects to release an 8-kilobyte multi-record memory version in the near future. Airlines, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aircraft manufactures are already using MAINtag solutions for a variety of applications. For example, in early 2010, Airbus signed a seven-year contract with MAINtag to use its RFID tags as part of an overall initiative to monitor thousands of pressurized and non-pressurized parts and components on Airbus' new A350 extra-wide body (XWB) fleet (see Airbus Signs Contract for High-Memory RFID Tags). Currently, the company notes, there are more than 50,000 single- and dual-record FLYchip units in service.

Voyantic Launches New HF RFID Tag Measurement System
Voyantic Ltd., a provider of RFID measurement solutions based in Finland, has unveiled a new system for ascertaining the performance of high-frequency (HF) RFID tags. Demonstrated in booth 200 at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla., Voyantic's Tagformance HF system was nominated as an RFID Journal Award finalist for Best in Show (see Finalists Unveiled for Seventh Annual RFID Journal Awards). The Tagformance HF system is the first dedicated solution on the market that implements all key RF performance tests for contactless tags and cards, according to Voyantic. It is designed to evaluate the functionality and characteristics of HF and Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tags, and lets tag manufacturers design and test their quality during the production process, while RFID solution providers and end users can utilize the system to compare tags from various vendors and choose those that work best for their particular solution. In particular, the system determines the sensitivity of tags at a high accuracy level, providing new visibility to the parameters essential to tag research-and-development (R&D) activities and production-quality monitoring, Voyantic reports. All Tagformance HF functionalities are controlled via a graphical user interface that, according to the company, is easy to use and follows the same logic as the Tagformance UHF system. The Tagformance HF Measurement System consists of the Voyantic Tagformance HF Measurement Unit, control software for a PC and measurement accessories. Last month, the company unveiled a new version of its test system for measuring the performance of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers, as well as Tagformance 5, a new version of its measurement software that helps businesses verify that tags operate properly, and qualifies how well they function (see RFID News Roundup: Voyantic Announces Upgrades to Reader Tester and Measurement Software).

Secura Key Launches New RFID Flat-Pad Antenna
Secura Key, a California-based provider of electronic access-control and RFID products for security, asset-management and automatic data collection (ADC) applications, has announced a new RFID antenna for read-write desktop applications, such as library checkout, inventory systems, or other track-and-trace applications requiring the identification of items via the reading of any high-frequency (HF) RFID labels. The ET-ANT 13x9 flat-pad antenna measures only 0.30 inch thick, and has a Lexan top cover made of polycarbonate resin thermoplastic and a rubber-cushioned bottom pad to prevent sliding. The 13.56 MHz antenna has an 8-foot, black-jacketed connector cable, and an MMCX adapter is also included. The ET-ANT 13x9 antenna was demonstrated in booth 342 at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.. The new antenna, the company reports, is a good match with Secura Key's ET9-USB-1 reader, which plugs into a standard USB port on a laptop or desktop computer, and provides enough power to read an HF label at a distance of 8 to 9 inches, using the ET-ANT 13x9. The ET9-USB-1 device reads and writes to 13.56 MHz ISO 15693 tags or labels, and is the same size as a USB flash drive, requiring no other external electronics or power.

Technology Solution (UK) Ltd. Announces Bluetooth Handheld UHF RFID Reader
Technology Solution (UK) Ltd. (TSL) has announced a new Bluetooth ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader that can work with enterprise handheld devices, tablets, PCs (via a USB cable), laptops, smartphones and touchscreen MP3 players. The new 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID reader is designed to read and write to tags compliant with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standard, and incorporates TSL's unique ASCII protocol, which provides a developer with a set of commands that carry out multiple actions locally within the Bluetooth reader. According to the company, this enables multiple tag operations to be executed using simple preconfigured ASCII commands, which not only speeds up the integration of the reader into applications, but also abstracts the developer from some of the complexities of the underlying native application programming interface (API). According to TSL, the 1128 reader can also be configured with 2-D data scanning via Motorola's SE4500 engine, which incorporates fast-pulse illumination and fast sensor shutter speeds for 1-D and 2-D data capture. The device features an ergonomic style that includes a compact slim-line grip and a comfortable trigger handle for scan-intensive RFID and 2-D bar-code data-collection applications, the company reports. TSL demonstrated its 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID reader in booth 115 at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

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