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Motorola Introduces All-New Fixed Reader

The FX7500 is designed to deliver improved performance in business environments at a competitive price.
By Mark Roberti
Jan 20, 2014

Motorola Solutions has introduced a new fixed, passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader based on the EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol standard. The FX7500 is designed to replace the FX7400 as Motorola's business-class reader for retailers, offices, hospitals and other non-industrial environments.

The FX7500 differs from the FX7400 model in that it is not made with an RFID reader chip that incorporates the primary functions of a UHF RFID reader on a single IC. (For example, many EPC UHF readers currently on the market have been manufactured with one of Impinj's Indy reader chips, such as the R1000.) Instead, it was designed with discrete reader components on a circuit board, in order to deliver improved RF performance, including greater read and write speeds and increased read sensitivity.

Motorola's FX7500 reader
"What it means is that the FX7500 can deliver better RF performance, including in dense reader environments," says Mike Poldino, the VP of Motorola's RFID division. "The FX7400, for example, was able to read 800 tags per second, and the new FX7500 can read 1,200 tags per second—a 50 percent increase."

The new reader features several enhanced technical specifications, and has two general-purpose input ports and three output ports, versus two and two for the FX7400. Input ports allow the reader to be triggered to begin reading tags by, say, an infrared "electronic eye," or to be connected to a touchscreen. Output ports enable the interrogator to control other devices, such as light stacks, conveyors and so forth. The additional port provides users with more flexibility to add another device.

The unit comes standard with 512 megabytes of flash memory and 256 megabytes of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), versus 64 megabytes of flash memory and 64 megabytes of DRAM for the FX7400. The additional memory will enable retailers, law firms and other businesses to develop applications to embed into the reader, which employs the Linux operating system. For example, retailers could create inventory-taking applications that run directly on the reader.

The FX7500 reader also supports GS1's Low Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) for communicating with middleware applications. The device has been UL-rated for plenum installations (in which the reader is placed within drop ceilings).

"We took it up a notch in terms of capabilities, flexibility and performance," Poldino states. "It's a souped-up device that will deliver great performance, but at value pricing."

The reader is available in two models: one with two antenna ports and another with four. The two-port model will retail for $1,185, while the four-port version will cost $1,285. Both models are now available for order.

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