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By Beth Bacheldor

RAIN RFID Alliance Publishes New Document on RFID Reader Sensitivity Testing

The RAIN RFID Alliance, an industry alliance for ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification technology complying with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-63 standards, has released a new document focused on the issue of reader sensitivity. The document, titled "RAIN RFID Reader Sensitivity Testing," outlines a proposal for testing RAIN RFID readers and a means of reporting reader sensitivity in a consistent and replicable manner, with a goal of providing more information to systems integrators.

The document was written by members of the RAIN RFID Alliance Solutions Workgroup, the mission of which is to identify, develop and publish materials leveraging the collective experience of workgroup members to the advantage of existing and new RAIN technology users.

In the document, the RAIN RFID Alliance encourages reader manufacturers that leverage the testing proposal to provide data regarding the reader's receiver sensitivity so that it can be shared with the RAIN community. "This data should consist of at least one measurement of reader sensitivity, where the measurement is provided under documented conditions so that it can be replicated," the document's authors wrote. "Optionally, the reader manufacturer may provide further details, additional background information, or any other relevant data."

Depending on feedback from the community, some refinements and/or narrowing of the specification of the testing procedure may be introduced in future versions, according to the RAIN RFID Alliance Solutions Workgroup. In addition, the organization might move toward the idea of grading or classifying readers so that end users will have some insight into which models are best suited for which roles. RAIN Alliance member companies that either played a major role in shaping the final document or provided feedback to earlier versions included CISC Semiconductor, Embisphere, Impinj, Lyngsoe Systems, NXP Semiconductors, RR Donnelley, Voyantic and Zebra Technologies.

A copy of the document can be downloaded here.

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