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RFID News Roundup

Smartrac releases dual-frequency Prelam for contactless cards, establishes global distribution agreement with Future Electronics ••• Suprema launches RFID-enabled access-control device ••• Technavio report predicts U.S. RTLS market will grow by 45 percent through 2020 ••• NFC market expected to reach $47 billion by 2024 ••• OTI, Vend Access, Card Access Services to provide cashless-payment solutions in Australia.
By Rich Handley
Dec 01, 2016

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Smartrac; Suprema; Technavio; Research and Markets; On Track Innovations, Vend Access, and Card Access Services .

Smartrac Releases Dual-Frequency Prelam for Contactless Cards, Establishes Global Distribution Agreement With Future Electronics

Smartrac has announced the Dual Frequency Prelam, its latest RFID inlay suitable for public-transport applications. The new product combines one pre-laminated inlay (Prelam) with two secure contactless chips, one high-frequency (HF) and the other ultrahigh-frequency (UHF), on a single card.

The card's dual-frequency capability allows transport operators to select the type of revenue-collection method that is appropriate at the point of entry. For example, transport operators can allow for hands-free or be-in-be-out (BIBO) fare collection in very large human traffic channels, or for physically challenged commuters. In standard entry or exit, check-in-check-out (CICO) fare-collection reader terminals can be deployed.

With the progress of technology in automatic fare-collection systems, Smartrac reports, the approach to revenue fare collection has undergone major changes. Account-based ticketing as an alternative to CICO ticketing will become most popular as a complimentary solution, the company indicates. The Dual Frequency Prelam enables transport automatic fare collection systems to become more convenient to commuters, as well as improve traffic flow at both the entry and exit points of a transport system.

"The benefits of Smartrac patented technology in this product include very strong bonding of the different layers of sheets in the Prelam, anti-crack design to prevent chip crack during end lamination and harmonized tuning of HF antenna and UHF antenna," said Daniel Lim, the head of Smartrac's global business line transport for secure ID and transactions. "Card manufacturers can fully customize their Dual Frequency Prelams depending on the required write-read performance of the contactless chip card".

Available in PVC, PC, PET-G or Teslin versions, the Dual Frequency Prelam comes with several combinations of secure contactless chips. For HF, customers can choose between NXP Semiconductors' Mifare DESFire EV2, Sony's FeliCa RC-SA01 4KB and Infineon's myD4Move chip. The UHF chip offerings include NXP's Ucode DNA and Impinj's Monza chip.

In addition, Smatrac has signed a distribution partnership with Future Electronics, one of the world's largest electronics components distributors. The cooperation with Smartrac represents Future Electronics' first venture into RFID technology.

The distribution partnership went into effect on Nov. 1, 2016, and covers Smartrac's portfolio of standard inlays and tags in the UHF/RAIN and HF frequencies, including Near Field Communication (NFC). For these products, Future Electronics will act as a stocking and value-added distributor, involving its global engineering and sales staff, including the company's System Design Centers in Montreal, Canada; Egham, England; Gdansk, Poland; Shenzhen, China; and Bangalore, India.

According to Ted Danhauser, Smartrac's VP of sales for the Americas and global segment head for pharmaceuticals and health care in the company's Intelligent Things Business division, the distribution partnership will broaden the firm's customer base, with a focus on the industrial, automotive and health-care segments. "We are very pleased to partner with one of the world's leading solution-centric distributors," he said in a prepared statement. "Staffed effectively around the globe and focused on wireless connectivity and the IoT, Future Electronics represents a very valuable addition to Smartrac's sales network."

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