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NXP to Release More Sensitive UHF Chip With New Functionality

The UCODE 8 is designed for 20 percent higher read sensitivity, built-in brand identification, automatic adjustment for international tag reads, and faster label assembly with improved pad structure.
By Claire Swedberg
May 10, 2017

Global IC technology company NXP Semiconductors has released a new chip aimed at being more sensitive and easier to assemble into labels, with brand-identification features. The UCODE 8 RAIN RFID chip is designed to make retail and other RFID technology deployments easier and more effective, the company reports. The UCODE 8 is the latest in the company's UCODE family of chips that are built into ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID labels by global label manufacturers.

The new chip features 20 percent less power consumption compared to its closest competitor, according to NXP, based on increased sensitivity, and also offers fast and automatic response to interrogations from UHF readers in all global regions. What's more, it comes with the capacity to include a dedicated ID number for a company using the label to provide brand authentication.

NXP's Ralf Kodritsch
In addition, the new chip's pad structure is designed to better accommodate the application of glue, in order to ensure a better connection between the chip and the antenna, thereby allowing for higher assembly speed and a more reliable, robust label for label manufacturers. These gains, says Ralf Kodritsch, NXP's RFID solutions director, will enable retailers and brands to more effectively meet the needs of omnichannel sales by better understanding inventory levels and locations globally.

The chip's greater sensitivity comes from the company's engineering on the analog and digital portions of the chip, Kodritsch says. "We have also put a lot of focus in process technology," he explains. As a result of this effort, the chip offers -23dBm read sensitivity.

The chip is available in two versions: one with 32 bits of user memory, and one without user memory. It comes with write sensitivity of -18dBm writing at a rate of 3.6 milliseconds for a full 96-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) number. In the case of brand authentication, the chip features the ability for NXP to encode a brand identifier to chips for large brands. The chip could then be read when purchases are made, or when goods are received from a distribution center, and any label lacking that brand-identification number could be identified before the product ends up in consumers' hands.

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