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RFID News Roundup

Chinese university checking out RFID; Kennedy Group offering Gen 2; FCC, ETSI certify RF Monolithics sensor module; Moteiv module gets FCC, Canadian certifications; Tagsys unveils tunnel readers, Paxar partnership; golf fans can pay with PayPass.
By Andrew Price
Jan 27, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Jan. 23.

Chinese University Checking Out RFID
RFID inlay and label manufacturer UPM Raflatac is working with systems integrator Shanghai RFID System Technology Co. to deploy an RFID-based tracking system to the main Jimei University Library in Xiamen, China. In the initial phase of the deployment, currently underway, Raflatac is delivering 300,000 ISO 15693-compliant RFID tags, which the library plans to use in automating the check-in and checkout process for library items. The library hopes an RFID system will reduce patrons' wait times and deter theft—tagged items not yet checked out will sound an alarm when patrons attempt to exit. Raflatac says the library will also use the RFID system to sort returned items, which will help library workers return them to the shelves more quickly, and to take inventory. During the second and third phases of the deployment, the university will expand the system to other libraries on campus and begin tagging nonprinted items, such as CDs.

Kennedy Group Offering Gen 2
Cleveland-based RFID systems provider The Kennedy Group says its Smart Therm RFID-enabled labels and cards are available with EPC Class 1 Gen 2 inlays from Alien Technology, TI-RFid and Avery Dennison RFID. The company will begin offering its Smart Therm products with Gen 2 inlays from other manufacturers as they become available. Pricing is dependent on volume; the company says it can fulfill millions of orders for the Gen 2 labels and cards.

FCC, ETSI Certify RF Monolithics Sensor Module
Dallas-based RF Monolithics says the U. S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) have certified its DM1800 embedded wireless mesh-networking module, which the company first announced in November and designed for use in wireless sensor networks. The regulatory approval enables the company to sell the module in the United States and Europe. The DM1800 has a 200-meter communication range and follows RF Monolithics' miniMESH networking protocol. The device includes a single fixed-channel RF transceiver operating on the 433.92 or 916.5 MHz unlicensed frequency. It consumes little power and can operate in transmit, receive or sleep mode. RF Monolithics says the module will be available this month. Pricing information has not yet been released.

Moteiv Module Gets FCC, Canadian Certifications
Moteiv, a Berkeley, Calif., manufacturer of wireless sensor networks, says the FCC and Industry Canada have both certified its mote platform, Tmote Sky. This enables the company to sell the wireless sensor module in the United States and Canada. Due to the agencies’ regulatory approval, customers can integrate the platform into their products without needing to have them recertified, says Moteiv. This will reduce customers’ costs and accelerate their products’ time-to-market. The Tmote Sky module uses the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol for wireless personal area network (WPAN) radio devices. Introduced in January 2005, the modules are self-contained, battery-powered computers designed for use in a mesh network, in which devices communicate and exchange data independent of human interaction and for extended periods of time. They have an integrated on-board antenna providing up to a 125-meter range.

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