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RFID News Roundup

DOD depots hit Gen 2 deadline;Infineon releases two new HF chips; Hitachi announces Wi-Fi tracking tag; GAO, LAT to codevelop RFID library system; Sandestin putting RFID on tap; SAP, Cisco back Reva in series-B funding; NFC Forum releases smart-poster protocol.
By Andrew Price
Oct 06, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of Oct. 2.

DOD Depots Hit Gen 2 Deadline
The 19 Defense Distribution Centers (DDCs) that will need to receive RFID-tagged shipments from U.S. Department of Defense suppliers are now ready to process those shipments. In May, RFID systems integrator ODIN Technologies was charged with installing an EPC Gen 2 tag reading and data-collection infrastructure at each facility by Sept. 29 (see DOD Getting Gen 2-Ready). This enabled the DOD to prepare for its Oct. 1 sunset date. After that date, the department has said, it would no longer accept shipments tagged with Gen 1 tags, though the readers are backward-compatible and will still be able to read Gen 1 tags. More than 200 Gen 2 RFID reading portals have been installed at the centers. In addition, Psion Teklogix has installed GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware software at the centers for use in extracting, interpreting and transmiting data gathered by the portals.

Infineon Releases Two New HF Chips
German chipmaker Infineon Technologies says it has developed two new RFID transponder chips, each designed for high-frequency item-tracking applications in logistics and manufacturing environments: the my-d light and the my-d vicinity HC RFID chips. The my-d light chip includes an anticollision feature designed to prevent tags in close proximity from interfering with one another. Infineon says the anticollision protocol enables up to 50 tags using the my-d chip in close proximity to be read or written to in about one second, regardless of each tag's orientation. The my-d light chip stores 416 bits of non-volatile user memory (equal to 52 text characters). Tags containing the my-d light RFID chip can be used for brand protection and supply-chain item tracking, as well as asset and inventory control, such as library and media-management applications. The new my-d vicinity HC chip is designed for use with antennas as small as 8 millimeters, reducing the overall size of the tags. Such tags can be as small as 10 millimeters (0.4 inch). Infineon says both chips are compliant with ISO's 15693 and 18000-3 mode 1 standards.

Hitachi Announces Wi-Fi Tracking Tag
Japanese chipmaker Hitachi has announced a new active RFID tag designed for locating people while being served by a wireless local area network. The tag, known as the AirLocation II Tag-w, communicates to a wireless LAN using the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol. Building managers can use tag-read events to know when the individuals to whom the tags are issued enter or leave defined zones, depending on the location of the Wi-Fi receivers that pick up the tags' IDs. The AirLocation II Tag-w also includes an emergency button employees can press if they need assistance. Once pressed, the button sends an emergency message to a designated call center, which automatically forwards the employee's location to emergency-response agencies. The Air Location II Tag-w is now available at a price of 21,000 yen (US$179), according to a statement issued by the company.

GAO, LAT to Codevelop RFID Library System
RFID hardware supplier GAO RFID and Library Automation Technologies (LAT), an automation solutions provider for libraries, have announced plans to codevelop and comarket RFID solutions for the library market. The companies say they will integrate LAT's Flashscan self-checkout system for libraries with GAO's RFID tag, label and reader products so library patrons can check out tagged materials via RFID. The integrated solutions will be targeted at the global library market. GAO RFID was spun out from GAO Tek in July 2006 as a result of its fast-growing RFID business. GAO RFID now offers about approximately 100 RFID products, which it claims is the world's widest choice of RFID products from a single vendor.

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