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Impinj Announces GEN 2 Solution

Seattle-based Impinj yesterday announced the introduction of the first official RFID product release that meets the GEN 2 specification.
Apr 05, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 5, 2005—Seattle-based Impinj yesterday announced the introduction of the first official RFID product release that meets the GEN 2 specification. RFID Update caught up with CEO Bill Colleran last night to talk about the new offering. Dubbed GrandPrix, it includes an RFID tag chip solution and a multi-protocol reader. Both solutions go above and beyond the base GEN 2 requirements, offering functionality and performance that Colleran says will secure Impinj key competitive advantages in the nascent market for GEN 2 RFID products.

The reader, called Speedway, supports "dense reader environments," a characteristic outlined, but not mandated, in the GEN 2 specification. The dense reader functionality allows Speedway to be operated successfully alongside as many as 49 other RFID readers within a one kilometer radius.

Impinj has made the Speedway technology available for licensing to companies that could choose to develop branded RFID readers with something akin to an "Impinj Inside" distinction. "We are a chip company, not a box manufacturer," says Colleran. Licensing Speedway to companies that will get RFID readers into the hands of customers allows Impinj to focus more on the core technology and less on distribution. Furthermore, Colleran expects that making RFID reader technology available more widely will help develop the market and consequently spur demand for the new Impinj chip Monza.

Monza offers data writes of up to 15 tags per second, a read range of 8 meters, and a write range of 6 meters. Given that most manufacturers' GEN 2 RFID tags will offer essentially similar functionality, performance will be the criteria by which companies have to distinguish their product. Colleran believes that the speed and reliability of the new Impinj offerings excel in exactly that department.

Performance aside, Impinj's time-to-market will also prove valuable in helping it compete with the likes of giants Texas Instruments and Philips, both of whom are expected to enter the space in the coming months. (Last week, Philips shipped trial versions of its GEN 2 chips to partner companies for evaluation.) With the first available fully GEN 2 compliant RFID solution and the Speedway licensing program, Impinj is aggressively seeking to both establish a lead in and foster growth of an explosive market. But it is very early yet and far too soon to make predictions even six months hence.

Read the press release on Impinj's site
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