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Gen2 RFID Versus the New Hewlett-Packard Chip
Hewlett Packard made headlines this week with its announcement of a tiny, wireless microchip capable of relatively high storage and data transfer rates. It seems like a Gen2 tag on steroids, and indeed some articles about the chip are calling it a competitor to RFID. Not likely.
Jul 18, 2006—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
July 18, 2006—Hewlett-Packard made headlines this week with its announcement of a tiny, wireless microchip capable of relatively high storage and data transfer rates. It seems like a Gen2 tag on steroids, and some have already predicted that the technology will become an RFID competitor or even, gasp, killer.
Called Memory Spot, the chip measures 2 to 4 millimeters square, about the size of a grain of rice. At 10 megabits-per-second, it offers speedy data transfer comparable to WiFi. And with the potential to store half a megabyte of data, one Memory Spot chip could hold a short video, a few pictures, or substantial amounts of text. Like passive RFID, it harnesses the incoming reader signal to power the data transfer and so does not require a battery. The announcement does not provide specifics on the read range, except to make clear that it is quite short; the reader must be "positioned closely over the chip".
Memory Spot is a read-write technology, which allows for very interesting possibilities for consumer applications. Indeed, quite a few of the hypothetical uses conceived by HP are consumer facing, like "audio photos" enabled by attaching a chip loaded with audio to a physical photograph. Others, however, are targeted at the enterprise and supply chain. Pharmaceutical tracking is cited in particular, which begs the question of whether Gen2 vendors should feel threatened by what appears to be leaps and bounds ahead of today's passive RFID capabilities.
The answer, in a word, is no. While the Memory Spot's capabilities are impressive and its potential intriguing, it is not about to turn the RFID industry on its head. Here's why:
Read the Memory Spot announcement
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