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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for August

Baird has released its August report. The 15-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Aug 21, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 21, 2006—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for August. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 15-page document is available free here.

As a feature of RFID Monthly, the company recently added Baird's RFID Index, a stock index which compares the average performance of 28 public companies with exposure to RFID to the performance of the NASDAQ and S&P 500. Data is included going back two years. As of August 15, the RFID index was up 2.5% versus a month prior, slightly outperforming the NASDAQ (+1.6%) and slightly underperforming the S&P 500 (+2.6%).

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 12, and following are the Key Developments:
  • New Gen 2 Silicon. We are encouraged to see new hardware enter into the market, particularly new silicon from Texas Instruments and Impinj. In our view, such new products provided end users with improved solution capability and greater supply options. We continue to see most supply chain end users as implementing tests and limited pilots.
  • Modest Supply Chain Progress; Closed Loop Gaining More Momentum. While many end users are seeing some level of improvement from using RFID (i.e., fewer out of stocks, improved display tracking, less packing rework), they remain in search of a positive ROI in using the technology. We have run across an increasing number of closed loop applications which appear to have positive ROIs. We are seeing closed loop applications in a number of industries, with the most common in healthcare and manufacturing.
  • Good Development Activity. We are seeing positive trends in partnerships, developed solutions and new program wins. Both active and passive equipment providers are partnering with software solution providers and end users in a wide variety of end markets to create new RFID solutions. Such solutions are a key driver in expanding RFID beyond supply chain applications.
  • Passport RFID Progress. The U.S. Department of State began issuing passports with embedded RFID chips. The chips will store the same information that is printed within the passport and will also include a digital picture of the owner. The passports will incorporate a thin metal lining to prevent unauthorized readers from "skimming" information when the passport is closed. The Government Printing Office has awarded a contract to produce the RFID tags to the French company Gemalto, according to a Gemalto press release. [RFID Update addendum: Recall also that Infineon yesterday announced it had received a multi-million piece order from the US government for e-passport chips.] The U.S. produced 10 million passports in 2005, and it has been estimated that 13 million will be produced in 2006.
  • Standards Activity -- Software. IBM and T3Ci announced the completion of interoperability testing of the Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) RFID software standard. The standard is designed to allow a company to efficiently use RFID data received from other companies in the supply chain, regardless of what applications created the data. IBM and T3Ci are co-chairs of the EPCglobal EPCIS Working Group, and expect EPCIS to be a ratified standard by late fall.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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