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TI Releases Tiny Multiprotocol HF RFID Reader Chip
Texas Instruments today introduced a high frequency (13.56 MHz) RFID integrated circuit (IC) reader that processes multiple protocols including ISO 14443A/B, ISO 15693, ISO 18000-3, plus TI's own Tag-It portfolio. TI's smallest HF reader, the IC measures 5 by 5 millimeters and is designed for OEMs.
Jan 10, 2007—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
January 10, 2007—Texas Instruments today announced its smallest high frequency (13.56 MHz) RFID reader, an integrated circuit (IC) that measures 5 by 5 millimeters. The new TRF7960(1) family of multiprotocol ICs supports the ISO 14443A/B, ISO 15693, ISO 18000-3 standards, plus TI's Tag-It RFID protocol.
IC readers are self-contained on a single microchip that can be integrated into other devices. TI's new product was designed to be OEM'd in the handheld readers of third-party vendors, or to be embedded in devices such as contactless payment terminals, inkjet cartridges, and glucose monitors. TI expects the first OEM products with the new reader IC to be released this quarter.
"By making the IC smaller we can address the need of the handheld reader space. A single-chip solution can be used in more areas," TI's Jeff Kohnle told RFID Update.
The TRF7960(1) family includes several innovations that improve performance and suitability for OEM use, according to Johnsy Varghese, Texas Instruments' manager of HF reader products. These features include:
In general, IC-based readers are smaller and cheaper than readers assembled with off-the-shelf electronic components, as Gen2 UHF readers currently are. The Gen2 reader sales volumes have not yet been large enough for vendors to justify developing Gen2 reader ICs, which involves expensive design and silicon manufacturing. However, progress is underway, and a few vendors are planning to have a Gen2 reader chipset to market within the next 12 to 18 months. This will be an important milestone indeed, as the reduced cost and form factor will break open the number of potential applications for Gen2. For more, see ABI: Chipsets Key to RFID Reader Cost Reductions.
In October, 2006 WJ Communications announced what it claimed was the first Gen2 RFID silicon reader chipset, although it was designed specifically for PDAs, handhelds, and other mobile devices. SkyeTek bills its SkyeModule M9 as the world's smallest globally-compliant UHF reader module. Its smallest configuration is a Compact Flash (CF) module that measures 66 by 36 millimeters -- significantly larger than TI's new 5 by 5 millimeter HF chipset.
Earlier this week, SkyeTek and Atmel announced collaboration on a new HF reader for high security applications, and ThingMagic announced an upgrade to Gen2 reader software (see Two New Developments in RFID Reader Technology).
Read the announcement from Texas Instruments
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