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Fujitsu Announces Roomy 64KB Gen2 RFID Tag

Fujitsu announced a Gen2-standard RFID chip with 64 kilobytes of user memory, which it claims is a world first for UHF RFID memory. Fujitsu is initially marketing the FRAM-based chip for aircraft maintenance applications. The product is expected to be available in the spring.
Jan 10, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 10, 2008—Japan's Fujitsu this week announced a Gen2-standard RFID tag with 64 kilobytes (KB) of memory, which it claims is the highest-capacity Gen2 tag available. Fujitsu is initially marketing the tag for aircraft maintenance applications. Aircraft manufacturers and airlines use RFID for a variety of parts tracking and maintenance management applications, and have stated their desire for tags that could be read at long range with enough memory to hold maintenance history data.

Fujitsu's tag uses ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) memory technology, which features a film capacitor for data storage. Fujitsu manufactures numerous FRAM memory products, which it claims provide capacity and read/write advantages over EEPROM memory. The company said the memory on its Gen2 tag enables the use of special security features, including password protection for different areas of memory. Fujitsu already had 13.56 MHz FRAM RFID chips on the market, with up to 2KB memory.

Fujitsu will begin selling the 64KB Gen2 tags sometime between April and June of this year, according to the release. The total memory size is 65,536 bytes, which includes 1,280 bytes designated for system memory and 64,256 bytes for user memory.

Last fall NXP Semiconductors announced its UCODE G2XM chip with 512 bits of user memory and 880 total bits, which it claimed at the time was the highest capacity Gen2 chip available (see NXP Doubles Memory on Gen2 RFID Chips). When Boeing announced it selected Intelleflex to provide RFID tags for its 787 Dreamliner tagging program in 2006, it noted Intelleflex's 64-kilobit tags had the highest memory capacity available in UHF frequencies.

NXP cited tracking automotive parts and airline luggage as potential markets for its chip. Fujitsu, by contrast, is focused squarely on aircraft maintenance. "In recent years, the aviation industry has striven to raise the quality and efficiency of aircraft maintenance by improving traceability of parts. In line with this trend, a need has arisen for high-capacity RFID tags which can store not only part identification codes but also product and part maintenance history data," Fujitsu said in its release. "Fujitsu's new RFID tag will increase the quality and the efficiency of aircraft maintenance operations by enabling the traceability of various products and maintenance information for parts exchanged between companies and across nations around the world."

Analysts and vendors like Motorola have identified aircraft maintenance as a strong potential market for RFID (see MRO is Major RFID Opportunity for Aero and Defense and Motorola on Aviation Adoption of RFID). Leading aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing each use RFID to track parts and provide maintenance information, and have been leaders in promoting industry adoption (see Airbus Taps ODIN, Signals Aerospace RFID Adoption).

Read the announcement from Fujitsu
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