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RFID News Roundup

IDS Microchip unveils kit for UHF RFID chip with data logger, sensor; RFID Global Solution launches Visi-Trac Cloud Services; Invengo announces tags with Impinj Monza 4 chips, new UHF EPC Gen 2 handheld reader; Confidex unveils new tags for returnable plastic containers; Lygase, UPM Raflatac, Jamison and ThingMagic partner on RFID event-management platform; RCD Technology develops passive RFID cargo tag.
Apr 08, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

IDS Microchip Unveils Kit for UHF RFID Chip With Data Logger, Sensor
Fabless semiconductor company IDS Microchip has begun shipping development kits for an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID sensor and data-logging chip, the IDS-SL900A. Based on the EPC Gen 2 standard, the single-chip solution includes an integrated temperature sensor and 9 kilobits of EEPROM memory, and is designed to help track and ensure the quality and freshness of medicines and food, as well as monitor environmental conditions. Like the IDS-SL13A high-frequency (HF) version IDS Microchip, introduced last year, the new chip can automatically track, monitor, time-stamp and record the temperatures of any goods in the supply chain, the company reports. When attached to external sensors, it can also be used to track such things as pressure, humidity, light and sound. The chip can be configured to automatically notify users of an event, thus enabling various applications in the cold-chain, pharmaceutical, food, health and construction industries, according to IDS Microchip. For example, it might be used in a bridge's concrete footings or roadbed to automatically detect humidity, which can affect a structure's function and safety. The IDS-SL900A has a read range of up to 5 or 6 meters (16 to 20 feet). The SL900A works in semi-passive (battery-assisted) or fully passive modes. "The new SL900A chip and sensor helps prevent the use of expired or faulty goods that could endanger people's lives," said Oluf Alminde, IDS Microchip's director of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. "For example, in medical and health-care applications, its automatic alarm can be set to warn users when freshness dates expire for food or pharmaceutical items such as insulin in the fridge, or for goods on store shelves." The SL900A development kit is a complete system (UHF reader board and smart active label), IDS Microchip reports, and includes demo application and graphical user interface software, with source codes, a comprehensive library of frequently asked questions, and application notes and implementation hints. Series production for the chip is planned for Q3 2010, the company indicates, with pricing at less than $3 per chip. The IDS-SL900A development kit is shipping now, and IDS Microchip will demonstrate the system in Booth 749 at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, to be held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 14-16.

RFID Global Solution Launches RFID-enabled Visi-Trac Cloud Services
RFID Global Solution, a provider of real-time visibility solutions, has announced the availability of its Visi-Trac Cloud Services (CS), a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model for the enterprise version of Visi-Trac. Visi-Track is a software platform designed to capture data from a variety of RFID and sensor technologies, including active and passive RFID, ultra-wideband (UWB), GPS, bar-code and temperature-sensor technologies, then map that information in a variety of dashboard applications. Built on Microsoft's BizTalk Server, Visi-Trac enables businesses to create zones for location tracking, as well as set alerts that can be sent out via e-mail, SMS text-messaging and other alerting options, if a particular asset crosses a zone. In addition to zone tracking, the software's mapping functions also support chokepoint read capabilities. Visi-Trac CS provides the same data-capture, aggregation, reporting and back-end integration as the enterprise version, but enables customers to adopt and deploy RFID with little to no software installation, according to RFID Global Solution. Like the enterprise software version, Visi-Trac CS can be integrated, via application programming interfaces, into enterprise systems, including those from IBM, Oracle, SAP and others. According to RFID Global Solution, key features of Visi-Trac CS include Web-based access, an easy-to-use interface, and support for multiple host types. Additional features include a full suite of secure Web services for data access, real-time reporting, alert notifications, more than a dozen standard reports, support for Visi-Trac Mobile client devices, and a 99.9 percent availability guarantee. With per-user/per-month billing plans, Visi-Trac CS requires no upfront costs for small to midsize businesses that wish to take advantage of the benefits of RFID. The level of investment can be paced to meet a particular customer's adoption needs. "The introduction of Visi-Trac Cloud Services simplifies deployments by removing time, cost and complexity from setup and installation," said Diana Hage, RFID Global Solution's president and CEO, in a prepared statement. "We want to change our customers' experience with RFID and make it easy and affordable to get started." The company will provide additional information about Visi-Trac CS in Booth 227 at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, to be held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 14-16.

Invengo Announces Tags With Impinj Monza 4, Release of UHF Gen 2 Handheld Reader
RFID equipment manufacturer Invengo Technology Corp. has announced the launch of a new range of EPC Gen 2 tags made with Impinj's new Monza 4QT chip (see Impinj Launches New High-Performance RFID Chips), and a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) handheld reader. The inlays conform to the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards, and come in two sizes: the XC-TF8023-C06 is 65 millimeters by 65 millimeters (2.6 inches by 2.6 inches) and the XC-TF8024-C06 is 50 millimeters by 30 millimeters (2.0 inches by 1.2 inches). (Invengo is also offering inlays at 30 millimeters by 15 millimeters, as well as 23 millimeters by 12 millimeters, on request.) The new inlays are omni-directional and delivered on rolls to enable ease of scalability in high-volume conversion and end-user application environments, Invengo reports. They also support three-dimensional (3D) antenna technology, eliminating orientation-related missed reads or blind spots, which often occur in item-level applications. The inlays offer 128 bits of memory for encoding an Electronic Product Code (EPC), and 512 bits of user memory. Through Impinj's QT technology for data protection, an owner or user can maintain two separate data profiles on the tags (one public, one private), thereby allowing the confidentiality of business-sensitive data while also assuring consumer privacy. The information stored in the private data profile is protected by a password-controlled command, and may be accessed only at very short read distances. Invengo's new handheld device, the XCRF-2900F6C, is a UHF EPC Gen 2 portable reader with a rugged design that comes with an eight-hour battery life. It is available with an integrated 1-D or 2-D bar-code scanner, in addition to Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth capabilities. Invengo will showcase its new products in Booth 254 at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, to be held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 14-16.

Confidex Unveils New Tags for Returnable Plastic Containers
RFID tag manufacturer Confidex has announced two new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tags, the Confidex Ironside Micro and the RPC (returnable plastic container), designed for use on returnable transit items (RTIs). According to Confidex, RTIs are used widely throughout many industries for transporting food, warehousing goods, or storing or supplying parts to car manufacturing plants. The Ironside Micro is tuned for use on metal, and has an encapsulation that has an IP68 rating, signifying it is water- and dust-proof. The Ironside Micro requires an installation space of approximately 1 square inch, and the read range is up to 4 meters (13 inches) with the maximum allowed reader power. The Confidex RPC tag is designed to meet the challenges presented by washable plastic container applications in various ways. Some of the main challenges in this area, Confidex notes, are restrictions in the sizes of the areas available for attaching tags. Moreover, both the contents in the plastic crates and the level of risk for mechanical impacts are to be considered when selecting a suitable tag for any given application. The three products in the RPC tag family—Carrier, Carrier Pro and Carrier Tough—meet the stringent requirements of plastic-container tagging, the company reports. Confidex will showcase the Ironside Micro and RPC tag family in Booth 226 at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, to be held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 14-16.

Lygase, UPM Raflatac, Jamison and ThingMagic Partner on RFID Event-Management Platform
RFID business intelligence solutions company Lygase RFID Solutions is partnering with UPM Raflatac, ThingMagic, Jamison, a division of manufacturer Jamison Door Co. and a supplier of RFID enclosures, pedestals and portals. The four companies are working together to demonstrate the Lygase SmartEvents application at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, to be held in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), on Apr. 14-16 (see At Dragon Boat Race, RFID Captures Festival-goers and RFID Journal LIVE! to Feature Groundbreaking RFID Business Intelligence System). Offered as a Web-hosted business intelligence application, the Lygase SmartEvents system is designed to improve the business efficiencies of venue owners, event organizers, exhibitors and attendees by automating lead capture, improving targeted marketing and providing attendees with timely and valuable information regarding their event experience, according to the companies. The application is powered by ThingMagic Astra UHF RFID readers, housed in Jamison Gnome portals. The system will be deployed throughout dozens of presentation rooms and open areas of the OCCC. Attendee badges will contain UPM Raflatac's Monza 3 Frog EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tags. ThingMagic Astra readers will collect and feed data from RFID-tagged attendee badges to the SmartEvents system, showcasing the solution's live and post-event features and benefits. The ThingMagic Astra readers will be housed in Gnome RFID Portals, provided by Jamison. The Gnome RFID series of portals, the company reports, include customizable stands with aesthetically pleasing side wood or aluminum trims and cover options, making them suitable for use in retail, data center, clinic, office and convention environments. Throughout the three-day LIVE! event, SmartEvents will be demonstrated to the conference audience, highlighting how RFID can automate event access, streamline registration, support targeted marketing offerings, enhance attendee analysis, and add value to lead-generation and sales activities, the companies report. "The highly accurate automated data collection and flexible deployment options delivered by these partnerships provide tremendous business value to each of our customer segments," said Ketrus D. Collins, Lygase's president, in a prepared statement. Lygase will exhibit at LIVE! 2010 in Booth 732, UPM Raflatac will be in Booth 334, and Jamison, in Booth 541.

RCD Technology Develops Passive RFID Cargo Tag
RCD Technology a designer and manufacturer of application-specific RFID products, has announced its Atlas Cargo Tag, an EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag designed for tracking large, mobile assets such as trailers, military vehicles, and shipping and cargo containers, as well as other equipment difficult to track. The tag has a read range of more than 50 feet, and measures 5 inches by 8 inches by 0.625 inch. Shipcom Wireless, an RFID software provider headquartered in Houston, Texas, tested the Atlas Cargo Tag for use in offshore oil-rig container-tracking applications, according to RCD. "The read range ability of the Atlas Cargo Tag consistently demonstrated superior performance with mobile and fixed readers delivering close to 80 feet in read range," said Sam Falsafi, Shipcom Wireless' senior principal of oil and gas, in a prepared statement. The new cargo tag, an extension of RCD's current Sentry product line, is designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and can be mechanically attached or adhered to any surface, including metal, wood and other industrial materials.
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