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Impinj Introduces New, Lower-Cost UHF Reader Chip
The R500 joins the company's R1000 and R2000 Indy chip family, and will be aimed at embedded applications and handhelds that don't require a long read range or high throughput.
Jul 29, 2010—Impinj, a provider of passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification technology, today announced the introduction of its Indy R500 UHF RFID reader chip. The chip, which combines many of the electronic components used in UHF interrogators on a single silicon microchip, is designed for applications that do not require a long read range or the ability to read many tags quickly. According to Impinj, the new chip will cost 25 percent to 30 percent less than its midrange reader chip, the Indy R1000, which the company began selling in July 2008 (see Impinj Acquires Intel's UHF RFID Reader Chip Operation). Like the other models in the firm's roster of Indy chips, the R500 supports the EPCglobal Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C specifications, as well as the full 840 to 960 MHz UHF RFID band.
"The R500 fleshes out our product line offering for Indy reader chips," says Bill Colleran, Impinj's president and CEO. "We are seeing a significant pickup in volume in embedded applications and handhelds that don't have huge performance requirements, so we decided to go back down in performance to address those applications where price might be more important than performance."
According to Colleran, the R500 employs the same programming interface as the R1000 and the R2000, which the firm unveiled in April 2009 (see Impinj Adds New Products, Agreements to Its Portfolio), so reader manufacturers that have developed products based on either of the company's existing reader chips will be able to quickly and cost-effectively transfer their product-development knowledge to the R500. He adds that having a high-, medium- and low-end chip with the same programming interface lowers development costs, while also enabling reader manufacturers to create a suite of products to meet their customers' needs.
Impinj is seeing strong growth in sales of the R1000 and R2000 reader chips, Colleran says—about double the annualized run rate seen late last year. "This is fertile ground for us," he states. "Our customers were asking us for a cheaper version of the R1000 that could be used for applications where performance isn't critical, so we decided to extend the line."
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