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RFID News Roundup

VDC revises market projection upward; FEIG introduces industrial mid-range reader; CHEP launches PLUS ID service; SATO provides EPC hardware and services; DOD to hold Webinar for suppliers; EM Micro unveils ISO-compliant chip.
By Bob Violino
Mar 12, 2004The following are news announcements made during the week of March 8.

VDC Revises Market Projection Upwards
Given the recent spate of RFID implementation announcements by Metro, Target, Tesco and most recently Albertsons, Venture Development Corp., a Natick, Mass., technology research firm, has adjusted its worldwide market projection for RFID transponders readers and software from $1.65 billion in 2005 to $2.13 billion. The company says the market will grow at a compound annual rate of 37 percent during 2004 and 2005, instead of 21 percent, as VDC originally forecast.

FEIG Introduces Industrial Mid-range Reader
FEIG Electronic, a German reader manufacturer, has introduced a new 13.56 MHz RFID reader for use industrial environments. The ID ISC.MR200, part of FEIG's OBID i-scan family of readers, comes in an aluminum housing that protects it from dust, dirt and water. It has a read range of up to 70 cm, and was designed to fill the gap between the company's ID ISC.MR100 (read range of up to 40 cm) and its long-range ID ISC.LR200 (read range of up to 140 cm). The ID ISC.MR200 works with ISO 15693 and EPC tags. It will be available in commercial volumes in July or August. Pricing has not been set.

CHEP Launches PLUS ID Service
CHEP, the Orlando, Fla., provider of wooden pallets, reusable containers and other supply assets, has launched PLUS ID, a service offering that includes RFID-enabled CHEP pallets; support applications to collect, store and process data; and upgrades to ensure compliance with emerging EPC standards. The service is available immediately. CHEP plans to charge a premium on its existing rental fees, but says the exact amount of the premium will not be set until it completes trials with several customers.

SATO Provides EPC Hardware and Services
SATO America, a Charlotte, N.C., maker of bar code printers, has launched an EPC hardware and services offering. The hardware includes SATO's CL408e and CL412e UHF RFID printers, which can print bar codes and human readable characters and write to RFID tags using EPC Class 1, ISO 18000 and EM Marin protocols. The consulting service includes preplanning consultation, on-site survey, pilot planning and implementation, and postpilot consultation and customer service. SAMSys Technologies of Toronto is providing the multiprotocol readers for the printers.

DOD To Hold Webinar For Suppliers
The U.S. Department of Defense will hold a free Webinar entitled RFID: What You Must Know as a DOD Supplier on March 26 at 12 p.m. EST. Ann Grackin, CEO of ChainLik research, will lead a discussion with Alan Estevez, the DOD's lead for the RFID initiative. Estevez will explain the DOD RFID requirements, talk about current implementation status and highlight the lessons learned from the pilots underway.

EM Micro Unveils ISO-Compliant Chip
Swiss semiconductor company EM Microelectronic has developed the first UHF RFID integrated circuit that is fully compliant with ISO 18000-6A, which is expected to be approved as a global standard in the first half of this year. The EM4223 is a 128-bit read-only UHF chip that can operate from 865 MHz to 2.5 GHz. EM Micro says transponders using the EM4223 microchip can be read at a distance of more than 15 meters (45 feet) when using an optimized transponder antenna. The chip will be available in production volumes in the second quarter and will cost less than 10 cents in large volumes.

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