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NXP to Unveil New UHF, HF Chips
The new models include the Ucode I2C, a high-memory EPC chip that can be embedded into computers and other devices in order to activate features or diagnose errors, and the Icode ILT, a high-frequency IC designed for high-volume, fast tag reading.
Apr 07, 2011—NXP Semiconductors is introducing four new passive RFID integrated circuits—the Ucode I²C, G2iM and G2iM+ ultra-high-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 chips and the Icode ILT high-frequency (HF) chip—that the company says will enable RFID tag manufacturers to offer end users new applications and capabilities. The company plans to showcase the new chips next week at RFID Journal LIVE! 2011, being held on Apr. 12-14, in Orlando, Fla.
The Ucode I²C has 3,328 bits of user memory—much greater than the 640 bits in the G2iM chips NXP is also introducing. But its key feature is a serial interface allowing it to be linked to a microprocessor, says Victor Vega, NXP's marketing director for RFID solutions. The inter-integrated circuit, or I²C, interface is a technology that Royal Philips Electronics developed more than 30 years ago, and which is now used widely in electronics (Philips spun out its semiconductor division as NXP in 2006).
The Ucode I²C functions as a standard passive EPC Gen 2 chip. Its memory is segmented into a 128-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC), a 96-bit unique Tag Identifier (TID)—which includes a 48-bit serial number—and 3,328 bits of user memory. Each memory segment can be written to, read and password-protected using an EPC Gen 2 RFID reader. But the chip can also collect data from and send information to a microprocessor, via its serial connection.
If embedded into a computer, a tablet or a cell phone, the chip could be used as a gateway to that device's main hard drive or processor. At the point of manufacture, the device could be set so as not to power up until a setting was changed in the Ucode chip. So in addition to being utilized as a means of automatically and uniquely identifying each device on, say, a pallet moving through the supply chain, the chip could also deter theft by making that device unusable. Once the device was received at a retail store or a distribution point, an RFID reader could be employed to change its setting so that it could be powered on.
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