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RFID News Roundup

UPM RFID launches inlays, teams with NXP on NFC; Jamison RFID intros UHF portal; Confidex expands industrial tag family; NXP launches Global Partner Program; GuardRFID unveils active Staff Tag for RTLS; OATSystems, CSC Partner on part-marking package for Airbus; Orbiter unveils RFID power-control board.
Apr 15, 2011The following are news announcements made during the past week.

UPM RFID Launches Inlays, Teams With NXP on NFC
UPM RFID has introduced several new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) inlays, and has also announced a new collaboration with NXP Semiconductors regarding Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tags and inlays. The company has announced its MiniWeb and Web inlays, both based on NXP's Ucode G2iL UHF RFID chip. Both models have been designed especially for apparel applications, the company reports. The MiniWeb design is suitable for smaller label sizes, as well as for close-coupling applications. Both products can be converted into small hangtags and other apparel labels, and can work with products that are stacked very closely. In addition, the firm has introduced a new UPM Belt inlay based on the latest Monza 5 UHF RFID chip from Impinj (see Impinj Launches Products to Speed Item-Level Encoding). The Monza 5 chip, designed to support an encoding rate of up to 3,000 tags per minute, comes with a 48-bit serialized tag identifier (TID) memory. According to UPM RFID, the Belt Monza 5, which supports 128-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory, offers improved performance and quality over the company's established Belt tags and inlays. The Belt is designed for item-level, logistics and supply chain applications, the firm reports, and meets the requirements of retail apparel applications, due to a compact 3-inch form factor and special design that take into account RF requirements for close coupling, which occurs when RFID-tagged items are stacked in close proximity to each other. UPM RFID says it has been working with renowned independent test facilities, major retail end users and RFID hardware providers to test, qualify and approve UPM Belt tags and inlays, and that it has recently been included in the approved inlay list for boxed electronics by the University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center, a facility aimed at conducting research in technology deployment, data analytics and business cases for deploying radio frequency identification. In January 2011, the center opened its Arkansas Radio Compliance (ARC) Center to measure how well passive UHF Gen 2 RFID inlays can be read when applied on or around different materials in various environments for item-level tracking purposes (see Arkansas Radio Compliance Center Aims to Avert Clashing Requirements). High-volume production of the UPM Belt is slated to begin next month. The products were launched at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2011 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. Finally, UPM and NXP are collaborating on NFC technology; as part of the agreement, NXP will provide NFC ICs, while UPM RFID will design and manufacture NFC tags and inlays. UPM RFID already offers several NFC tag products based on NXP's technology, and the new collaboration will enable it to roll out high-volume NFC tags and inlays. "To better support growing demand for easy access NFC tags, we're also creating a global network of partners who provide Web-based online printing services for customized NFC tags," said Marcus Vaenerberg, UPM RFID's senior VP, in a prepared statement. "Ordering NFC tags will soon be as easy as ordering any other office supplies via the Web."

Jamison RFID Intros UHF Portal
Jamison RFID, a manufacturer of RFID portals, has unveiled a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) portal designed for capturing data from tags on assets, personnel and supply chain materials that require read-points inside smaller openings. The RFID Hawk, introduced at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2011 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla., is designed to read all EPC Gen 2 RFID tags at a distance of between several inches and 8 feet. It uses Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) to collect tag data, and includes an RFID reader and four high-gain RFID antennas. Designed to provide out-of-the-box capabilities, the RFID Hawk is currently sold with many major brands of RFID readers, including Motorola's FX-7400, Impinj's Speedway Revolution, the recently introduced M-6 from ThingMagic (a division of Trimble), and Intermec's IF2 Network readers. The antennas can be slightly angled to 15 degrees left or right, the company reports, and the entire unit can be mounted perpendicular to an opening on a wall or door frame. The Hawk unit offers alternative 15-degree antenna positioning, using a supplemental antenna bracket, enabling users to position antennas facing slightly inward or outward, depending on a particular application, the unique read requirements, and the direction of travel. According to the company, the unit—which is 39 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds—utilizes an 18-gauge powder-coated steel chassis with white or black ABS covers, and is suitable for use in retail areas, data centers, storage rooms, entrance and exit areas, and office environments.

Confidex Expands Industrial Tag Family
Confidex a Finnish tag manufacturer, has announced the expansion of its ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Ironside family of EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, designed for industrial applications. According to the company, the new Ironside Slim is designed and tuned to provide good on-metal functionality, combined with a slim structure. The tag is enclosed in a durable outdoor-resistant encapsulation, and enables a relatively wide radiation pattern—which, according to Confidex, provides a higher level of flexibility and reliability in various reader setups, both with fixed and handheld readers. This, in turn, enables more efficient and streamlined warehouse and logistics processes, the company indicates. In addition, Confidex has announced a new worldwide version of its most widely implemented Ironside UHF EPC Gen 2 tag. This global Ironside tag, as well as the Ironside Slim, offers read ranges of up to 8 to 9 meters (26 to 29.5 feet), making them suitable for various industrial-asset and returnable transit item (RTI) management applications, such as tracking train wagons, industrial metal pallets, stillages and intermediate bulk containers. The new products are available in volumes through the worldwide Confidex partner network.

NXP Launches Global Partner Program
NXP Semiconductors has launched its Global RFID Innovation Partner Program, which the company says is designed to encourage the development of RFID solutions. With a focus on systems integrators and solutions providers, as well as reader and software companies, the program aims to create a community that can share skills and expertise in order to drive RFID innovation, NXP reports. To date, the following companies have joined the NXP Global RFID Innovation Partner Program: Brazil's Acura Global; Austria's austriamicrosystems and RF-iT Solutions; India's CopperSpiral RFID; France's IER; Finland's Vilant; and the United States' Franwell, InSync Software and Thinkify. RFID systems integrators and solutions providers from around the world can also participate in the program, with the aim of sharing important technical, market and business-related information about RFID for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and electronics with a worldwide community, thereby minimizing the technological risk and cost involved in developing RFID technology, exchanging skills and experience regarding successful RFID implementations with a worldwide community, decreasing time to market and driving adoption.

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