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Murata Mass-Produces 'World's Smallest HF Tag'

The 3.2-millimeter tag can be attached to a range of objects, enabling item-level tracking of goods via an NFC-enabled phone or other reader compliant with the ISO 15693 standard.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 11, 2012Electronic component manufacturer Murata Manufacturing Co. indicates that by the end of this month, it will begin shipping in large volumes what it believes to be the world's smallest high-frequency (HF) tag. Measuring 3.2 millimeters (0.13 inch) in width and length and 0.7 millimeter (0.03 inch) in thickness, the tag (model LXMS33HCNG-134) is one-tenth the size of most other HF tags. Murata's version is designed to be both durable and small, with a ceramic substrate enclosing a layered circuit board and an antenna.

Murata's HF tag measures 3.2 millimeters wide and 0.7 millimeter thick.

Murata produces ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, as well as components used to create readers of 13.56 MHz HF tags. However, this is the first time the firm is producing an HF tag. The new tag comes with an NXP Semiconductors Icode SLIX integrated circuit (compliant with the ISO 15693 standard) and its own self-contained antenna. The tag is the latest to employ Murata's Magicstrap RFID technology—previously used only for UHF tags (see Electronics Factory Uses RFID to Manage Assembly of Cisco Circuit Boards)—designed to make RFID-tagging possible in places that larger tags could not be utilized, due to either size constraints or environmental conditions.

Kaz Higashibata, Murata's RFID project manager
Murata accomplishes the small size of its HF tag (with a built-in antenna) due to the multi-layer approach of its Magicstrap technology, according to Kaz Higashibata, the company's RFID project manager. Murata's multi-layer circuit board, which it uses for its UHF tags as well, includes more than 10 layers (the details of this layering process are proprietary). "We have a lot of know-how in the RFID side, and a lot is based on the multi-layer technology," he states. As the tag is manufactured, the antenna is placed in the ceramic material of the tag's substrate, and is then fired at a low temperature.

The HF tag, which can be applied to items containing an adhesive, offers 1024 bits of memory and a maximum read range of about 15 millimeters (0.6 inch), which is shorter than that of many other high-frequency models. Higashibata believes that the shorter read range should not greatly affect end users, since HF tags are typically deployed for applications in which an individual taps a reader directly against a tag in order to capture data.


Greg LEE 2019-07-17 03:49:47 PM
May I know whats the latest smallest dimension about Tag now. Thans!!

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