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RFID News Roundup

Farsens unveils battery-free RFID voltage-level monitoring tag ••• WiSpry incorporates MEMS-tuned RFID antenna technology in SkyeTek readers ••• ZeitControl intros industrial RFID reader for controlling machinery ••• CipherLab launches longer-range UHF RFID handheld reader ••• Defense Dept. seeks info regarding use of RFID to track soldiers' remains ••• Endeavour announces Bluetooth-enabled beacon-management platform.
By Beth Bacheldor
Feb 05, 2015

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Farsens; WiSpry, SkyeTek; ZeitControl Cardsystems; CipherLab; U.S. Transportation Command; and Endeavour.

Farsens Unveils Battery-free RFID Voltage-Level Monitoring Tag

Farsens, a Spanish developer of RFID sensor tags, has announced a new passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag designed to measure voltage levels. The battery-free tag complies with the EPC Gen 2 specifications, and is capable of transmitting a unique identifier and associated voltage-level measurement data to a UHF commercial reader.

Farsens' VMETER-DCLV10
The VMETER-DCLV10 can measure voltages in a range from 0 volts to 1.5 volts, with an adjustable gain of 1 to 1,000. According to Farsens, it features 96 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory, a 32-bit tag identifier (TID) and a password-protected kill command. The tag comes in a variety of antenna designs and sizes, in order to adapt performance to the required application in the 860 to 960 MHz band. A reader transmitting a 2-watt effective radiated power (ERP) signal can read the tag at a distance of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet). The VMETER-DCLV10 can also be encapsulated in an IP67 or IP68 casing for usage within harsh environments. Evaluation kits are now available, the company reports.

WiSpry Announces Incorporate MEMS-Tuned Antenna Technology in SkyeTek Readers

WiSpry, a provider of tunable radio frequency micromechanical (RF MEMS) semiconductor products for the wireless industry, has announced that SkyeTek's SkyeModule Nova reader module uses WiSpry's MEMS digitally tunable capacitor array. The WiSpry technology is designed to automatically correct impedance mismatches between a reader and an antenna.

The Supernova reader is smaller than a business card.
The SkyeModule Nova is a compact ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID module. SkyeTek, a provider of RFID technology headquartered in Denver, Colo., announced the device in July 2014 (see SkyeTek Unveils New UHF RFID Module). Competing RFID readers face difficulties in achieving a maximum read range with real-world antennas, and either consume additional RF energy or simply fail to work at full range, according to the two companies. With the tunability and low loss of WiSpry RF MEMS, the firms explain, the SkyeModule Nova reader optimizes the match between the antenna and reader without sacrificing power or range. This allows the system to run with greater efficiency, generating less heat and saving energy even at long read ranges.

SkyeTek employs the SkyeModule Nova to make its SuperNova reader. With a footprint smaller than a business card, the SuperNova is the world's smallest fixed RFID reader, SkyeTek claims. Released in July, the SuperNova does not require any other power source besides USB to achieve maximum output power. Each of two antenna ports can be selected via software, and the system utilizes WiSpry's MEMS digitally tunable capacitor array, so that any antenna can be connected and automatically tuned for optimal performance.

"The WiSpry MEMS Digitally Tunable Capacitor Array has allowed us to provide adaptive antenna tuning without significant reduction in module output power," said Mark Matlin, SkyeTek's senior RF engineer and antenna-tuning project manager, in a prepared statement. According to Matlin, the technology has enabled SkyeTek to tune over a significant range of impedances with a single part—a process that would not be possible with any other device at this time, he indicated.

The SuperNova reader is available through SkyeTek resellers, including Atlas RFID Solutions. The SkyeModule Nova is also available via resellers, including Digi-Key.

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