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Embisphere unveils multipurpose UHF RFID reader for retailers ••• GAO RFID launches new family of on-metal RFID tags ••• ON Semiconductor, RFMicron intro RFID sensor platform for IoT applications ••• Nordic ID launches new fixed UHF RFID reader, antennas ••• NXP unveils NFC RFID chips for next-gen applications ••• Ams, STMicroelectronics co-develop solution for secure NFC transactions.
By Beth Bacheldor

ON Semiconductor, RFMicron Intro RFID Sensor Platform for IoT Applications

ON Semiconductor and RFMicron have partnered to develop a plug-and-play development tool designed to speed up the deployment of wireless passive sensor solutions onto any Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform. The IoT Platform Development Kit, SensorRFGEVK, brings together computing and connectivity modules, the two companies report, in order to facilitate quick and effective deployment of battery-free wireless sensing technology and IoT hardware in locations where power and space constraints are of particular concern.

Each IoT Platform Development Kit incorporates ON Semiconductor's battery-free wireless sensor tags, which use RFMicron's Magnus S2 Sensor RFID chip, and can perform temperature, moisture, pressure or proximity sensing functions. The platform also features an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader module with a power rating of 32 decibel-milliwatts (dBm) and a frequency range of 860 to 960 MHz. Localized data processing is performed by the ARM Cortex-A8-based AM335x system-on-chip (SoC). The platform has the capacity to transfer captured data either wirelessly (via WLAN, ZigBee, Z-Wave, UHF Gen 2, etc.) or using a wireline infrastructure (via KNX, CAN, SPI, Ethernet and so forth).

The IoT Platform Development Kit, SensorRFGEVK
The kit's accompanying software allows the platform to fit seamless into any supported network, serving as a dedicated node, according to the two companies. Built-in application firmware will assist engineers in implementing more effective IoT-based data-acquisition and -monitoring systems, the companies say, irrespective of their experience level. The kit also includes a system motherboard with an LCD touchscreen, a BeagleBone single-board Linux computer, a wireless communication board, a DC power supply and cable, a directional reader antenna, a coaxial antenna cable, an SD card for system restore, and a USB cable for connecting peripherals to the BeagleBone, as well as five temperature-sensing tags and five moisture-sensing tags.

The kit currently ships without a dedicated pressure sensor. However, ON Semiconductor says it has plans to include one in the near future. Both of the tags that come with the kit can be used for proximity sensing, which is defined in the relationship to the antenna of an RFID interrogator ecosystem and is based on the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) that the tag sends every time it is interrogated. In addition, the new development kit complements ON Semiconductor's existing wireless sensor, the SPS1M-EVK, which provides a set of tools to test sensor capabilities.

"This IoT Platform Development Kit opens up greater opportunities for IoT-based data-acquisition/monitoring enabling the implementation of wireless sensors quickly and effectively into many applications. Using it, the data from multiple sensors can rapidly be accessed, analyzed and used on multiple backend networks," said Gary Straker, the VP and general manager of ON Semiconductor's protection and signal division, in a prepared statement. "As a result of this platform, wireless sensing technology can now be deployed into application scenarios where a mains supply is simply not available or where replacing batteries would be too difficult and costly to undertake. This ground-breaking product will markedly broaden the scope of IoT deployment and this development kit offers a tool that makes evaluating the technology simple for multiple application use cases. Through this wireless sensing technology we will be able to connect what was previously un-connectable."

The wireless sensor IoT Platform Development Kit, SensorRFGEVK, and the wireless evaluation kit, SPS1M-EVK, are available now at ON Semiconductor's website or through all franchised distributors.

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