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Alien Releases New IC With Longer Read-Write Range, Error Protection

The company's Higgs-EC chip and inlays, as well as an Android-based handheld reader, are all designed to accommodate the rapid growth of item-level RFID tagging and the need to read those tags in high volumes.
By Claire Swedberg

The chip also features higher sensitivity: -22.5 decibels per milliwatt (dBm) for reading and -19 dBm for writing. Users can encode the Higgs-EC as many as 200,000 times—twice the rate of other chips on the market, Alien reports—and contains 128 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) and user memory. The new IC measures only 490 micrometers by 479 micrometers (0.02 inch by 0.02 inch) and is 150 micrometers (0.006 inch) in thickness, enabling users to further shrink the size of inlays (based on antenna design), if needed.

The three new inlays made with the Higgs-EC are upgraded versions of previously introduced tags containing Alien's older Higgs 3 and Higgs 4 chips. The new Squiggle (ALN-9840), which measures 95 millimeters by 8 millimeters (3.7 inches by 0.3 inch), offers improved read and write distance compared with those of the Higgs 3 and Higgs 4 Squiggle tags—what the company calls the industry's most widely used and general-purpose tags for tracking items and assets. With the EC chip, Alien reports, the tag is optimized for high-volume enterprise, retail and apparel applications, such as apparel hangtags, baggage tags, shipping labels, file folder labels, pallet placards and various asset-management tagging uses.

From top to bottom: the Squiggle (ALN-9840), the Squiglette (ALN-9830) and the GT "Garment Tag" (ALN-9828)
The new Squiglette (ALN-9830), which measures 70 millimeters by 9.5 millimeters (2.8 inches by 0.4 inch), also offers improved read and write distances, as well as other Higgs-EC advantages, including Sentinel memory. It is designed for high-volume retail and apparel tagging, as well as for warehouse management and asset management.

Chris Chang, Alien's CEO
The new GT "Garment Tag" (ALN-9828), measuring 50 millimeters by 30 millimeters (2 inches by 2 inches), is designed specifically for hangtags, just like its immediate predecessor, which is made with a Higgs 4 chip.

The Higgs 3 and Higgs 4 chips, along with Alien tags made with those chips, will not be retired with the release of the Higgs-EC, Mitchell notes. He adds that the Higgs-EC and the new inlays will be priced similarly to the Higgs 4 chip and inlays.

All three new inlays are available for delivery now, and will be on display and available for demonstration at LIVE! 2016, in Alien Technology's booth (#404).

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