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NXP to Release More Sensitive UHF Chip With New Functionality

The UCODE 8 is designed for 20 percent higher read sensitivity, built-in brand identification, automatic adjustment for international tag reads, and faster label assembly with improved pad structure.
By Claire Swedberg

The auto-adjust feature in the chip enables it to be read faster and more effectively, no matter what region of the world it is in or to what material or product the label is applied. For instance, although the UHF band covers 860 MHZ to 960 MHz, Europe uses the UHF 865 to 868 MHz frequency range, while North America uses 902 to 928 MHz.

Currently, tags may not be read as reliably in a different region of the world if they were built for a specific frequency band. "One label may be optimized for a particular region," Kodritsch says, such as Asia, and then be shipped through a distribution center in Europe, where it must be interrogated with a different frequency, and then to a store in North America with yet another frequency within the UHF band.

The assembly of labels with the UCODE 8 is made easier due to the unique shape of the chip's pads. It comes with a four-sided pad structure that provides dual-axis glue spacer (space for glue to affix the chip to the antenna) along with the UCODE's standard, corrosion-free, large-area gold bumps that ensure a better application of glues and thus faster, more effective assembly as the chips are affixed to antennas.

Although the chip is being marketed as a solution to support omnichannels in the retail sector, Kodritsch says, it is also intended for use in other industries. "Retail is the biggest market today," he states, "but the UCODE 8 is perfectly suited for other applications in industrial, medical and fast-moving consumer goods sectors."

The new chip is being sampled in July 2017 and is expected to be made commercially available in September. The company is demonstrating the new chip at its booth at RFID Journal LIVE! 2017, being held this week in Phoenix, Ariz. It has thus far been tested by Auburn University's RFID Lab, Kodritsch reports, "and it's already produced very promising results."

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