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Impinj Schedules Takeoff for New Baggage-Tracking Tag

The company's R6-B UHF RFID integrated circuit is designed to offer the features of the R6 family of chips—durability, sensitivity and auto-tuning—to the airline and airport industries, while operating seamlessly with its existing RFID printers.
By Claire Swedberg
Tags: Aerospace
Sep 12, 2018

Aiming at providing an improved UHF RAIN RFID tag IC for baggage handling, technology company Impinj has announced a new product that it claims will boost sensitivity and accuracy over existing ICs to help airlines and airports more effectively deploy RFID baggage-tracking systems ahead of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s recommended practice (RP). The RP 1740C endorses UHF RFID tags on all bag tags manufactured after January 2020.

The Monza R6-B is a new version of the company's Monza R6 chip that operates with airspace infrastructure already in use to track baggage. The new IC will allow airlines and airports to ensure a better read rate and range with auto-tune functionality and a higher sensitivity than the Monza 5 (see New Impinj Chip Promises Higher Sensitivity, Read Range and Flexibility).

Impinj's R6-B UHF RFID integrated circuit
The new chip is being deployed in sample versions with RFID inlay manufacturers, explains Carl Brasek, Impinj's silicon product management VP, and is aimed specifically at baggage-tracking applications to make it that much easier for companies meet the IATA 2020 goal (see Airline Industry Embraces RFID Baggage Track and NXP, Other Companies Preparing for Influx of RFID Baggage Technology Requests).

Many of the tags now being used to identify and track luggage as it moves through airports contain Monza 5 chips, Brasek says, and they are working well. However, he adds, chips in the R6 family better lend themselves to such applications. Large volumes of bags, often stacked and moving on conveyors, provide challenges for fixed RFID reader systems—which is where the Monza R6-B features provide benefits, Impinj reports.

The R6 chips can be encoded at a rate of 32 bits per 1.6 milliseconds, according to Impinj, and have about a 25 percent longer read range than the Monza 5 or equivalent chips. Auto-tuning enables the IC to automatically retune the antenna every time it is interrogated, thereby making it more responsive, on average, than other chips.

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