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EPCglobal US Conference News

STMicroelectronics unveils Gen 2 chip; PSC releases handheld with new Sirit reader; Accu-Sort releases RFID software; SAP certifies Acsis' DataLink Integration; SAMSys offers Gen 2 Starter Kit; ConnecTerra releases Enterprise Server; UPM Rafsec Gen 2 OneTenna inlay available; Avery Dennison starts Gen 2 tag production.
By Ari Juels
Sep 14, 2005The following are some of the news announcements made during this week's EPCglobal U.S. Conference in Atlanta.

STMicroelectronics Unveils Gen 2 Chip
Chipmaker STMicroelectronics, based in Geneva, Switzerland, announced it has developed the XRAG2 chip for use in EPC UHF Class 1 Gen 2 RFID tags. The company has begun shipping samples of the chips to major partners, it says, and will make samples more widely available within the next few weeks. Production quantities of the chips, expected by December, will cost $0.07 each for 100,000 units. Once the XRAG2 is in full production, the company reportedly plans to ship several million chips each quarter. The product can be ordered in unprocessed wafers, or as wafers that have been bumped (fitted with metal pads for attachment to an antenna) and sawn, or scored. The XRAG2 can execute all of the functions and features described in the Gen 2 protocol (including dense reader mode operation, password protection and kill commands), according to STMicroelectronics. However, while the Gen 2 chip has four times the complexity of a Gen 1 chip, its price will match that of the Gen 1 thanks to a new, proprietary manufacturing process. The XRAG2 can hold 432 bits of memory, has 40-year data retention and can be used for more than 10,000 write-erase cycles, says the company.

PSC Releases Handheld With New Sirit Reader
PSC, a provider of mobile RFID readers and bar code scanners, based in Eugene, Oregon, has released the Falcon 5500, a handheld computer capable of reading EPC UHF Class 0, Class 1 and Gen 2 tags, as well as bar codes. PSC has embedded Sirit's Infinity 210 UHF RFID reader module into the Falcon 5500, integrated with the bar code scanner, which uses a Windows CE operating system with an Intel XScale processor. The Falcon 5500 is available with an embedded Wi-Fi radio to send data to the user's network. Alternatively, data can be collected and stored on the Falcon's 64 megabytes of memory, then downloaded into the user's network through a serial connection. Available now, the Falcon 5500 costs between $5,000 and $6,000, depending on the type of embedded bar code scanner, and whether it has a Wi-Fi radio. At the EPCglobal US Conference in Atlanta this week, the Falcon 5500 was demonstrated reading and writing Gen 2 tags made with chips from Texas Instruments.

Accu-Sort Releases RFID Software
Accu-Sort Systems, a company specializing in material-handling solutions and designs, has introduced two new software products to help companies deploy RFID tagging systems. The company deploys automated bar code labeling and RFID tagging systems for consumer goods manufacturers. Its Device Management platform controls devices, including fixed RFID interrogators, RFID printer-encoders, bar code scanners, handheld readers and scanners, conveyors and automatic label applicators. This platform collects data from such devices and exchanges EPC data with Accu-Sort's DataServer software. DataServer generates and manages EPCs and can feed EPC data into a company’s warehouse management system or other application. The Device Management and DataServer software products are part of Accu-Sort's FAST Tag Tag-to-Ship solution, which enables companies to generate and apply RFID smart labels—either manually or through automatic applicators— to cases and pallets of goods. The Tag-to-Ship solution, which works with UHF EPC Class 0 or Class 1 Gen 1 tags, is upgradeable to the Gen 2 EPC standard. The Data Management and DataServer suites are available now, though Accu-Sort has not yet released pricing information.

SAP Certifies Acsis' DataLink Integration
Acsis, a supply chain software company in Marlton, N.J., has been awarded an integration certification from enterprise software provider SAP for Acsis' DataLink Enterprise platform. DataLink Enterprise gathers data from RFID readers (interrogators), bar code scanners and other data-collection devices, then sends it to other systems, such as RFID middleware. The integration certification program is designed to assure SAP customers that auto-ID data collected through device management platforms can be easily integrated into SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure (AII) middleware for RFID, a component of the SAP NetWeaver, a platform for integrating business processes and data from a range of sources. To be certified by SAP, DataLink had to pass three main tests: collecting RFID data and sending it to AII; receiving an EPC generated by AII so it could be encoded to a tag; and sending an encoded command to an RFID printer-encoder to write the EPC to a tag embedded in a smart label. Acsis, the first company to participate in SAP's integration certification program for AII, worked with SAP to perform the certification testing within the latter’s Palo Alto labs. SAP says it is working with a number of other device management software providers in the certification program. It will also work with RFID interrogator and printer-encoder manufacturers to provide integration certification for those devices.

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