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RFID News Roundup

Omron announces HF inlay with aluminum antenna; battery maker raises millions for new plant; Avery releases compliance package for users of pre-encoded RFID labels; RSI ID announces new inlay tester; IER to put Jewel chip in transit tix; SAP certifies InSync middleware for NetWeaver; ChainLink Web courses for DOD suppliers.
By Andrew Price
Sep 15, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of Sept. 11.

Omron Announces HF Inlay with Aluminum Antenna
Omron RFID announced the availability of its V730S-D13-PO1 inlay, which has an aluminum antenna. Compliant with the ISO 15693 air-interface standard used in many access control and electronic payment applications, the HF (13.56 MHz) inlay is roughly the size of a credit card and, says Omron, achieves comparable performance with the copper version of the same-sized inlay. Omron notes it will continue manufacturing copper inlays for the HF market alongside the aluminum version. The company says some Omron customers prefer to purchase inlays made of aluminum because they are less costly to recycle. The V730S-D13-PO1 tag is also compliant with the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, which limits the use of certain hazardous materials in electronics.

Battery Maker Raises Millions for New Plant
Infinite Power Solutions (IPS), a maker of thin-film batteries that can be used to power active RFID tags, has raised $34.7 million in funding, which it will use primarily to build a high-volume manufacturing facility in Colorado. The company says it will also use the funds to accelerate business and product development. The D.E. Shaw group and Polaris Venture Partners led the investment. Other new IPS investors include Core Capital Partners and Applied Ventures (the venture capital fund of Applied Materials). Founded in 2001, IPS has developed a thin, flexible battery that can hold 60 milliamps of current, can be recharged and loses less than 1 percent of its power per year while not in use. The batteries range widely in price, from $1 to $10 or more each. According to IPS, a number of RFID tag manufacturers have tested the battery. When the new plant opens—which is slated to occur for late 2007—it will be able to produce multiple millions of the batteries each year. IPS's current facility can only produce hundreds annually, though earlier estimations predicted it would produce millions (see Thin-Film Battery for RFID Sensors).

Avery Releases Compliance Package for Users of Pre-Encoded RFID Labels
Avery Dennison Printer Systems has announced a new labeling solution to help companies meet the RFID tagging requirements of major retailers and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The solution includes software, called ItemSight, bundled with a bar-code label printer (either the Avery Dennison AP5.4 printer or any in the 6400 series), plus an optional label applicator. No RFID interrogator or printer-encoder is required for DOD or retailer suppliers that also purchase pre-encoded RFID labels from Avery Dennison, because encoded to the bar codes on these labels is the serial number. Users would send this unique number to the receiver (DOD or a retailer) by scanning it into the ItemSight software, which generates an advance shipment notice (ASN) that is sent to the receiver electronically as the shipment is sent. Customers must choose between the DOD or retailer version of the ItemSight software. The package also comes with on-site installation support. It is available now and costs up to $10,000, depending on the type of hardware selected.

RSI ID Announces New Inlay Tester
RFID inlay manufacturer and systems integrator RSI ID Technologies says it has launched an automated transponder validation system, Pressiza TVS-2500R, which uses a pick-and-replace mechanism to remove failed inlays and replace them with functional ones. The system is designed for use by label converters that want to verify the functionality of each individual inlay in large rolls of finished labels prior to shipping them to customers. RSI ID says this new testing system costs less and is faster that older inlay testing systems it has sold. Converters can also use the system to encode data to the labels before shipping them. The Pressiza TVS-2500R is available now for just under $100,000.

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