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RFID News Roundup

New book explores RFID supply chain apps; Korea's LS Industrial Systems partners with Impinj; Reva's reader networking device ALE-certified; RF Code adds wireless linkage to RTLS platform.
By Andrew Price
Dec 22, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of Dec. 18.

New Book Explores RFID Supply Chain Apps
A new book, titled Global RFID: The Value of the EPCglobal Network for Supply Chain Management, published by Springer Verlag, is currently available in Europe and Asia, and will be available in the United States in January. Co-authored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers Edmund Schuster and David Brock, and by Stuart Allen of Pennsylvania State University, the book explains basic RFID technology and EPCglobal Network concepts and is designed to help companies make business decisions concerning the adoption of the technology. Written from the point of view of supply chain management, the publication contains a number of case studies on a range of topics, including warehousing, parts inventory management, tracking and authenticating pharmaceuticals, agricultural applications, managing perishables and theft prevention. Kevin Ashton, vice president of marketing for ThingMagic and former executive director of MIT's Auto-ID Center (the predecessor of EPCglobal), and Sanjay Sarma, chief scientist at OATSystems and cofounder of the Auto-ID Center, each provide a foreword in the book. Orders and preorders can be placed on Amazon.com.

Korea's LS Industrial Systems Partners With Impinj
Korean hardware integrator LS Industrial Systems and RFID hardware developer Impinj, have formed a partnership. Under this agreement, LS Industrial Systems will use Impinj's Monza EPCglobal Gen 2 chip in its Gen 2 tags, as well as build EPC Gen 2 readers based on Impinj's Speedway reader reference design. The company will then sell these goods in the Korean market. LS Industrial Systems has been manufacturing RFID hardware in its Korean manufacturing facility, which has a capacity of 100 million tags annually, since 2005. It initially focused on selling EPC Gen 1 and ISO 18000-6B products to companies deploying security, factory automation and supply chain (logistics) applications, among others. Earlier this year, the firm began making Gen 2 tags, using chips from companies other than Impinj. It will begin selling the Impinj products in February 2007. This partnership marks the first major distributor of readers based on the Speedway design into the Korean market, which a recent study from ABI Research estimates will surpass $100 million in 2007, with supply chain management-related applications representing an estimated 10 to 15 percent of sales.

Reva's Reader Networking Device Gets EPCglobal Certification
Reva Systems, maker of the Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP) RFID reader network infrastructure platform, says its product has passed EPCglobal testing for compliance with the Application-Level Events (ALE) standard at MET Laboratories, the company that performs EPCglobal's hardware and software standard conformance and interoperability. TAP is designed to enable central control of all readers within an RFID deployment. The ALE protocol provides a software standard for collecting and filtering RFID tag data before sending it to applications. Reva's CEO, Ashley Stephenson, explains that Reva has been deploying its product with fully functional ALE capabilities since before the certification program was announced in October, and that test-scheduling conflicts prevented the company from having its device certified alongside the models of 11 other companies awarded the mark at EPCglobal's user conference in October. Reva participated in the EPCglobal work group that created the ALE standard.

RF Code Adds Wireless Linkage to RTLS Platform
Mesa, Ariz., real-time location systems (RTLS) provider RF Code says it is now adding wireless networking capability to its 303 MHz and 433 MHz active RFID Mantis II readers, through a partnership with Wi-Fi device provider Lantronix. By wiring Lantronix's WiBox device to RF Code's readers, end users no longer need to attach the readers to a local area network (LAN), providing more flexibility as to where and how the readers can be installed. WiBox can be used as a linkage for sending data from a device to a user's LAN via the 802.11b/g wireless protocol. Not having to hard-wire the readers also lowers installation fees—this is offset, however, by the incremental costs of the adding the WiBox device.
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