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NXP Boosts EPC Gen 2 Tag Memory, Performance

The semiconductor maker's two new RFID chips require less power to operate and work across the entire UHF RFID frequency range, from 840 to 960 MHz. One chip offers 512 bits of user memory.
By Claire Swedberg
RFID tag makers will join the chips to antennas to produce RFID inlays and convert them into RFID labels. The chips have been tested by such manufacturers as KSW Microtec, RF Identics, RSI ID Technologies, Tagsys and UPM Raflatac. Reynaerts says most of these tag manufacturers have already developed labels and suites of labels for the new chips, and are prepared to sell them within weeks.

The NXP release follows several other upgrades offered by Gen 2 chip manufacturers in the past year. In August 2006, Impinj launched two RFID chips—the Monaco/64 and Monza/ID—offering 64 bits of user-programmable data in addition to memory for a 96-bit EPC (see Impinj Introduces Two New Gen 2 Chips).

That same month, STMicro began shipping its XRAG2 EPCglobal Gen 2-certified chip (see STMicro Ramps Up Production of Its XRAG2 Chip), which features 432 bits of memory and is available with either three memory banks (64 bits for a tag identifier, or TID; 304 bits for the EPC number; and 64 bits reserved) or four (128 bits of user memory, 64 bits for TID, 176 bits for EPC number and 64 bits reserved).

However, Reynaerts notes that the Ucode G2XM user memory alone is 512 bits. That, plus a 240-bit EPC memory area, a 64-bit TID, a 32-bit access password and a 32-bit kill password, brings the total memory to 880 bits. The G2XL has a total memory of 368 bits: a 240-bit EPC memory area, a 64-bit TID, a 32-bit access password and a 32-bit kill password.

"We want to show that we believe in the RFID market," Reynaerts states. "We continue to develop the UHF product, and we think the technology has tremendous potential."

According to Reynaerts, the chip is available to label manufacturers now, at a cost less than that of previous Ucode chips. Prices, he says, "will be extremely competitive." The G2XL will cost $0.043 apiece in high-volume orders, with the higher-memory G2XM costing about 25 percent more. Both models are expected to earn Gen 2 certification from EPCglobal within the next few weeks.

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