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Elektrobit Unveils UHF RFID Suite

The EB Identification Network consists of RFID interrogators, controllers and software to help companies more easily implement, tune and manage networks of RFID readers, thereby reducing interference and congestion.
By Beth Bacheldor
One controller can tune and manage dozens of interrogators. Companies can use multiple controllers, grouped together for easier network management. The related software, which is the intelligence of the EB Identification Network, can be installed to run on a PC so a company can view the networked information and manually control readers if necessary. "There may be a specific area of the building or a certain group of readers that you need to manage specifically," Sivula says. For example, he adds, companies may need to manually tune interrogators unsupported by the EB Identification Network. "We want to allow the use of any other readers, in addition to ours."

There are a few similar products on the market designed to help companies automatically manage and tune RFID readers. Reva Systems, for example, offers its Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP), which provides real-time adaptive control of, among other things, interrogators.

Although Sivula praises Reva's offering as being a good product, he says Elektrobit believes it has developed a more robust system by distributing the intelligence across controllers and readers. "When you have an intelligent reader combined with an intelligent controller, you can localize functionality," Sivula explains. A company might wish to be alerted when a specific group of products are received through a dock door, for instance. The EB Identification Network allows that firm to distribute some intelligence from the controller to the reader so an alert can be issued once those products arrive. "That way," he notes, "the reader can recognize the event, even if the controller is not available at that time for some reason."

What's more, readers can be directed to intelligently sift through all the data collected during tag reads, then transmit only the pertinent information. "In a dense reader environment," Sivula says, "such as a distribution center with lots of dock doors, all of the readers might be reading lots of tags at the same time. If all the readers have to pass all of the data they collect, there is heavy risk of overloading the network. It is absolutely vital that you distribute intelligence so you don't move data, you only move information—you don't pass read events that aren't needed at the upper levels of the network."

The EB Identification Network will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2008. In addition to RFID interrogators, reader controllers, and related software, Elektrobit also offers systems integration and implantation services for the product suite, for any companies that require it.

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