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Tagsys Introduces HF V2 Reader, Readying for Upcoming EPCglobal Tag Standard

The interrogator can read and encode Icode and ISO 15693 tags but will be upgradeable to work with tags complying with EPCglobal's HF standard. Tagsys is also partnering with IBM to offer an HF start-up kit.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
What's more, Kaganov says, Tagsys has upgraded the digital signal processing (DSP) and analog front-end technology used in its readers, thereby increasing the L400's read range and speed. Tests with an HF V2 emulator, she notes, indicate the L400 will be able to read the HF V2 tags from up to 200 cm (78.7 in.) in free space, at a rate of more than 1,000 tags per minute. The latter metric will be important to end users in the pharmaceutical industry, she adds, to which Tagsys and IBM are targeting an HF V2 start-up tagging kit, since the production lines maintained by pharmaceutical companies often have high output.

Tagsys and NXP are demonstrating the reader with working emulators of the candidate HF V2 tag at this week's NACDS 2007 RFID/Track & Trace Summit in Washington, D.C. At the show, Tagsys announced a partnership with NXP to develop an HF V2 tag, as well as the aforementioned agreement with IBM to offer an HF tagging startup kit. IBM claims the kit can help pharmaceutical companies coming under mandates such as California's drug pedigree regulations, slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2009, which require that all drugs sold in the state be serialized and tracked through the supply chain using an electronic pedigree (e-pedigree) to more easily identify and remove counterfeit drugs from the supply chain.

The kit, known as the Serialization Pilot Kit, consists of 50,000 HF Tagsys tags converted to the customer's label specifications—users can avail themselves of current tags models and migrate to the HF V2 tags once they become available—as well as 1,000 UHF tags that can be used for case-level serialization. Also included is the use of a UHF RFID printer-encoder and the Medio L400 interrogator and antennas (the hardware that comes with the kit is not purchased by the end user; it is loaned to the end user for the duration of the pilot), along with mounting equipment for adding the reader to a packaging line. The kit also includes the use of HF/UHF reading stations so HF-tagged drug containers can be associated with UHF-tagged cases used to transport them.

The kit incorporates IBM's WebSphere Premises Server software to manage the RFID hardware and tag data, as well as generate serialization reports that can be sent to e-pedigree software for tracking purposes. According to IBM, all necessary services required to install and configure the system for optimal performance are packaged in the startup kit, which costs $125,000 and includes training and installation. IBM says the kit will be available starting in December and can be deployed in under four weeks. The Medio L400 reader, meanwhile, can be purchased on a stand-alone basis for $2,000.

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