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RFID News Roundup

Intellident forges new partnerships, business deals in library sector; report predicts European RFID industry to capture 40 percent of market by 2016; U.S. Customs to deploy RFID at Michigan-Canada bridges and tunnel; Murata intros RF IC on tiny ceramic substrate; Lowry, OATSystems team up on RFID asset tracking; OTA training extends online RFID courses to 250 universities.
Jul 10, 2008The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Intellident Forges New Partnerships, Business Deals in Library Sector
Intellident, a U.K.-based supplier of automatic identification systems, has struck two RFID-related deals with companies in the academic and public library sector. The first arrangement is an extension of its existing partnership with Askews, a provider of sourcing, selection support, cataloguing, shelf-ready processing, promotional support and management reporting to that sector. Since 2006, Intellident has collaborated with Askews to offer a range of RFID-related products and services. Now the two partners will provide all existing customer libraries and future libraries with pre-tagged and programmed shelf-ready items, so they can take stock directly to the shelf for immediate distribution. Additionally, each individual library can specify bespoke designs or have their design created by Intellident's team—including images, bar code, book title and author, all of which can be overprinted. The material will be delivered to a customer with no additional programming costs, and with minimal additional servicing charges. The second newly announced partnership involves the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), which has selected Intellident as a preferred supplier of RFID technology and services for libraries. LUPC is an independent purchasing consortium that provides a service to London University and College institutions.

Report Predicts European RFID Industry to Capture 40 Percent of Market by 2016
A report by RNCOS, a global market research and information analysis company headquartered in Delhi, India, estimates that by 2010, more than 3.4 million RFID tags will be sold in the European retail industry. According to the report, entitled "European RFID Industry Outlook (2007-2010)", the European RFID sector is expected to account for about 40 percent of the worldwide RFID industry by 2016. The report analyzes various aspects of the industry, such us key driving factors, opportunities and challenges. It also provides analysis of several countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Finland and Denmark, as well as a forecast regarding important parameters of the industry, such as RFID tags in the retail industry by region, and share of RFID tags usage in retail trade. For instance, the report cites the United Kingdom as the second largest market after the United States in terms of global RFID projects, and notes that Germany alone is expected to account for 25 percent of RFID tag usage in retail trade in Europe by 2010. As for vertical markets, the report indicates, RFID use in retail and supply chain applications accounted for 55 percent of the total Western European RFID market in 2006, with mass transportation emerging as a new area for RFID application. The 75-page report can be purchased here.

U.S. Customs to Deploy RFID at Michigan-Canada Bridges and Tunnel
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) has announced plans to install RFID technology to improve border operations and security at Michigan's Detroit, Port Huron and Sault Ste. Marie ports of entry this summer. These land border ports, the agency reports, are among the United States' 39 busiest entry points along the nation's borders with Mexico and Canada to receive the new technology upgrade in the next several months. New and upgraded RFID readers in passenger vehicle crossings should help to reduce congestion and long lines by enabling quicker processing at border crossings for travelers using new RFID-enabled travel documents. Such documents include the passport card (a wallet-sized alternative to traditional passports), enhanced driver's licenses being produced by several states (see Washington Driver's Licenses to Carry EPC Gen 2 Inlays), and CBP's Trusted Travelers Cards (Nexus, Fast and Sentri). These documents are the result of a new requirement, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), a Congressional mandate passed in 2004. The requirement went into effect for air travel in January 2007, with full implementation of WHTI for land and sea travel set to go into effect on June 1, 2009. Construction related to the RFID deployment is slated to occur at the following locations in Michigan: Ambassador Bridge (July 14 to 18), Detroit Canada Tunnel (July 21 to 25), Blue Water Bridge (Sept. 15 to 19) and Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge (Sept.15 to 19). Construction involves the burying of wiring and associated electronics, among other changes. The installation of additional RFID components to complete the system is scheduled to take place at the ports later this year or in early 2009.

Murata Intros RF IC on Tiny Ceramic Substrate
Murata a Japanese-based manufacturer of electronics components, modules and devices, has announced a new RFID module that combines inductive coupling and ceramic. Magicstrap, otherwise known as the LXMS31 series, comprises Murata's LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) substrate, plus RF IC and packaging. The module, which Murata claims is easy to mount using ordinary adhesive, is readable over the 800 MHz to 1,000 MHz band at a distance of 5 meters (16.4 feet), and can be employed in Europe, the United States and Japan. Magicstrap is designed for tracking a product throughout its lifecycle. According to Murata, the company's strengths in multi-layer ceramic technology have allowed it to embed all of the necessary RF circuitry, including antenna filters, matching circuitry and 10kV ESD protection, within the module's LTCC substrate, with the RF IC then mounted on top. The overall package dimensions are 3.2 by 1.6 by 0.7 millimeters (0.13 by 0.06 by 0.03 inches). The module's internal circuitry is connected to the antenna pattern via inductive coupling.

Lowry Computer Products, OATSystems Team Up on RFID Asset Tracking
RFID solutions provider Lowry Computer has partnered with OATSystems, an RFID middleware and applications provider, to provide turnkey asset-tracking and work-in-process solutions for the industrial manufacturing sectors, including automotive, aerospace and consumer packaged goods companies. OATSystems is a new division of Checkpoint Systems, having been acquired by that company last month (see Checkpoint Systems Acquires RFID Software Company OATSystems and Checkpoint Systems Deems OAT Acquisition Strategic). According to Lowry, its customers will benefit from OATSystems' flexible RFID solution framework and middleware, to be delivered through Lowry's RFID-certified Professional Services Division.

OTA Training Extends Online RFID Courses to 250 Universities
Dallas-based OTA Training is now offering its online RFID training program, RFID on the Web, to more than 250 colleges and universities through Gatlin Education Services, a provider of asynchronous Web-based training to colleges, universities and other education providers worldwide. RFID on the Web is designed to teach students how to implement RFID successfully, and prepares them to become RFID+ certified. The training program utilizes such learning technology as Flash animated simulations based on real RFID projects to provide students knowledge of how the technology can be applied in the real world.
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