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Mojix Upgrades Product Line, Offers Demo in 3-D

The creator of a long-distance system for reading EPC Gen 2 RFID tags is adding real-time location software, as well as hardware offering a read zone that's larger and optimizable for specific applications.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Oct 16, 2008Six months after emerging from stealth mode and debuting its STAR (Space Time Array Reader) system for reading EPC Gen 2 passive UHF RFID tags from up to 600 feet away, Mojix unveiled, at this week's EPC Connection 2008 conference, three new products that it says will help end users lower their costs of deploying RFID while increasing the functionality of its STAR platform. The new products include a new multi-antenna version of its eNode RF transmitters (available in both wired and wireless models) and a software module that analyzes passive tag signals in order to provide real-time location data.

To achieve such long read range, Mojix technology depends on an architecture that separates an RFID interrogator's transmit and receive functions onto two separate devices, as well as on a proprietary signal-processing system designed to make its STAR reader highly sensitive to passive tag backscatter. The STAR reader's phased array antenna also contributes to signal sensitivity, as well as play a role in enabling the system to determine a tag's location.

The company's beta customers, which CEO and founder Ramin Sadr says he can not name, are beginning to test both new eNode models. While the eNode that premiered at last April's RFID Journal LIVE! 2008 conference contained one internal antenna, the new version supports up to four external antennas.

Ramin Sadr
With one antenna, the older version of the eNode could power up passive tags only if they were positioned in a defined area in front of the device. The four-antenna version, however, can be configured so tags within a specified range surrounding each eNode can be read. This offers two main benefits, Sadr says: allowing users not only to achieve a greater coverage area at a lower cost, but also to optimize the reading zone for particular applications by directing the antennas into specific areas.

To communicate with the rest of the STAR system, the wired version of the four-antenna eNode employs a cable connected directly to the STAR interrogator. The wireless version communicates with the STAR reader over the air, using the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) band and the EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol.

The wireless eNodes can be mounted on a forklift, cart or other vehicle, and are designed for situations in which mobility is required and a fixed-position reader infrastructure is untenable. The devices can be powered by an external battery or by an alternative means, such as solar- or wind-generated power, or by energy-harvesting techniques. (Any battery or other power option would be provided by a third party, not Mojix.)

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