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Kovio Unveils Printed-Silicon HF RFID, Chip Tag
The low-cost chip complies with the ISO 14443A standard and can contain 128 bits of factory-encoded data; commercial products should be available in 2009.
At EPC Connection, Mashkoori stressed the environmental advantages of using an additive process, via printing transistors, as opposed to the etching process employed in conventional silicon production. This, according to Kovio, lowers material costs and also requires much less water and hazardous chemicals during production.
Kovio's chips, the company indicates, are printed onto a much larger die than those created with conventional silicon, making them easier and cheaper to bond to an antenna to form a complete inlay. While Kovio is presently converting the complete RFID inlay for the initial product (by attaching a printed chip to a printed antenna using a conductive epoxy), it expects, for large orders, that it will begin selling sheets of the printed chips to third parties that will then convert them into full inlays. Eventually, Kovio reports, it will be able to print full inlays—chip and antenna—in one process.
The printed chip complies with the ISO 14443A air-interface standard, Pavate says. It can contain 128 bits of data, printed directly on the chip (rather than encoded later via RF), and can transmit that information at a rate of 106 kilobits per second.
Kovio is already working with Cubic, a San Diego-based company that designs and manufactures automatic fare-collection systems for public transit projects, to develop a fare card with an integrated Kovio inlay that commuters could utilize to access transit systems. According to Pavate, event ticketing is another likely use for the company's HF tag.
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