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Texas Instruments Reorganizes RFID Business

One of the leading names in the RFID industry isn't pulling out of the business, though it is making some changes that it claims will not impact customers.
By Mark Roberti
Jan 30, 2009Texas Instruments (TI), one of the leading manufacturers of radio frequency identification technology, has reorganized its RFID operations and laid off some employees of its RFID business. However, the company says it is not pulling out of the RFID market, and that its customers will not be impacted by the reorganization.

"We announced that we would be eliminating 3,400 positions, and some of those were from our RFID team based in Dallas, but rumors that we are withdrawing from the market are false," says Ellen Zeidler, TI's communications manager. "We will continue to serve our customers in asset tracking, livestock and the automotive sector."

In 2006, when Texas Instruments sold its Sensors and Controls business to Bain Capital for $3 billion, the semiconductor company retained its RFID business—which had been part of that group—and split it into two units. The unit that sold RFID products to the automotive industry was incorporated into TI's Advanced Embedded Control group, while the unit that produced tags and interrogators for livestock, asset tracking and other applications became a standalone division.

TI is now bringing the two segments back together, Zeidler says, under its existing Advanced Embedded Control group, thereby eliminating several jobs in the Dallas location. The company's RFID business, she says, will now be supported by a much smaller team based in Freising, Germany.

Texas Instruments has also ceased its RFID research and development efforts in government ID applications, such as e-passports. This decision, Zeidler says, was made due to the current economic situation, and because TI has no customer base in the market and could, therefore, eliminate related R&D without impacting customers.

According to Zeidler, the firm will continue to support customers who employ TI's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) chips for specific applications, such as tracking printed circuit boards.

Julie England, who previously served as the VP and general manager of Texas Instruments' standalone RFID division, has opted to take early retirement. As such, Norbert Asche is taking over as general manager of the company's RFID business.
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