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Impinj Adds New Products, Agreements to Its Portfolio

The company has announced a new reader chip, a new item-level tracking solution, a new distribution agreement and more.
By Beth Bacheldor
May 04, 2009RFID hardware manufacturer Impinj has made a slew of announcements over the past few weeks, including the introduction of a next-generation family of EPC Gen 2 interrogator chips, a collaboration with RFID printer company Zebra Technologies and RFID tag and label maker UPM Raflatac, a distribution agreement with European distributor CISPER Electronics, and more.

The new Indy R2000 reader chip was unveiled at last week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2009 exhibition. The chip, available now and designed for use in high-end interrogators, is based on the same architecture as the Indy R1000, the chipset Impinj received last year when it acquired Intel's RFID business unit, as well as the rights to sell the company's R1000 RFID chips (see Impinj Acquires Intel's UHF RFID Reader Chip Operation).

Kerry Krause
"Even in tough economic times, we continue to advance our technologies and bring innovative new product lines to market," says Kerry Krause, Impinj's VP of marketing. The Indy R2000 won't replace the Indy R1000, he says, noting, "That will live on, and there will be new R1000 products." For instance, the R1000 is the chipset used in the CAEN RFID EPC Gen 2 reader that is integrated into a new version of Psion Teklogix's Workabout Pro ruggedized handheld interrogator. The handheld can operate in the U.S., European and Canadian regulatory environments, according to the companies.

The Indy R2000's increased performance is suited for more challenging applications, Krause says, including item-level and near-field tracking. Impinj has also added what it calls carrier-cancellation technology, which enables the chip to mute the echo of a reader's own transmitted signal when listening for tags. This technology, he explains, improves performance for item-level tracking.

"If you think about item-level tagging where you have, for example, two tagged bottles that are very close to the antenna, the antenna is transmitting lots of energy," Krause states. "With UHF [ultrahigh-frequency], that can be a challenge if the reader can't handle the significant amount of energy coming into its antenna port. There are many readers that can't handle that."

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