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Wireless RFID Reader Eliminates Need for Ethernet

Invengo's XCRF-860E fixed RFID reader supports Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth wireless communications, allowing users to install it in areas without access to an Ethernet connection.
Aug 04, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 4, 2009—Invengo Technology Corporation has released a new fixed RFID reader with wireless data capability that will allow users to install their RFID infrastructure in areas without readily accessible Ethernet connections.

The Invengo XCRF-860E includes Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth communication support. The unit can transmit data over a wireless LAN or cellular connection, which can potentially reduce installation costs while providing additional flexibility in applications where a reader system may need to be relocated periodically.

Phil Calderbank, Invengo's vice president of sales and marketing, said the company is targeting the full range of RFID applications with the new reader. "This is very much a horizontal release," Calderbank said. "Wherever you've got an EPCglobal Gen2 requirement, you can go right across the board with this device."

He describes the 860E as a "fixed reader that can be easily moved." The reader could, for example, be used in the early stages of an RFID project where an integrator is testing readers in various locations. "You can simply unplug it and move it to another site," Calderbank said.

He added the GPRS functionality would be useful in areas outside of the range of a traditional wireless LAN, such as in the yard of a warehouse facility or in transportation applications. The Bluetooth connectivity provides other options if a direct cellular connection is not available. "You could conceivably connect via a cellular phone or a Blackberry device," Calderbank said. "You're just sending data, which is easy to transmit on a cellular network."

The 860E has a four-antenna design, works in dense reader mode, and uses advanced filtering techniques to eliminate multi-reader interference and noise. It is compliant with the EPCglobal Class 1 Gen2 specification and ISO 18000-6C, and has a read distance of up to 32.8 feet.

"It has everything you'd expect from a high-end reader designed for applications where there is a lot of RF interference," Calderbank said. "With the advanced filtering techniques, the reader can re-tune automatically to the antenna."

The key value proposition of the device is that customers can avoid the cost and aggravation of running new cable to each reader.

"There's been a lot of attention paid to Power over Ethernet, but in most cases electrical power supplies are very easy to connect to," Calderbank said. "It's a much bigger advantage to say you don't have to run Ethernet cable out to the readers, and you can use them in a busy RFID environment."

The 860E, which incorporates the Impinj Indy processor, has been in use for nine months in Asia in what Calderbank describes as "traditional RFID environments." The North American launch was delayed while the company waited for regulatory approvals. A version that is compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is in the works for Europe.

Shenzhen, China-based Invengo provided the technology for the massive China Railway RFID system, but only launched its North American operations in January (see Newcomer Brings New RFID Cost Model to North America). The company's readers are available through resellers in the U.S.
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