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RFID News Roundup

UPM Raflatac to launch security RFID tags; Pramari unveils update to open-source RFID software; EPCglobal ratifies version 1.5 of Tag Data Standard; North Dakota unveils voluntary RFID cattle-tracking program; ABI Research forecasts higher-frequency RFID- and RTLS-enabled asset-management system revenues to hit $845 million in 2014; RadarFind intros temperature sensor.
Sep 02, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

UPM Raflatac to Launch Security RFID Tags
RFID tag manufacturer UPM Raflatac has announced a worldwide technology license agreement that enables it to incorporate HID Global's tamperproof and secure RFID sealing label technology and intellectual property (IP) into its contactless product family. According to the two companies, UPM Raflatac is the first company to offer HID's secure RFID sealing solution around the globe. HID Global reports that the licensing agreement is part of its ongoing general patent portfolio licensing and initiatives. In the first phase of the agreement, UPM Raflatac will incorporate the licensed technology into tamperproof RFID sealing tags for liquid containers. The RFID tags will be used to ensure the integrity and origin of the liquid within a given container, by indicating when a container is opened or when attempts are made to remove its tag. In the agreement's second phase, UPM Raflatac will extend HID's technology to other fields of use also covered by the license agreement, including consumer electronics and components, packaging and vehicle identification.

Pramari Unveils Update to Open-Source RFID Software
Pramari, a provider of open-source RFID software solutions, has introduced a new version of its open-source edge server, Rifidi Edge. Among the new features of version 1.2 is an application programming interface (API) designed for ease of use in developing and deploying RFID business solutions, enhanced support for integration with readers that support EPCglobal's Low-Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) standard, several diagnostic utilities to help monitor the system, more sensor device support out of the box (such as bar-code readers), improved documentation for developers and administrators, and out-of-the-box support for databases such as MySQL and Derby. "We are very excited about the new Rifidi Edge 1.2 release and its enhanced support of the Impinj Speedway Revolution and Speedway xPortal RFID readers through the industry-standard EPCglobal Low Level Reader Protocol," said Daniel Bowman, Impinj's senior product manager, in a prepared statement. "We continue to see an increasing number of Impinj customers around the world building integrated business solutions on top of this innovative open source platform." Pricing remains the same, the companies report, with no cost for licensing, downloading and using the solutions for development. The only expense is $4,000 for the first year of support for the Rifidi Edge Server software (which an end user can install on any computer running the Ubuntu Linux or Windows XP/Vista/Server operating systems and having at least 32 megabytes of RAM), $2,000 for subsequent years, as well as $3,000 for first-year support for the Rifidi Box (a mini desktop computer that comes with the Rifidi Edge Server preinstalled) and $2,000 annually for subsequent years. The new version was unveiled at RFID Journal LIVE! LatAm, RFID Journal's first Latin American conference, held this week in Bogotá, Columbia. Pramari has been developing open-source RFID software solutions for more than four years, with its core focus being the Rifidi Platform. The firm launched a free version of its open-source Rifidi Edge Server, designed to manage EPC Gen 2 RFID interrogators and RFID reader data, as well as information from bar-code scanners, sensors and other hardware, in October 2009 (see Pramari Launches Free Open-Source RFID Middleware). According to Pramari, there have been nearly 40,000 downloads of the Rifidi platform to date.

EPCglobal Ratifies Version 1.5 of Tag Data Standard
EPCglobal recently ratified version 1.5 of its Tag Data Standard. The EPC Tag Data Standard defines the Electronic Product Code (EPC), and also specifies the memory contents of Gen 2 RFID tags. In more detail, the Tag Data Standard covers two broad areas: the specification of the Electronic Product Code, including its representation at various levels of the EPCglobal architecture and its correspondence to GS1 keys and other existing codes, and the specification of data carried on EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, including the EPC, "user memory" data, control information and tag manufacture data. According to EPCglobal, the target audience for this specification includes EPC middleware vendors, RFID tag users and encoders, reader vendors, application developers, and system integrators. Improvements in the new version include clarifications and corrections, such as correcting earlier versions that incorrectly stated the upper limit on Location Extension in the SGLN-96 encoding procedure. In addition, "Attribute Bits" have been introduced in the EPC Memory Bank of a Gen 2 RFID tag, which include data that guides the handling of the object to which the tag is affixed—for example, a bit that indicates the presence of a hazardous material. The new version is fully backward-compatible with EPC Tag Data Standard Version 1.4 (released two and half years ago), but EPCglobal notes that the definitions of "Filter Values" for SGTIN and SSCC have been updated, and in some instances, these changes are not backward-compatible with that prior version. The new version also includes a specific definition that explains the difference between EPC and RFID technologies: "It should always be remembered that the EPC and RFID are not at all synonymous: EPC is an identifier, and RFID is a data carrier. RFID tags contain other data besides EPC identifiers (and in some applications may not carry an EPC identifier at all), and the EPC identifier exists in non-RFID contexts (those non-RFID contexts including the URI form used within information systems, printed human-readable EPC URIs, and EPC identifiers derived from bar code data following the procedures in this standard)."

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