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RFID News Roundup

Avery Dennison, UPM Raflatac each intro item-level UHF RFID inlay with NXP's G2iL chip; STMicroelectronics unveils high-density RFID memory device; Intelleflex closes $11.5 million in funding, gears up for expansion; top trends for RFID solutions market in 2011; Identec Solutions' RFID systems help train oil-rig personnel working in the North Sea, Middle East; KSW Microtec announces RFID-enabled mobile phone sticker.
Dec 16, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Avery Dennison, UPM Raflatac Each Intro Item-Level UHF RFID Inlay With NXP's G2iL Chip
Avery Dennison and UPM Raflatac have each announced the introduction of a new item-level ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID inlay with NXP Semiconductors' latest EPC Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) integrated circuit, the G2iL. According to Avery Dennison, its new inlay, the model AD-232, is suitable for the item-level tracking of assets, retail goods (including apparel) and many other applications in which close proximity or the stacking of goods is required. According to the company, it is designed to perform well on difficult-to-tag items, such as denim apparel, and to provide global performance in the 860 to 960 MHz UHF band, with balanced performance across a wide range of applications. The inlay has an antenna footprint of 70 millimeters by 14.5 millimeters (2.75 inches by 0.57 inch), enabling it to fit well into a 3-inch-wide RFID label. "We are proud to partner with Avery Dennison RFID with our latest Ucode G2iL series IC, which offers excellent read range and unique features such as tag tamper alarm and privacy modes," said Chris Feige, NXP's GM of tagging and authentication, in a prepared statement. "The high chip sensitivity allows for small tags and great performance in high tag population. Our close strategic relationship brings forward solutions that address a host of applications where high and reliable read rates are a must."

UPM Raflatac's new Belt tag, also made with NXP's G2iL chip, is optimized for a wide range of mass-volume applications, including item-level retail supply chain and apparel tagging, the company reports, adding that its advanced features also make the tag suitable for a number of other item-level applications, including consumer electronics, in which reliability and durability are essential. Like the AD-232, the Belt has an antenna size of 70 millimeters by 14.5 millimeters (2.75 inches by 0.57 inch). It also features 128 bits of EPC memory, 32-bit password protection, on/off status flag for quality control and security systems, a unique 64-bit unalterable tag identifier (TID), and a read-protection function to support privacy. Available now, this model comes in three delivery formats: dry inlay, wet inlay and paper-face label. "Our close collaborative relationship with UPM resulted in a high-performance, robust Belt tag suitable across multiple applications in the high-volume RFID market," Feige said. "On-chip features such as the 4R mode support specific privacy needs in the RFID industry, allowing broader use of RFID technology and thus helping fuel market growth as new applications emerge."

STMicroelectronics Unveils High-Density RFID Memory Device
STMicroelectronics has unveiled a new high-memory RFID chip that it says allows technical equipment to "talk back," thereby providing detailed information, such as a full maintenance history, to speed up servicing and simplify record keeping for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and equipment operators. The new chip, known as the LRiS64K, combines passive 13.56 MHz RFID circuitry with 64 kilobits of non-volatile Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) capable of storing extensive data, such as initial manufacturer details and complete records of repairs or upgrades, the company indicates. With these features, and using a standard RFID reader, engineers servicing medical devices, industrial equipment, automotive controllers, avionics modules or other equipment containing an LRiS64K chip can access important unit-specific information held directly on the device. According to STMicroelectronics, this on-board storage can eliminate the need to retrieve paper records or access an online database. The unit's service history, the firm reports, can be updated in the LRiS64K memory for access during subsequent inspection or servicing, which can save downtime and help reduce maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) costs in such sectors as health care, aviation, logistics, oil and chemicals, construction and manufacturing. The LRiS64K is based on the ISO 15693 and ISO 18000-3 mode 1 RFID standards. It supports a 64-bit unique identifier (UID) and multi-password protection, and its 64 kilobits of user memory can retain data for more than 40 years and withstand more than 1 million write/erase cycles. The LRiS64K, which is now beginning mass production, is available in bumped and sawn-wafer formats suitable for direct chip attachment.

Intelleflex Closes $11.5 Million in Funding, Gears Up for Expansion
Intelleflex has announced that it has closed an $11.5 million Series A extension with current investors Arcapita Ventures and New Venture Partners. Intelleflex manufactures battery-assisted ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags and products based on its XC3 technology platform, which is compatible with EPCglobal's Gen 2 and the newly updated ISO 18000-6C RFID standards. The XC3 platform includes temperature sensors, and is designed to provide a solution for the perishable food and pharmaceutical cold supply chain, in order to help eliminate the waste of temperature-sensitive products. According to Intelleflex, this new capital investment will be used to expand sales and marketing, as well as accelerate key vertical-market initiatives with strategic partners, in response to an increased demand for the company's solutions. "Conditions are ideal for Intelleflex to emerge as the break-out performer in on-demand tracking and monitoring at the product level," said Tom Hawkins, Arcapita Ventures' director, in a prepared statement. "Intelleflex has delivered a very compelling solution based on its proven XC3 Technology, which addresses the extensive losses in perishable products across the cold chain. We have high confidence in their ability to deliver beyond market expectations, given the impressive customer traction we have seen since Intelleflex announced the product's general availability last quarter." The investment announcement follows an announcement earlier this month regarding Intelleflex's efforts on the recently adopted ISO/IEC 18000-6:2010 industry standard, which includes specifications for battery-assisted passive UHF RFID tags (see RFID News Roundup: ISO Publishes Updated ISO 18000-6 Standard With Support for BAP). The standard, according to Intelleflex, establishes best practices that are expected to guide producers of RFID technology in developing solutions for a range of tracking and asset-management applications.

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