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NXP to Unveil New UHF, HF Chips
The new models include the Ucode I2C, a high-memory EPC chip that can be embedded into computers and other devices in order to activate features or diagnose errors, and the Icode ILT, a high-frequency IC designed for high-volume, fast tag reading.
At that point, the retailer could also use the chip's I²C interface to send firmware upgrades to the device's central processor before it was sold. What's more, the store could use the chip to commission and personalize the device.
"Say you purchase a tablet for your mom for her birthday," Vega explains, "and you know that she's not very computer-savvy, but she loves classical music. You could request that the tablet be pre-loaded with classical music or videos. And you could also have a special message loaded onto the device, so that when it is first powered on, it could say 'Happy Birthday, Mom'—and if she loves French, you could have it set to convey that message in French, or the device could be set to operate in French."
The retailer could configure all of these settings through the RFID interface, and the device could also be registered to the buyer. Furthermore, the Ucode I²C chip could be configured to collect any error logs that the device generates. That way, if the device malfunctions and will no longer power up, its manufacturer or repair center could collect its serial number, along with the error log, from the chip's memory without having to disassemble it.
When integrated into a passive or semi-passive sensor, the chip could be used to create UHF EPC Gen 2-compliant tags that can be utilized for supply chain tracking, as well as for environmental monitoring.
Another possible application would be in smart shelves, Vega says. "Say a retailer wants to put a television monitor on special, but for only a short period of time," he states. "The Ucode I²C could be integrated with a microprocessor and an electronic display, all of which could be built into a shelf in the store. A reader mounted nearby could send a command to the chip to change the price, but only from 1 pm to 2 pm. The microprocessor would collect this, and the display would show that price, but only during that period." This could also protect the retailer from having to honor a lower price physically marked on a product, even if the sale has already ended.
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