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RFID News Roundup

Smartrac announces high-memory NFC tag; ABI Research foresees healthy growth in RFID market; MTI Wireless Edge announces new RFID reader antenna; CISC unveils portable UHF tag test system; NewPage unwraps new paper-based RFID label substrate that supports thermal transfer; Delo intros die-attach adhesives for smart-card market.
Apr 19, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Smartrac Announces High-Memory NFC Tag
Smartrac, an RFID inlay supplier headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has announced the availability of its new Midas Near Field Communication (NFC) passive 13.MHz tag. Based on NXP Semiconductors' NTAG203 chip, the Midas NFC tag is especially suitable for linking small objects with cloud services, the company reports. Due to its small footprint—the antenna measures 10 by 17 millimeters (0.39 by 0.67 inch), and the die-cut size is 12 by 19 millimeters (0.47 by 0.75 inch)—the tag can be easily attached to electronics and various accessories, thereby allowing for the unique identification of an object, while simultaneously granting access to a broad range of services and options residing in the cloud. The Midas NFC tag is also suited for applications in which inlays are embedded with limited space available for housing, Smartrac indicates, such as electronics pairing, NFC-Bluetooth pairing, brand authentication, toy figures and key fobs. The tag features 144 bytes of memory, and is compliant with the NFC Forum's Tag Type 2 specification. The Midas tag has been cross-tested and qualified by several major NFC smartphone brands, according to Smartrac, and is immediately available in limited quantities for sampling. Volume deliveries are slated to begin at the end of June 2012.

ABI Research Foresees Healthy Growth in RFID Market
The market for RFID transponders, readers, software and services will generate $70.5 billion from 2012 until the end of 2017, according to market research and analysis firm ABI Research. The market grew by $900 million last year, and ABI Research expects it to increase by $1.1 billion during 2012, to $7.62 billion. This represents a year-over-year growth of 17 percent, according to ABI Research group director John Devlinches. The research, conducted as part of the firm's new study, "RFID Market by Application and Vertical Sector," identifies that three market sectors—government, retail, and transportation and logistics—will account for 60 percent of future revenues. In 2017, Devlinches says, the largest single vertical market will be retail, which will account for more than 20 percent of that year's expenditures on radio frequency identification. According to ABI Research, retail growth is driven by the proven returns that-item level tagging can deliver. For example, the study notes, in RFID-enabled stores, goods are less likely to become lost, sales floors are better-stocked and the ordering process becomes smarter. RFID will cross over into customer-facing services with Near Field Communication (NFC) tags for product information and smart marketing. This year, the regional analysis shows that Asia, Europe and North America each account for approximately 30 percent of market value. Over the next five years, Devlin says, this will change slightly, with North America growing faster than the market average, Asia growing about the same, and Europe running slightly below average. Asia will remain the largest region throughout, he says. "Interestingly, despite remaining much smaller, the emerging markets in Latin America will grow at the fastest rate," Devlin states. "In part, this will be driven by implementations relating to trade (fresh produce, food, etc.), manufacturing, but also implementations driven by non-domestic multi-national companies adopting RFID throughout their global operations." The ABI Research study further finds that high-frequency (HF) RFID continues to account for the largest proportion of market value, including NFC. The overall largest growth in market value of any frequency is that of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF)—in particular, passive UHF. Devlin notes, however, that while NFC-related uses (especially tags) are forecast to have the fastest growth rate of any market sector, this is largely due to the fact that it is starting from a very small base. "It will take time," he says, "but I expect that NFC will become more significant beyond the timeframe that we are currently forecasting." The new study, which provides a comprehensive overview and summary of the impact that the latest product launches, new entrants and changing market dynamics will have on the market's future direction and evolution, is part of the firm's RFID Research Service.

MTI Wireless Edge Announces New RFID Reader Antenna
MTI Wireless Edge, a provider of flat-panel antennas for fixed RFID readers, has announced a new flat-panel RFID reader antenna that operates in the 865 to 928 MHz band. Designed for systems integrators and developers, the new antenna, known as the MT-241033/S, can read close-proximity tags, and offers a range of just a few centimeters when used with near-field tags, and a few tens of centimeters when utilized with far-field tags. It has a strong magnetic near field and weak far field for short reading distances, the firm reports. The reader antenna, which has a plastic radome and a base plate made of aluminum with chemical conversion coating, measures 166 by 74 by 31 millimeters (6.5 by 2.9 by 1.2 inches) and weighs 200 grams (7.1 ounces), which the company says makes it suitable for item-level applications, ticketing, desktop tagging, access control, documents tracking and applications in which a confined reading area is desired. Unveiled at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2012 conference and exhibition, held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., the reader antenna is available now.

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