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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.
CISC Unveils Portable UHF Tag Test System
CISC Semiconductor, an Austrian design and consulting service company for industries that develop embedded microelectronic systems, has announced a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag-performance test system. The RFID Xplorer is a portable, compact solution specifically designed as a cost-effective, small and powerful measurement system for RFID tag sensitivity, communication range and backscatter measurements, according to the company. The unit, which measures 160 by 205 by 50 millimeters (6.3 by 8.1 by 2 inches) in size and weighs 1.3 kilograms (2.9 pounds), can be dismantled and set up in minutes, and operates within a frequency range of 800 MHz to 1 GHz. Measurement speed below 1 second per frequency is achieved, CISC reports, using an appropriate computer running the Xplorer measurement software. It is designed to provide results regarding a tag's key characteristics, and can easily be applied for tag frequency sensitivity, communication range and backscatter measurements. According to CISC, the device is available in an economical version for tests conducted within an open area, and as a high-precision solution for measurements performed within an RF-controlled environment using a portable RF test chamber. The system is supplied with software and a reference tag for self-calibration.

NewPage Unwraps New Paper-based RFID Label Substrate that Supports Thermal Transfer
NewPage Corp., a producer of printing and specialty papers, has announced its new PointTrac TT substrate, a patented, paper-based substrate for printed RFID labels. PointTrac TT offers RFID label manufacturers the ability to combine thermal transfer printed variable analog information with advanced RFID chip technology. This technology facilitates the low-cost production of printed paper RFID labels when compared with traditional multi-layer plastic film substrates, the company reports. "The common current process for producing smart tags and labels is to print the RFID antenna on plastic film—usually PET—insert the RFID chip, then adhere the plastic tags into the roll of pressure-sensitive label laminate," explains Jim Sheibley, NewPage's director of specialty business and product development. "That requires three layers instead of two, and requires that plastic be used along with sustainable fiber label material. We designed a paper that can avoid the plastic antenna base, print the antenna and insert the chip directly onto the paper label, reducing complexity and cost in the production of smart labels. The same label is printable with thermal transfer printing in an RFID-enabled printer." PointTrac TT, Sheibley notes, is the only paper-based substrate that can accept a metallic printed antenna on the back side of a label, and also print variable info on the front side, using thermal transfer printing. The design features that allow holdout of metallic antenna ink—combined with stability and controlled expansion of the paper base—assure that the chip remains in place, and that the antenna is robust enough to function at the temperature and humidity levels in which labels must perform.

Delo Intros Die-Attach Adhesives for Smart-Card Market
Delo Industrial Adhesives a specialist supplier of fast-curing encapsulants and adhesives, has announced a new die-attach adhesive specifically designed for IC modules in the smart-card industry. The Delomonopox DA587 adhesive—part of the company's Delomonopox product family—is a white-colored adhesive made of modified epoxy resin, designed for the bonding of bare semiconductors to epoxy tapes for smart-card technology, and also to metal lead frames and rigid and flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs). The adhesive is suitable for use in connection with the company's Delo-Katiobond UV-curing chip encapsulation compounds, but can also be combined with other chip-encapsulation bonds. Its ability to be cured quickly at low temperatures makes it particularly suitable for temperature-sensitive substrates, Delo reports, such as those utilized for smart-card technologies. When used for bonding and encapsulating chips in smart-card modules, adhesives face great challenges, the company notes, and thus it must mechanically safeguard the chips and the contacting area from pressure, bending and torsion. In addition, protection from physical influences and environmental conditions, such as humidity, cold or heat, is essential. The new adhesive can fulfill these requirements, the company claims. The adhesive is supplied ready for use, and is available unfilled (for non-conductive products) or filled (for grounding or conductive products).

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