RFID News Roundup

IntelliGuard, Epic offer RFID inventory system for anesthesiologists; Malaysia rolls out Touch 'n Go RFID-based toll-collection system; Tencent Cloud, STMicroelectronics partner on LoRaWAN IoT platform in China; Resideo joins Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors; Industrial Internet Consortium intros service to facilitate IIoT deployments; SiFive, CEVA provide machine-learning processors for Internet of Things, more.
Published: January 9, 2020

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
IntelliGuard, Epic;
the Malaysian Highway Authority, Touch ‘n Go;
Tencent Cloud, STMicroelectronics;
Resideo Technologies, the Zigbee Alliance;
the Industrial Internet Consortium;
SiFive, and CEVA.

IntelliGuard, Epic Offer RFID Inventory System for Anesthesiologists

IntelliGuard has announced the integration of its IntelliGuard Anesthesia solution with Epic, an electronic medical record provider. With this integration, IntelliGuard’s RFID tracking technology for anesthesiologists will now be connected to Epic’s software.

“The health-care industry is notoriously known for creating disjointed workflows and time-consuming steps for caregivers at all levels, including anesthesiology providers,” IntelliGuard noted in a press release. “Because systems from different departments fail to communicate with each other, providers are forced to shift most of their focus from patient care to administrative work.”

To improve communication and create greater efficiencies in operating rooms, IntelliGuard’s Intelligent Inventory solutions offer real-time inventory monitoring and analysis, eliminating the need for manual tracking. With the integration of IntelliGuard Anesthesia and Epic’s offerings, the companies explain, anesthesiologists and pharmacists can accurately track medications, including controlled substances, after they have been dispensed.

According to the companies, RFID provides deeper insight into when a medication was dispensed, as well as the amount administered to a patient, which patient received the drug and any allergies associated with his or her condition. With a passive workflow, health-care professionals can streamline medication management and increase the amount of time employees devote to patient care.

“IntelliGuard is continuously dedicated to eliminating pain points and frustrations of siloed workflows in the operating room,” said Gordon Krass, IntelliGuard’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Barcode technology can only account for roughly two-thirds of medication inventory at a time, which simply isn’t enough to ensure hospitals have an accurate pulse on medication utilization and inventory. Our automated inventory tracking and analysis via RFID, paired with Epic, will provide deeper and more reliable visibility and accountability for anesthesiology and pharmacy departments from start to finish.”

Malaysia Rolls Out Touch ‘n Go RFID-based Toll-Collection System

The Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) recently implemented RFID-based toll collection across all 62 of its toll plazas on highways throughout the country that utilize an open-toll system. The implementation began on Jan. 1, 2020.

The agency reports that the move is intended to improve traffic flow at toll plazas, since users will not need to stop and tap a Touch ‘n Go card at a reader. In addition, the agency explains, the deployment is designed to eliminate issues that were associated with the system previously in place—battery depletion, for example, since RFID stickers do not require batteries.

A user’s Touch ‘n Go eWallet is linked to his or her RFID sticker, and the individual can reload it using a smartphone app. Installation is being carried out at 18 stationary and 112 mobile fitment centers throughout Malaysia, and the use of the RFID sticker is free at present, other than the toll charges. According to the agency, users should make sure their eWallet holds sufficient funds before entering a highway, in order to avoid problems during toll collection.

Touch ‘n Go has been conducting public trials since 2018 involving RFID technology, and the agency reports that the number of users registered to utilize the system is currently at more than 830,000. The trial period’s extension was so that the company could address several problems, LLM explains. The rollout, according to the agency, is the first step toward the government’s planned Multi-lane Free Flow (MLFF) system, which it expects to implement within two years.

Tencent Cloud, STMicroelectronics Partner on LoRaWAN IoT Platform in China

Tencent Cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) division of Tencent Group, and global semiconductor firm STMicroelectronics have announced their cooperation on Tencent’s latest IoT operation system, known as TencentOS Tiny LoRaWAN. With the platform running on the STM32 LoRaWAN software expansion package, the companies report, this partnership is intended to simplify access to Tencent Cloud’s IoT Explorer platform.

TencentOS Tiny is an open-source IoT-embedded operation system. To simplify LoRaWAN migration and accelerate time-to-market for Chinese IoT developers, Tencent has expanded the TencentOS Tiny family and unveiled TencentOS Tiny LoRaWAN. The solution is available first in ST’s STM32 LoRaWAN software expansion package, which contains STM32 microcontroller software and the latest Firmware Update Over The Air (FUOTA) specifications. The collaboration between Tencent and ST will allow developers to create LoRaWAN and FUOTA nodes based on STM32 products, and to securely access all the needed software components validated by IoT Explorer.

“As a market leader in 32-bit MCUs with a powerful ecosystem and IoT-related infrastructure, the STM32 is a natural first choice for the anchor platform for Tencent’s IoT OS,” said Arnaud Julienne, ST’s VP and head of marketing and applications of MDG, in a prepared statement. “Combining Tencent’s leading IoT platform with ST’s strong LoRaWAN solutions and support of robust STM32 ecosystem assures best-in-class experience to Chinese IoT developers and customers.”

“ST is the most influential MCU product partner in Tencent Cloud IoT solutions. We will work closely to serve the IoT industry, jointly expand the business ecosystem, and build the industrial IoT New situation,” said Yachen Wang, Tencent Cloud’s general manager, in the prepared statement. According to the companies, TencentOS Tiny LoRaWAN is available now.

Resideo Joins Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors

The Zigbee Alliance, an organization comprising hundreds of companies that create and maintain open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that Resideo Technologies has joined its Board of Directors. Along with other Zigbee Alliance member companies, Resideo will play a role in the Connected Home Over IP Project, designed to simplify development for manufacturers and increase device compatibility for consumers.

Resideo provides connected-home solutions and manufactures smart-home solutions, some carrying the Honeywell Home brand. The company has controls in more than 150 million homes worldwide and is focused on offering consumers a simple, intuitive smart-home experience.

“Resideo is synonymous with residential home controls, having created the original thermostat when it was still part of Honeywell,” said Tobin Richardson, the Zigbee Alliance’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Fast forward to 2020 and they are now a leader across the connected home and bring tremendous technological resources to our Alliance. Their breadth of connected solutions allows companies using the Zigbee protocol in their products to help simplify the smart home experience for consumers.”

Resideo is focused on protecting a home’s four main networks: air, water, energy and security. Through its Works with Honeywell Home API program, the organization offers homeowners more than 4,000 partner connections. “As a global leader in the connected home industry, it’s our responsibility to partner with other established companies to help drive standards and value for the intelligent living landscape,” said Scott Harkins, Resideo’s VP and general manager for connected homes, in a prepared statement. “We take an open architecture approach, and our involvement in industry standards organizations like the Zigbee Alliance helps set the course for market players and facilities to have stronger compatibility between products and ecosystems to make smart home connections easier for homeowners.”

Industrial Internet Consortium Intros Service to Facilitate IIoT Deployments

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization focused on transforming business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced a new pilot program called Industry Connect Service. The service is designed to help organizations achieve digital transformation by connecting them with experts who can understand their business problems and develop and deploy IIoT solutions.

Technology users seeking solutions to large complex problems, either to scale existing proofs-of-concept or to identify requirements for industry standards, now have a direct path to engage with the IIC through the ICS, the organization explains. Technology users are invited to work with the IIC to guide the connection to experts within the IIC membership ecosystem, in order to identify problems and possible solutions, as well as opportunities for new technology development and proofs-of-concepts with testbeds and test drives, and to define requirements for their industry.

“IIC is the world’s leading IIoT [consortium], comprised of leaders in the development and adoption of IIoT and emerging technologies,” said Howard Kradjel, IIC’s VP of industry programs, in a prepared statement. “IIC member experts have developed best practices, guidelines and frameworks and have applied these resources across many industries. Their knowledge and insight can help technology users transform their businesses. We look forward to the projects the ICS will bring to our ecosystem and the opportunity for our membership to deliver direct value to technology users.”

Users can submit their problem and requirements to the IIC membership, then members will have the opportunity to identify solutions to real-world problems that have a direct impact on industries. The ICS enables technology users to leverage the IIC ecosystem of experts, regardless of a project’s size.

SiFive, CEVA Provide Machine-Learning Processors for Internet of Things, More

SiFive, a provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, and CEVA, a licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, have announced a partnership to enable the design and creation of ultra-low-power domain-specific edge AI processors for a range of high-volume end markets.

The partnership, as part of SiFive’s DesignShare program, is centered around RISC-V CPUs, CEVA’s DSP cores, AI processors and software, which will be designed into SoCs targeting an array of end markets where on-device neural networks inferencing supporting imaging, computer vision, speech recognition and sensor fusion applications is required. Initial end markets include smart homes, automotive, robotics, security and surveillance, augmented reality, industrial and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Domain-specific SoCs which can handle machine-learning processing on-device are set to become mainstream, the companies report, as the processing workloads of devices increasingly includes a mix of traditional software and efficient deep neural networks to maximize performance and battery life, and to add new intelligent features. Cloud-based AI inference is not suitable for many of these devices due to security, privacy and latency concerns. SiFive and CEVA say they are addressing these challenges through the development of a range of domain-specific scalable edge AI processor designs.

The SoCs are supported by CEVA’s CDNN Deep Neural Network machine-learning software compiler, which creates runtime software for the CEVA-XM vision processors, CEVA-BX audio DSPs and NeuPro AI processors. Targeted for mass-market embedded devices, CDNN incorporates a range of network optimizations, advanced quantization algorithms, data-flow management and CNN and RNN libraries into a holistic solution that enables cloud-trained AI models to be deployed on edge devices for inference processing. CEVA will supply a development platform for partners and developers based on the CEVA-XM and NeuPro architectures, to enable the development of deep-learning applications using the CDNN, targeting any advanced network, as well as DSP tools and libraries for audio and voice pre- and post-processing workloads.

The SiFive DesignShare IP program offers a streamlined process for companies seeking to partner with vendors to provide pre-integrated premium Silicon IP for bringing new SoCs to market. “CEVA’s partnership with SiFive enables the creation of Edge AI SoCs that can be quickly and expertly tailored to the workloads, while also retaining the flexibility to support new innovations in machine learning,” said Issachar Ohana, CEVA’s executive VP for worldwide sales, in a prepared statement. “Our market leading DSPs and AI processors, coupled with the CDNN machine learning software compiler, allow these AI SoCs to simplify the deployment of cloud-trained AI models in intelligent devices and provides a compelling offering for anyone looking to leverage the power of AI at the edge.”

“Enabling future-proof, technology-leading processor designs is a key step in SiFive’s mission to unlock technology roadmaps,” said Dr. Naveed Sherwani, SiFive’s president and CEO, in the prepared statement. “The rapid evolution of AI models combined with the requirements for low power, low latency, and high-performance demand a flexible and scalable approach to IP and SoC design that our joint CEVA / SiFive portfolio is superbly positioned to provide. The result is shorter time-to-market, while lowering the entry barriers for device manufacturers to create powerful, differentiated products.”

SiFive’s DesignShare program, including CEVA-BX Audio DSPs, CEVA-XM Vision DSPs and NeuPro AI processors, is available now.