Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Profile: Sun Turns Up the Heat

Four years after becoming the first technology company to sponsor the Auto-ID Center, Sun Microsystems says its focus on network computing and peer-to-peer EPC platforms will beat out the competition.
By Jonathan Collins
Nov 17, 2003—As many large technology vendors eye RFID deployments in the supply chain as a new source of revenue, Sun Microsystems believes it has the technology and expertise to get a jump-start on its rivals. The santa Clara, Calif.-based company, which had $11 billion in sales for the year ended June 30, built its business around its core Unix systems and software. Its products run may Web sites, and the company’s slogan is: "the network is the computer." Sun maintains that its heritage enabled the company to immediately see the potential of RFID. In particular,

Jonathan Schwartz
Sun was drawn to the Auto-ID Center's Electronic Product Code (EPC) initiative and the center's promise to create an "Internet of things" by tagging all goods and devices with an EPC number that uniquely identifies the object.

"We believed that everything connected to an electricity supply would be connected to the network," says Jonathan Schwartz, executive VP for Sun Software, the unit responsible for the company's software development and sales. "Automatic identification proves that objects don't even have to have electricity [to be connected]."

Sun's belief in the potential benefits of RFID goes hand in hand with its confidence that it can profit by selling the computers needed to handle the crush of information that will stream in from RFID tags, cell phones and many other connected objects. It is also developing specific EPC software products and a business model for partnering with RFID software and hardware suppliers.

The company likes to point out that back in 1999, it was the first technology vendor invited to become a member of the Auto-ID Center, which was established to develop the standards and basic software needed to create a new network for tracking items using low-cost RFID tags. Sun provided the center with free use of its software developer kits—primarily Java—as well as access to software architects and additional support to aid in the development and testing of EPC technology. Sun also says it donated 60 percent of the hardware and software, some of it custom developed, used by the center to create the EPC platform. Dirk Heyman, global head of life sciences and consumer products industry at Sun, became chairman of the Auto-ID Center's Technology Board, which has overseen the technical development of the EPC standard.

Sun’s involvement with the Auto-ID Center has closely tied the company's technology to the development of the EPC network. Java programming expertise helped the center develop the original Savants—software that gathers, stores and acts on information collected by RFID readers and manages the flow of data in an EPC network.

Sun also believes its connection with the Auto-ID Center gives the company an advantage when it comes to developing and providing its customers with an EPC-based RFID deployment. "Sun stands out [from other IT vendors] because our experts were involved in MIT and the Auto-ID Center from the start," says Julie Sarbacker, director of Sun's auto-ID business unit, which was recently formed to focus on the development and sales of EPC-related products and services.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,476 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco