Texas Instruments RFID Business Doubling Annually

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Texas Instruments is seeing its RFID business grow handsomely, and it is making high-risk/high-return investments in new technology to ensure its leadership position.

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This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 19, 2005—According to an article published today in ComputerWire, the news magazine owned by research firm Datamonitor, Texas Instruments is seeing its RFID business grow handsomely, and it is making high-risk/high-return investments in new technology to ensure a leadership position in the rapidly evolving GEN 2 market. According to Tony Sabetti, TI’s UHF/Retail Supply Chain Director, the company’s RFID business doubled over the past year, a feat he expects to see this year as well. The RFID business is doing about $100 million in sales, a hefty sum to be sure, but only a small fraction of the company’s total $12.6 billion annual revenue.

To grow that $100 million, TI is investing heavily in its 130-nanometer manufacturing node, a silicon-making technology that will eventually lessen the cost to produce RFID chips. Sabetti is quoted as saying, “We’ve taken a leap of faith and designed the silicon itself on the most advanced analog node available today, the 130-nanometer node.” The company has already begun producing the 130-nm silicon. The current manufacturing capacity of several hundred million will be expanded to one billion by year-end. It will take until 2007 for silicon wafer costs to fall to the point where the manufacturing technology starts to pay dividends for TI. (2008, incidentally, is the year cited by the more aggressive prognosticators that RFID tag cost could dip to the fabled 5-cent level.)

Texas Instruments has been an active and highly visible player in RFID for more than a decade, a veritable ice age before the Wal-Mart and DoD mandates directed the attention of mainstream business and media to the technology. (As one minor example, it has been producing an RFID newsletter since February of 2000.) Its position has long been expected to increase dramatically with the introduction of GEN 2 technology, for which the company will be a primary producer of inlays, competing with the likes of Impinj and Philips Semiconductors.

Read the full article from ComputerWire