Electronic Design

EPCglobal's Gen 2

Developed by the EPCglobal industry group, the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Gen 2 standard defines the physical and logical requirements for a passive-backscatter, interrogator-talks-first (ITF), radio-frequency-identification (RFID) system operating in the 860- to 960-MHz frequency range. Advances continue to push the standard forward for the supply chain.

IDTechEx reports that the Spanish Post Office has implemented Europe’s largest UHF RFID system in sorting centers in 16 cities across Spain. Reusable tags are inserted into an envelope and sent through the system to monitor the movement of letters as well as the system’s real-time performance.

NEC Corp. is deploying Impinj’s Speedway reader in a gate system to achieve faster tag throughput rates and data accuracy. Coupled with NEC’s proprietary radio-wave reflection technology, the Impinj reader achieves throughput exceeding 1000 tags per second in typical supply-chain environments and 200 tags per second in dense reader environments.

Sontec signed an agreement with Texas Instruments to purchase 10 million Gen 2 IC chips from TI for use in its mount-on-metal tags. Traditionally, RF waves from an RFID tag are reflected by metals at ultra-high frequencies and weakened by the eddy currents that metals produce. Sontec’s mount-on-metal packaging enables the tags to operate when attached to white goods and electronics products with high metal content.

Sirit Inc. obtained EPCglobal’s compliance for Dense Reader Mode (DRM) for its Infinity 510 UHF RFID reader. The DRM is a specialized implementation of the Gen 2 standard for instances when readers are used in close proximity to one another.

And, Alien Technology Corp. offers “second wave” Gen 2 chips that the company claims deliver a 30% longer read range. The “World Reader” chips, which feature a common Gen 2 RFID reader hardware platform equipped with universal software application programming interfaces, can be leveraged around the globe. The readers include the Alien ALR-9800-WR1, designed to meet the radio emissions standards of Australia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, and the Alien ALR-9800-CHN for use in China.

In October, Alien opened a 48,000-ft2 manufacturing facility in Fargo, N.D. The company also has partnered with Oracle and Intel to develop an integrated RFID business solution for the transportation, automotive, and aerospace industries. The solution addresses the RFID data cycle from data capture to integration of RFID with enterprise systems for access and response.

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