What do you call an RFID chip that is somewhere between high and low memory? Waltham, Mass.-based Tego, a provider of high-memory tagging solutions is still searching for the exact wording, but the “mid-memory” chip is available nonetheless. The company unveiled its TegoChip 2000, a 2-kilobit chip for tagging aircraft parts that require only birth record storage and identification.
While Tego’s high memory technology is widely used in the aviation industry to track parts that hold substantial maintenance histories, the new entry is designed for tracking parts with less record-keeping needs but in highly rugged environments.
“We’re finding that a lot of customers who use low memory tags need more memory than the current low memory tags could give them, and they need that memory to exist for longer periods,” says Tim Butler, CEO of Tego. “Given the conditions that the tags exist in, they needed to be more rugged than the current chips out there.”
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The new chip’s EPC limit already supports the new Tag Data Standard 1.6 (TDS 1.6) that GS1 EPC Global ratified in September to include new aerospace and defense definitions.TegoChip 2000 provides 1536 bits of user memory, supporting even the largest aviation birth records using any and all fields allowed by Spec 2000.
According to Butler, other low memory RFID products typically range from 512 to 1500 bits in total and are not suitable for Spec 2000 applications because they cannot support extended EPC codes without taking memory away from the user space where birth records reside. The result is that they can be forced to leave mandatory data out of the birth record.
The new tags are ready for production and will vary in price from $3-$8 per tag, depending on volume and the degree of ruggedness required.
Jon Andresen, president of Technology Solutions LLC, a consultant to Boeing and other aviation customers, says that the new tag fills a void for middle of the road storage solutions that will allow the aviation industry to take further advantage of RFID technology.
“What started as high memory applications for aircraft maintenance and repair is quickly filtering down to become a general RFID-enabled business need to tag more parts and to do even more with the information that’s stored on those parts,” Andresen said in a release. “Aviation users don’t always need high memory but they do need the longer EPC codes to mark parts, and they’ve been looking for a cost effective option that Tego’s low memory chip now offers.”
Butler says the new chip is based on Tego’s Radion chip that it launched for the medical industry in April. That chip offers 1.5 kilobits of EPC and user memory for extended functionality in supply chain, asset management and logistics applications as well as maintenance tracking.
“As a result of that tag we got a lot of interest from the aerospace industry for a lower memory chip that can exist under rugged conditions for a longer period of time,” says Butler. He says that the tag also has big potential in industrial processing and sectors including chemicals, oil and gas, and construction, where a number of pilots are taking place. The company plans to make more announcements regarding those sectors in the upcoming months.