RFID Talk Blog

Impinj, Smartrac and Xerafy unveil new products

New product developments are coming out fast and furious prior to the RFID show scheduled for later this month in Orlando. Today we look at announcements from Impinj, Smartrac and Xerafy.

Impinj will showcase its GrandPrix platform along with several new products during RFID Live in Orlando, while Smartrac will unveil new ID card technologies next week at Cartes America 2013.

At the heart of the GrandPrix platform, Impinj’s Monza 5 tag chip powers over half of all UHF Gen 2 tags produced today and can be found in over 50 tag designs from every major global inlay manufacturer. Users of the Impinj GrandPrix platform will be able to seamlessly intermix tags based on Monza 5 with tags built from Impinj’s future tag chip models, the first of which will be available in 2014.

For brand owners and service bureaus using the GrandPrix platform, Impinj is announcing the second generation of its Source Tagging Platform, STP 2.0, which enables and simplifies high-throughput and highly reliability source tagging deployments.  With STP 2.0, brand owners enjoy the flexibility to decide when, where and how to serialize tags to achieve the lowest total applied tag cost, and service bureaus can deliver RFID-enabled retail trim with the same turn-around times and quality their customers expected before RFID.

When used with Monza tag chips, Impinj STP 2.0 uses pipelining, advanced error correction, extraordinary write sensitivity and other proprietary techniques to sustain printer-encoder speeds of up to 100,000 units per hour and throughput of up to 300,000 units per hour for encode-only systems.  The speed and flexibility of the Impinj GrandPrix platform enables brand owners and service bureaus to economically scale source tagging with the growing number of item-level RFID initiatives.

As the foundation of enterprise-class RFID solutions, the Impinj GrandPrix platform leverages all the performance and functionality advantages of Speedway fixed readers and Indy-based RFID mobile or stationary readers.

To enable the growing variety of RFID-enabled products and devices, Impinj is introducing the new Indy RS500 System-in-Package (SiP) reader chip.  Compatible with the GrandPrix platform and housed in a small, surface mount package, Impinj’s Indy RS500 is a complete UHF Gen 2 reader that simplifies development of products with embedded RFID capability and reduces time-to-market in a wide range of applications.

“Impinj’s broad ecosystem of tag and solution providers made it easy for us to go with GrandPrix from the start of our latest RFID initiatives,” says Stacey Shulman, CTO of American Apparel. “Because of that decision, we are now rolling out new business capabilities that would have been impossible otherwise. GrandPrix will give us a real advantage in the market.”

Future generations of Impinj products will be compatible with the GrandPrix platform, including Speedway xArray™, an advanced reader system designed for autonomous wide-area monitoring.  When ceiling mounted, xArray can accurately interrogate a 40-foot diameter area, utilizing an array of antenna beams to provide granular location information about tags in its field of view.  Optimized to read many thousands of tags very quickly and to distinguish tags of interest from others in the field, xArray’s low profile enclosure easily mounts in a single tile of a standard drop ceiling.  xArray will be on display in the Impinj booth at the RFID Journal Live Conference.

“As results-driven P&L owners replace early adopters, we are moving from a technology-oriented market to a solution-oriented market,” says Larry Arnstein, vice president of business development for Impinj. “By expanding application capabilities well beyond the least common denominator provided by the Gen 2 protocol, our GrandPrix platform provides business leaders with more leverage from the same RFID investment.”

Smartrac’s new SMART-SL and SMART-HERA® ID card technologies are based on the company’s long-standing wafer back-end processing, antenna manufacturing, antenna-chip interconnection, and assembling experiences. The SMART-SL product family provides card manufacturers and security printers with thin, flat, and at the same time highly durable ID card inlays with a homogenously flat inlay surface.

The ultra-thin SMART-SL products are manufactured utilizing the company’s proprietary and patented palladium bumping and wire-embedding technologies. The reduced inlay thickness of only 200µm is achieved by connecting the antenna with Smartrac’s unique chip die bonding technology to a copper chip-link carrier substituting commonly available chip module technology.

Xerafy introduced its Pico Wedge and Nano Wedge family, which are EPCglobal Gen 2, UHF passive RFID on-metal tags designed to be easily embedded for industrial applications. Because of their shape and design, the tags can be permanently embedded into metal objects without any adhesives or special tools.

Using RFID for asset identification in construction, oil and gas fields and other industrial operations can be extremely challenging because there is a risk the attached tags may be damaged or detached in the rugged environments they inhabit. The Wedge Series design not only protects the chip, but also enables RFID tags to be embedded in oil and gas valves, pipes, I-beams, construction equipment and other assets quickly and efficiently.

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