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Philips not first with plastic RFID, claims startup

Posted: 09 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? PolyIC? Philips Research? plastic electronics? RFID?

Plastic-electronics developer PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG has contested a claim by Philips Research that Philips engineers realized the first plastic-electronics-based radio-frequency ID tag capable of transmitting multibit digital identification codes at 13.56MHz.

The performance details of the Philips plastic circuit are being presented in San Francisco this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which runs through Feb. 9.

"We are happy to have a big player such as Philips in this market. But one thing we want to correct is, they were not the first. We have successfully demonstrated and published on a 13.56MHz tag based on polymer materials," Wolfgang Mildner, managing director of PolyIC, told EE Times in an e-mail. Mildner said PolyIC, a joint venture of Leonhard Kurz GmbH & Co. KG and Siemens AG, presented a paper on its RFID tag at an organic RFID conference held in October 2005.

At a learned conference in June 2005, PolyIC described a polymer-based rectifier diode that works at frequencies up to and beyond 13 MHz. The company says it intends to produce roll-to-roll versions of its full plastic RFID tag in 2006.

"With this early demonstration of a future product made of organic electronics, we showed that the performance of the available materials is sufficient to manufacture the first standardized products. Some challenges were coped with; some are still on the road ahead. [But] the world of printed electronics definitely approaches," Mildner said in a statement.

PolyIC's technology uses standard polyester foil as a substrate on which the company prints transistors made from an organic semiconductor, such as polythiophene, with insulating plastics. To achieve volume production of low-priced products, volume printing processes and corresponding test practices still need to be developed, the company said.

PolyIC is working with its parent companies and Lufthansa Systems Passenger GmbH on the use of plastic RFID tags for aviation logistics, ticketing and security. Other applications are being tested under the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's Prisma project for printed smart labels.

PolyIC was formed in November 2003 and is headquartered at the Siemens Research Center in Erlangen.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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