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EEPROM RFID ICs build long-range asset-tracking circuits

Posted: 05 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? RFID? EEPROM? Alex Mendelsohn? LRI2K?

STMicroelectronics (ST) announced the availability of two 2048-bit long-range RFID memory products. These devices are compliant with ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 1 RFID standards for tracking applications.

The use of 2048-bit memories in the LRI2K and LRIS2K is driven by the demand for increased memory in cost-sensitive general-purpose RFID applications requiring both data storage and security.

As such, ST's latest ICs are suited for access control, library automation, and supply-chain management, as well as for anti-counterfeiting of sensitive products, such as pharmaceuticals and high-value items. These CMOS ICs also tout 40-year data retention.

Password protection
For its part, the LRIS2K chip offers a password feature for additional protection. Each memory block in the device can be individually profiled using one of three available passwords. Security profiling permits different parts of an enterprise's supply chain to control different segments of memory.

Both the LRI2K and LRIS2K pack 2Kbits of EEPROM (electrically erasable PROM). The 2048 bits include block lock capability (32 bits/block), as well as a 64-bit UID (unique identification number) associated with the ISO-compliant anti-collision mechanism.

Memory organization
The memory array is organized as 64 blocks of 32-bits, and each block can be individually write-protected using a Lock command that prevents any subsequent modification of stored data.

In addition, a 64-bit read-only UID block and an 8-bit Application Family Identifier code uniquely identify the device. Additionally, an 8-bit Data Storage Family Identifier register stores data for an anti-collision mechanism.

Using an internal tuning capacitor, the on-chip RF interface operates at the standard 13.56MHz carrier frequency. Application reading range is up to 1.5-meters, so the two devices are suitable for item-level tagging, whenever security, inventory speed and tag size are required.

Due to high on-chip tuning capacitance, the LRI2K and LRIS2K also support the design of very small antennas. This can save space, making theses IC suitable for use with small objects, such as pharmaceutical medicine bottles. What's more, thanks to their long reading range, an electrical article surveillance feature can be implemented for point-of-sale applications.

ST says samples of the LRI2K and LRI2SK are available now, with volume production expected in July. Both devices can be delivered in various formats, including thin un-sawn wafers, sawn and bumped wafers, ultra-thin MLP8 2-by-3mm packages, or as inlays.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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