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UHF ICs offer tag tamper alarm, privacy mode options

Posted: 12 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:UHF? RFID? antenna? digital switch?


NXP Semiconductors has unveiled the UCODE G2iL and G2iL+ UHF solutions that enable read ranges based on a simple, cost-effective single antenna solution. The chips offer a variety of industry-first features, including a tag tamper alarm, several privacy mode options, and password-protected data transfer or digital switch. The new UCODE G2iL series provides high read rates, ultimate flexibility, and best-in-class cost-performance ratios for item-level tagging and authentication in advanced RFID systems.

The NXP UCODE G2iL and G2iL+ chips offer a single antenna port sensitivity of -18dBm, requiring only half the RF power to activate the chip compared to previous UCODE devices. This results in long read ranges which match dual antenna port solutions with equal sized antennas. The UCODE G2iL+ further improves both READ and WRITE performance to -23dBm when connected to a power supply.

The UCODE G2iL series offers a product status flag, which can be set and reset repeatedly to indicate whether a product has undergone a quality check or passed a certain process checkpoint, and can also be used as an electronic article surveillance alarm. Privacy protection is available in a number of different ways, including the Read Protect, which allows the series to deny general access to product information contained in its EPC/TID memory, and allow authorized access only. The Read Protect feature can be set and reset repeatedly, using 32bit password protection.

Security check
While conventional RFID tags can easily be removed, the UCODE G2iL+ includes a tag tamper alarm feature that detects any attempt to tamper in case a label is ripped, torn or moved. This unique tag tamper feature sends a signal to the reader that it has been manipulated. The tag tamper alarm is particularly useful in identifying when a label has been cut off a piece of apparel in a retail store changing room, or indicating when a tag has been removed from its original position for any simple seals for items such as containers or jewelry.

The series also offers digital data transfer and digital switch. Enabling flexible product configuration and activation at any stage including the point-of-sale (POS), these features are specifically tailored to reduce theft and manage inventory levels in the electronic device market. Firmware or configuration data can be loaded into the microcontroller of a device via the air interface of the UCODE G2iL+ chip, allowing device manufacturers to enable or disable specific features for different device models, or lock and unlock the device at various control points along the supply chain or at the final POS.

In addition, the UCODE G2iL+ chip offers a real read range reduction, which reduces the read range to only a few inches, so that both consumers and shop owners don't need to worry about unauthorized reads.

"Long read ranges, without the extra cost of a second antenna, and effective privacy protectioncombined with a tag tamper alarmare essential in RFID tags and labels for high volume consumer goods. Through ongoing evaluation and testing in NXP's RFID Application and System Center, we've developed a unique product series that has been optimized for real-life conditions in the retail, fashion and electronic device markets," said Chris Feige, general manager, tagging and authentication, NXP. "With industry-leading performance and lean memory, the UCODE G2iL is ideal for cost-sensitive RFID applications, while the UCODE G2iL+ introduces many features that are a first in the industry"

Engineering samples of the UCODE G2iL and G2iL+ are now available for tag and inlay manufacturers with chip volume production starting in June. Tag and inlay samples are expected to be available in the May/June time frame.

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