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New RFID worldwide standard proposed

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MANUFACTURERS and providers of data collection and radio frequency identification (RFID) have submitted an RFID protocol definition that would pave the way for rapid adoption of a new worldwide RFID standard known as Electronic Product Code (EPC), Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) Generation 2.

Companies supporting the protocol include Texas Instruments, Intermec Technologies Corporation, Philips Semiconductors, SAMsys Technologies, Zebra Technologies, Impinj, and Rafsec, and others.

The proposed RFID definition currently is in development by EPCglobal Inc, an arm of UCC.EAN charged with establishing the EPC system.

The proposed definition meets user requirements outlined by the world's leading retailers and others, including the US Department of Defense, the companies said.

It fully meets user requirements, works worldwide, meets international standards and provides a path to low-cost RFID tags and readers.

Together these companies represent multiple sources for every aspect of a fully implemented RFID system - chips, tags, and readers - as well as manufacturers of bar code and 2-D symbology equipment, wireless networks, mobile computers and terminals, software companies and RFID system manufacturers and integrators.

"We recognise that end users are seeking rapid ratification of a common global standard for implementing UHF RFID for their businesses," Tony Sabetti, global business manager for Texas Instruments RFid Systems (distributed in Australia and New Zealand through Electro-Com |Australia| Pty Ltd) said.

"As a unified group of the leading RFID companies all supporting the proposed EPC UHF Generation 2 RFID Standard, we're working together to encourage the rapid adoption of a standard in the EPCglobal process."

RFID is a complement to the industry's current barcode-based tracking systems, allowing companies to automatically track inventory throughout an entire supply chain.

RFID automatic data collection typically does not require line of sight or manual scanning as do most barcode-based systems. For example, information from RFID-tagged cases on a pallet can be read automatically using fixed, mobile or handheld readers rather than requiring individual bar code scanning.

EPC UHF Generation 2 RFID technology adds the capability to change and update the information on each tag as it proceeds through various points in the supply chain, providing new levels of up-to-date information for better decision making.

EPCglobal Inc, a joint venture of the standards bodies EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing and overseeing standards for the newly emerging Electronic Product Code.

As part of that work, EPCglobal Inc. participants are leading the development of standards for the use of RFID technology in a number of industries, including retail supply chain.

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