Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN), a leading provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, today announced a delivery milestone of pre-production samples of Electronic Product Code (EPC) Generation (Gen) 2 inlays and straps to label converter and printer customers. TI also announces it is ramping to volume production in the millions beginning in July 2005, starting with its ultra-high frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 inlays.
The companys Gen 2 strap manufacturing will also begin in July. These unique straps are designed for fast accurate placement of the RFID chips direct on to inlays and labels. Label converter and printer manufacturer partners are working to incorporate TIs Gen 2 inlays and straps into finished labels for use by consumer goods manufacturers in the global retail supply chain.
Were capitalizing on our RFID manufacturing muscle to move the market from prototyping to large scale deployments of EPC Gen 2 on a global basis, said Tony Sabetti, director of UHF/Retail Supply Chain, Texas Instruments RFid Systems.
TI is leveraging its experience to deliver highly reliable, high-volume production of EPC Gen 2 UHF inlays and straps that meet the demanding yield, reliability and ease- of- integration needs of the label conversion and printer market, and ultimately the requirements of end-users applying the technology in their retail supply chain businesses, added Sabetti.
TI is also working to facilitate interoperability of the EPC Gen 2 infrastructure, including encoders, readers, printers and hardware devices, accelerating market adoption by consumer goods manufacturers and retailers. In April 2005, TI announced broad support by 12 of the leading printer and reader companies who are committed to providing products based on the EPC Gen 2 standard, and who are working in close collaboration with TI to bring to market a wide range of interoperable solutions.
This UHF Gen 2 production milestone introduces additional TI-RFid innovations to new markets. TI co-invented the flexible RFID inlay with the introduction of its Tag-it product line in 1998. TI was the first company to work with leading label converter companies to build standardized smart label conversion processes for RFID technology.
With its delivery of production ready Gen 2 products, TI has strengthened RFID industry momentum toward higher-volume supply chain RFID solutions, said Erik Michielsen, director of RFID and Ubiquitous Networks, ABI Research. As reliable Gen 2 products reach the market, resellers, integrators, and end-users see less uncertainty and more reason to allocate additional financial and human resources to RFID supply chain deployments.
The EPC Gen 2 standard is the newest and most advanced of the RFID specifications for the UHF band centred around 900 MHz and is widely supported by end-users and manufacturers within the RFID industry. Texas Instruments is working with the EPCglobal Inc standards organization, and is actively extending its efforts within the International Standards Organization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) process to accelerate the process of ISO/IEC standardization of EPC Gen 2 for global adoption.