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New EPC Gen2 RFID Chips from STMicroelectronics Ready to Facilitate Supply Chain Management

  Geneva – STMicroelectronics has introduced a UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) contactless memory chip, compliant with the latest Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) specifications. ST’s XRAG2 meets the key requirements for next-generation supply chain and logistics applications: global interoperability, enhanced security, and optimized performance.

An active member of the EPCglobal industry consortium, STMicroelectronics is working to promote an open global standard for real-time, automatic identification of items in the supply chain management. The new XRAG2 builds on the success of its predecessor (XRA00) and underlines the Company’s commitment to supporting standardized solutions for Very Long Range RFID systems.

ST’s new UHF chip is a full-featured, low-cost integrated circuit designed for use in RFID tags, or electronic labels, operating at a range of UHF frequencies from 860 to 960MHz. This frequency agility ensures the same tag can be applied and read at any place in the world, regardless of the geographically varying wireless regulations. The universal appeal of EPC Generation 2 products is set to stimulate unprecedented economies of scale for RFID product manufacturers.

Widespread adoption of RFID systems depends on their robustness and reliability. The XRAG2 features a fast and flexible anti-collision mechanism that allows the reader to detect and correctly identify all tags in its operating range. Designed for the noisy and unpredictable radio conditions typical of RFID applications, ST devices use a reliable tag-unique selection based on a 16-bit random handle.

The Generation 2 specifications also optimize system performance in different reader environments. At facilities with more than 10 readers, XRAG2 chips are capable of operating in the dense-reading mode, which minimizes interference by allowing readers to transmit within a different sub-band from the one within which the tags respond.


The XRAG2’s security mechanisms include password-protection against tampering and the KILL command that supports disabling tags in the field so their data can never again be accessed. The ability to permanently deactivate a tag is vital in satisfying consumer privacy concerns. For example, the KILL command could be executed when the tagged item is purchased by a consumer, thereby disabling future tracking.

The XRAG2 is a 432-bit memory offering two possible configurations, thus allowing the tag to store dedicated industrial codes: three memory banks (64 bits TID, 304 bits for EPC code and 64 bits reserved), or four memory banks (128 bits user, 64 bits TID, 176 bits for EPC code and 64 bits reserved).

Developed using a highly reliable and mature CMOS technology with embedded EEPROM, the XRAG2 is well-suited to high-volume, cost-driven markets. Its non-volatile memory technology features 40-year data retention and more than 10,000 Write/Erase cycles to support the requirements of long-life applications.

Engineering samples of the XRAG2 are now with key partners, with full sample availability within the next few weeks and volume production expected by December 2005. The device is priced at $0.07 in 100,000 unit quantities. The product can be ordered in thin un-sawn wafers, or in bumped and sawn wafers.

Lunes, 12 Septiembre, 2005 - 10:55
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