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.
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
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.