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Texas Instruments RFID Products- Series 2000 LF Micro RFID Evaluation Kit

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> Series 2000 LF Evaluation Kit • Accessories
> Series 2000 LF Micro Evaluation Kit • Software Downloads
Low Frequency Micro RFID Eval Kit Buy Now!
> Series 6000 HF-I Mid-Range Eval Kit •RI-K3A-001A
> Series 6400 Access Control Eval Kit
Accessories
The easy-to-use plug & play Low Frequency Midrange Reader
> Series 2000 Antenna Tuning Indicator Evaluation Kit gives you the opportunity to explore the
> Transponder Housing • TI-RFid eStore
capabilities of Texas Instruments’ 134.2 kHz Radio Frequency
> Transponder Sheeting Identification (RFID) technology TIRIS™ .
Software Downloads
The core of this LF Evaluation Kit is the CE and FCC approved
Applications Series 2000 Micro Reader which is mounted on an Interface
Board combined with an antenna. Various transponder We've gone global!!
samples and a demonstration software that runs on your
desktop computer allow you to experiment with all the features
of the RFID system.

RFID creates an automatic way to collect information about a • TI-RFid Newsletter


product, place, time or transaction quickly, easily and without
human error. It provides a contactless data link, without need
for line of sight or concerns about harsh or dirty environments
that restrict other auto ID technologies such as bar codes. Click Here
to Sign Up!
RFID has been applied in hundreds of applications in dozens
of key industries. Examples include vehicle and personnel
access control, automotive anti-theft systems, product and
asset tracking, animal
identification, supply chain automation, waste management …

Contents:

• Qty. • Device
S2000 Micro Reader RI-STU-MRD1
mounted on an Interface Board with:
1 - RS232 IF Port
- Power Connector
- Antenna Connector
1 80mm Disk Antenna
Set of R/O, R/W, M/P Transponders in various
1
packages

http://www.ti.com/tiris/docs/products/evalKits/RI-K3A-001A.shtml (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:17:39 AM


Texas Instruments RFID Products- Series 2000 LF Micro RFID Evaluation Kit

1 PC Interface Cable
1 CD with User Documentation and Demo Software
1 Getting Started Guide
9V Power Supply
1 Input 100V–240V, 1.5A with various main power
connectors for international use

Not sure of which Evaluation Kit to buy? Click here for a


comparison chart to review some of the features

Literature

Click Here to view the Product Bulletin (34 KB)

If you do not have the Acrobat Reader, click here to download.

(c) Copyright 2002 Texas Instruments Incorporated. All rights reserved. Trademarks | Privacy Policy

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Digital Tracking Information System using micro RFID

| HITACHI HOME | SDL HOME | UP |

Digital Tracking Information System using micro RFID

http://www.sdl.hitachi.co.jp/english/security/data/rd200219.htm (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:18:02 AM


Digital Tracking Information System using micro RFID

We develop the physical objects centric information system


by using micro RFID which can be watermarked into paper.
Tracking of any kind of commodities, from their
manufacturing to the scrapping, makes it easy to control their
quality, security and cost.

RFID : Radio Frequency Identification


ID : Identification
ROM : Read Only Memory

All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the


property of their respective owners.
"µ-chip"is the trademark of HITACHI Ltd. In Japan and
other countries.

All Rights Reserved,Copyright (C) 1998,2002,Hitachi, Ltd.


www-info@sdl.hitachi.co.jp

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<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)

Heiko Recktenwald on Sat, 18 Jan 2003 15:05:33 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)

● To: nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
● Subject: <nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)
● From: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106@IBM.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
● Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 19:25:52 +0100 (CET)
● Reply-to: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106@IBM.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>

Well, it seems privacy is over.


Or do we not have to care since identity and what we wear are
different?

Voila:

---------- Forwarded message ----------


RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages
By Declan McCullagh
January 13, 2003, 6:26 AM PT

Could we be constantly tracked through our clothes, shoes or even


our cash in the future?

I'm not talking about having a microchip surgically implanted


beneath your skin, which is what Applied Digital Systems of Palm
Beach, Fla., would like to do. Nor am I talking about John
Poindexter's creepy Total Information Awareness spy-veillance
system, which I wrote about last week.

Instead, in the future, we could be tracked because we'll be


wearing, eating and carrying objects that are carefully designed to
do so.

The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for

http://amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0301/msg00075.html (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:18:40 AM


<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)

radio frequency identification. RFID tags are miniscule microchips,


which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They
listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique
ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from
the initial radio signal to transmit their response.

You should become familiar with RFID technology because you'll be


hearing much more about it soon. Retailers adore the concept, and
CNET News.com's own Alorie Gilbert wrote last week about how
Wal-Mart and the U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco are starting to
install "smart shelves" with networked RFID readers. In what will
become the largest test of the technology, consumer goods giant
Gillette recently said it would purchase 500 million RFID tags from
Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, Calif.

Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but
industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The company does predict
that in quantities of 1 billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents
each, and in lots of 10 billion, the industry's holy grail of 5
cents a tag.

It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything


you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags,
which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about
18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German
company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into
clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is
considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2005.

[... remainder snipped and available at


http://news.com.com/2010-1069-980325.html ...]

# distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission


# <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
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# more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg
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<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)

● Prev by Date: <nettime> froomkin: toward a critical theory of cyberspace


● Next by Date: <nettime> p.s.: don't forget to water the rhizome! digest [flagan, guderian]
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● Index(es):
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RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages | CNET News.com

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Search News.com
Go!
News.context: Special Reports | Newsmakers | Perspectives Advanced search

RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages


Latest Headlines
By Declan McCullagh display on desktop
January 13, 2003, 6:26 AM PT Netgear raises $98 million in
IPO
Could we be constantly tracked through our clothes, shoes or even
ISP returns labels' subpoena
our cash in the future?
serve with suit

I'm not talking about having a microchip surgically implanted beneath your skin, which is what Applied Digital Microsoft gives 12
Systems of Palm Beach, Fla., would like to do. Nor am I talking about John Poindexter's creepy Total Information governments a peek
Awareness spy-veillance system, which I wrote about last week.
FCC probes WorldCom on
fees
Instead, in the future, we could be tracked because we'll be wearing, eating and carrying objects that are carefully
designed to do so. A high-tech bridge to Middle
East peace?
The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification. RFID tags are Truce called in Java standards
miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query
battle
and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from the
initial radio signal to transmit their response. AOL readies next-generation
service
You should become familiar with RFID technology because you'll be hearing much more about it soon. Retailers
adore the concept, and CNET News.com's own Alorie Gilbert wrote last week about how Wal-Mart and the U.K.- Print a hologram? Almost,
based grocery chain Tesco are starting to install "smart shelves" with networked RFID readers. In what will Xerox says
become the largest test of the technology, consumer goods giant Gillette recently said it would purchase 500
Study: Bad security flaws don't
million RFID tags from Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, Calif.
die

Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The California budget crisis to hit IT
company does predict that in quantities of 1 billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents each, and in lots of 10
Dell pulls OS fix for handhelds
billion, the industry's holy grail of 5 cents a tag.
Siemens to cut 2,300 jobs
It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that's more expensive than a
Snickers will sport RFID tags, which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about 18 thousand trillion Siebel develops dinosaur
possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into complex
clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags into Subscriptions head exits
banknotes by 2005.
RealNetworks

That raises the disquieting possibility of being tracked though our personal possessions. Imagine: The Gap links Computer Sciences nabs
your sweater's RFID tag with the credit card you used to buy it and recognizes you by name when you return. contract
Grocery stores flash ads on wall-sized screens based on your spending patterns, just like in "Minority Report."
Police gain a trendy method of constant, cradle-to-grave surveillance. Business IM added to
BlackBerry mix
You can imagine nightmare legal scenarios that don't involve the cops. Future divorce cases could involve one HP's Unix beats Windows in
party seeking a subpoena for RFID logs--to prove that a spouse was in a certain location at a certain time. Future server test
burglars could canvass alleys with RFID detectors, looking for RFID tags on discarded packaging that indicates
expensive electronic gear is nearby. In all of these scenarios, the ability to remain anonymous is eroded.

http://news.com.com/2010-1069-980325.html (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:19:16 AM


RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages | CNET News.com

Cox tests Internet phone


It becomes unnervingly Don't get me wrong. RFID tags are, on the whole, a useful development service
easy to imagine a and a compelling technology. They permit retailers to slim inventory
scenario where levels and reduce theft, which one industry group estimates at $50 billion Panel defends flaw disclosure
a year. With RFID tags providing economic efficiencies for businesses,
everything you buy consumers likely will end up with more choices and lower prices.
guidelines

that's more expensive Besides, wouldn't it be handy to grab a few items from store shelves and MPEG standard addresses
than a Snickers will sport simply walk out, with the purchase automatically debited from your rights
RFID tags. (hopefully secure) RFID'd credit card?
This week's headlines

The privacy threat comes when RFID tags remain active once you leave a store. That's the scenario that should
raise alarms--and currently the RFID industry seems to be giving mixed signals about whether the tags will be
disabled or left enabled by default. News Tools
Get news by mobile
In an interview with News.com's Gilbert last week, Gillette Vice President Dick Cantwell said that its RFID tags
would be disabled at the cash register only if the consumer chooses to "opt out" and asks for the tags to be What is this?
turned off. "The protocol for the tag is that it has built in opt-out function for the retailer, manufacturer, consumer,"
Cantwell said. Content licensing

Display news on desktop


Wal-Mart, on the other hand, says that's not the case. When asked if Wal-Mart will disable the RFID tags at
checkout, company spokesman Bill Wertz told Gilbert: "My understanding is that we will."

Cantwell asserts that there's no reason to fret. "At this stage of the game, the tag is no good outside the store," he
said. "At this point in time, the tag is useless beyond the store shelf. There is no value and no harm in the tag
outside the distribution channel. There is no way it can be read or that (the) data would be at all meaningful to
anyone." That's true as far as it goes, but it doesn't address what might happen if RFID tags and readers become News.com Morning
widespread. Dispatch
(weekdays) sample
If the tags stay active after they leave the store, the biggest privacy worries depend on the range of the RFID News.com Afternoon
readers. There's a big difference between tags that can be read from an inch away compared to dozens or Dispatch
hundreds of feet away. (weekdays) sample
News.com Enterprise
For its part, Alien Technology says its RFID tags can be read up to 15 Hardware
feet away. "When we talk about the range of these tags being 3 to 5 The privacy threat (weekly) sample
meters, that's a range in free space," said Tom Pounds, a company vice comes when RFID tags
president. "That's optimally oriented in front of a reader in free space. In
fact if you put a tag up against your body or on a metal Rolex watch in remain active once you All News.com newsletters
free space, the read range drops to zero." leave a store.

But what about a more powerful RFID reader, created by criminals or police who don't mind violating FCC Business
regulations? Eric Blossom, a veteran radio engineer, said it would not be difficult to build a beefier transmitter and Management
a more sensitive receiver that would make the range far greater. "I don't see any problem building a sensitive
Small Business
receiver," Blossom said. "It's well-known technology, particularly if it's a specialty item where you're willing to
spend five times as much." Owners

IT Professionals
Privacy worries also depend on the size of the tags. Matrics of Columbia, Md., said it has claimed the record for
the smallest RFID tag, a flat square measuring 550 microns a side with an antenna that varies between half an
inch long to four inches by four inches, depending on the application. Without an antenna, the RFID tag is about
the size of a flake of pepper. Manage My Newsletters

Matrics CEO Piyush Sodha said the RFID industry is still in a state of experimentation. "All of the customers are
participating in a phase of extensive field trials," Sodha said. "Then adoption and use in true business practices
will happen...Those pilots are only going to start early this year."

To the credit of the people in the nascent RFID industry, these trials are allowing them to think through the privacy
concerns. An MIT-affiliated standards group called the Auto-ID Center said in an e-mailed statement to News.com
that they have "designed a kill feature to be built into every (RFID) tag. If consumers are concerned, the tags can
be easily destroyed with an inexpensive reader. How this will be executed i.e. in the home or at point of sale is
still being defined, and will be tested in the third phase of the field test."

If you care about privacy, now's your chance to let the industry know how you feel. (And, no, I'm not calling for
new laws or regulations.) Tell them that RFID tags are perfectly acceptable inside stores to track pallets and
crates, but that if retailers wish to use them on consumer goods, they should follow four voluntary guidelines.

First, consumers should be notified--a notice on a checkout receipt would work--when RFID tags are present in

http://news.com.com/2010-1069-980325.html (2 of 3)7/31/2003 2:19:16 AM


RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages | CNET News.com

what they're buying. Second, RFID tags should be disabled by default at the checkout counter. Third, RFID tags
should be placed on the product's packaging instead of on the product when possible. Fourth, RFID tags should
be readily visible and easily removable.

Given RFID's potential for tracking your every move, is that too much to ask?

More Perspectives

Print story E-mail story News.com feeds Send us news tips

biography
Declan McCullagh is the Washington correspondent for CNET News.com, chronicling the ever-busier intersection
between technology and politics. Before that, he worked for several years as Washington bureau chief for Wired
News. He has also worked as a reporter for The Netly News, Time magazine and HotWired.

Send us news tips | Contact Us | Corrections | Privacy Policy

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George Orwell, here we come | CNET News.com

CNET tech sites: Price comparisons | Product reviews | Tech news | Downloads | Site map

Search News.com
Go!
News.context: Special Reports | Newsmakers | Perspectives Advanced search

George Orwell, here we come


Latest Headlines
By Declan McCullagh display on desktop
January 6, 2003, 10:58 AM PT Netgear raises $98 million in
IPO
WASHINGTON--The biggest problem with criticism of Adm. John
ISP returns labels' subpoena
Poindexter's massive spy proposal is not in the argument over the
system being so darn creepy. serve with suit

Microsoft gives 12
Of course it's creepy. This new federal agency deliberately chose the motto "knowledge is power," crafted a logo governments a peek
certain to inspire conspiracy theories, and is itching to assemble a detailed computerized dossier on every
American. And that a figure such as Poindexter--disgraced in the Iran-Contra scandal and with a database FCC probes WorldCom on
addiction dating back to at least 1987--is running the show is a detail worthy of a Jonathan Swift satire. fees

A high-tech bridge to Middle


No, the biggest problem with the criticism of the Total Information Awareness system is that it's too shortsighted.
East peace?
It's focused on what the Poindexters of the world can do with current database and information-mining
technology. That includes weaving together strands of data from various sources--such as travel, credit card, Truce called in Java standards
bank, electronic toll and driver's license databases--with the stated purpose of identifying terrorists before they battle
strike.
AOL readies next-generation
But what could Poindexter and the Bush administration devise in five or 10 years, if they had the money, the service
power and the will?
Print a hologram? Almost,
Xerox says
That's the real question, and therein lies the true threat. Even if all of our current elected representatives,
appointed officials and unappointed bureaucrats are entirely trustworthy--and that's a pretty big assumption--what Study: Bad security flaws don't
could a corrupt FBI, Secret Service or Homeland Security police force do with advanced technology by the end of die
the decade? What if there was another terrorist attack that prompted Congress to delete whatever remaining
privacy laws shield Americans from surveillance? California budget crisis to hit IT

Dell pulls OS fix for handhelds


For a hint at what the future might bring, it's worth reviewing some of the projects already under way at the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is the parent agency for Poindexter's Information Siemens to cut 2,300 jobs
Awareness Office. Combine that information with the technology trends toward smaller sensors, cheaper
hardware and ubiquitous wireless networks, and the possibilities are immensely disquieting. We could face the Siebel develops dinosaur
emergence of unblinking electronic eyes that record where we are and what we do, whenever we interact. complex

Subscriptions head exits


Imagine a world where every street corner is dotted with disposable microcameras, equipped with face- RealNetworks
recognition software that identifies pedestrians and constantly updates their individual files with up-to-the-minute
location information. (Wearing masks won't help: Many states already have antimask laws, and the rest would Computer Sciences nabs
follow suit if masks became sufficiently popular.) The microcameras are linked through a network modeled on contract
existing 802.11 wireless technology. The wireless mesh also includes cameras devoted to spotting and recording
license plates and a third type that identifies people by the way they walk. Business IM added to
BlackBerry mix
It's not that far from reality. Poindexter's office has an entire project area called Human ID at a Distance that's
HP's Unix beats Windows in
spending millions on researching biometric technologies, including face recognition and "gait performance"
server test
detection. Facecams already are in use in airports, city centers and casinos. And license plate recognition, by
comparison, is a snap.

http://news.com.com/2010-1071-979276.html?tag=nl (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:19:56 AM


George Orwell, here we come | CNET News.com

Cox tests Internet phone


Poindexter's office has Or how about locations out of the range of this fixed surveillance mesh? service
an entire project area In 1998, DARPA began funding a project to create spybots that can fly
called Human ID at a day and night and that use infrared and video sensors. These spybots, Panel defends flaw disclosure
being designed by Lockheed Martin and code-named MicroStar, will
Distance that's spending guidelines
have a six-inch wingspan, weigh only 86 grams and cost about $10,000--
millions on researching an affordable price point for surveilling Americans from above. MPEG standard addresses
biometric technologies, rights
including face And what of the spybots' larger cousins, capable of hovering higher and This week's headlines
recognition and "gait seeing more for a longer duration? Last week The Washington Post
reported that the federal government may permit unmanned aircraft to fly
performance" detection.
above the United States. "I believe that the potential applications for this
technology in the area of homeland defense are quite compelling," said News Tools
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, who added that the drones could Get news by mobile
be used by domestic police agencies.
What is this?
Location tracking Content licensing
GPS devices that record a vehicle's position and transmit it to police are an exciting growth area for the
eavesdrop establishment. Jim Bell, an Internet essayist convicted of stalking federal agents, said before his arrest Display news on desktop
that he was sure the federal agencies were tailing him electronically. During Bell's trial, it emerged that he was
right: The police arm of the IRS was tracking him on their laptops with a legally implanted GPS bug inside Bell's
Nissan Maxima.

Last week, The Associated Press reported that an Oregon state task force wants a law requiring all cars to sport
GPS receivers and recorders. The stated purpose: To measure how far you drive and calculate how much you
owe in road taxes. The Nov. 15, 2002 report from the task force envisions some privacy protections--but those News.com Morning
could be eliminated if homeland security worries become more acute, possibly leaving all Oregonians tracked Dispatch
whenever they're on the road. (weekdays) sample
News.com Afternoon
Criminals already may be finding less desirable uses for GPS trackers. Last week, the Smoking Gun Web archive Dispatch
of documents owned by Court TV posted a criminal complaint against a 42-year-old Wisconsin man accused of (weekdays) sample
stalking an ex-girlfriend using a GPS bug hidden in her car.
News.com Enterprise
Hardware
"We continue to see problems with stalkers (using databases)," says Peter Wayner, author of Translucent (weekly) sample
Databases. "I think there are many more sleazeballs who will use this stuff than there are cops who will use it to
catch people. It's a lot easier to abuse this technology than to use it successfully." All News.com newsletters

Then there's Applied Digital Systems (ADS) of Palm Beach, Fla., which
received FDA approval last fall for a microchip to be implanted in humans Some of your
Business
for tracking and identification purposes. (Company spokesman Matthew congressional
Management
Cossolotto told me in June 2001 that ADS had no such plans. "We are representatives may Small Business
not now developing, nor do we have any plans to develop, anything other
than an external, wearable device," he said in an e-mail message.) soon be asked why there Owners
has never been even one
IT Professionals
It's difficult to imagine a more ruthlessly effective way to track every hearing investigating
American. I doubt it's likely, but it's possible to imagine a future where DARPA, Poindexter and
"getting chipped" starts as a way to speed your way through lines at his Total Information
ATMs and airports--and ends up being mandatory.
Awareness plans. Manage My Newsletters

There's some precedent. In October, police in one Colorado county started pressuring businesses to require
fingerprints when customers make purchases with checks or credit cards. Police in Arlington, Texas, are asking
businesses to participate in a similar program.

Things get stranger still. The Electronic Privacy Information Center used the Freedom of Information Act in
August 2002 to obtain government documents that talked about reading air travelers' minds and identifying
suspicious thoughts. The NASA briefing materials referred to "non-invasive neuro-electric sensors" to be used in
aviation security.

In a bizarre press release, NASA claimed it has not approved any research in the area of "mind reading" and that
"because of the sensitivity of such research," the agency will seek independent review of future projects. Yikes.

There are some bright areas in this generally dismal outlook. Avi Rubin, an associate professor of computer
science at Johns Hopkins University, predicts growing interest in antisurveillance measures. "I expect there will be
a whole industry popping up in counter-surveillance--at least, I hope," Rubin said. "Nowadays, it's not like

http://news.com.com/2010-1071-979276.html?tag=nl (2 of 3)7/31/2003 2:19:56 AM


George Orwell, here we come | CNET News.com

someone drops a camera and comes back and retrieves the data. You attack the transmission."

Short of fleeing to the wilderness or living our lives entirely online, our only option is to fight the Poindexterization
of modern life before it becomes too late. Congress returns this week. Some of your congressional
representatives may soon be asked why there has never been even one hearing investigating DARPA,
Poindexter and his Total Information Awareness plans.

More Perspectives

Print story E-mail story News.com feeds Send us news tips

biography
Declan McCullagh is the Washington correspondent for CNET News.com, chronicling the ever-busier intersection
between technology and politics. Before that, he worked for several years as Washington bureau chief for Wired
News. He has also worked as a reporter for The Netly News, Time magazine and HotWired.

Send us news tips | Contact Us | Corrections | Privacy Policy

Featured services: Find Jobs | Free IT Tools | Shop for Tech | Digital Photo Tips | Troubleshooting Tips

CNET Networks: Builder.com | CNET | GameSpot | mySimon | TechRepublic | ZDNet About CNET

Copyright ©1995-2003 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. | Terms of Use | Privacy policy CNET Jobs

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RFID Journal

Radio Frequency Identification for Business

FEATURED STORY July 31, 2003

The Coming RFID Skills Crunch


Suppliers are scrambling to
figure out how to tag pallets
Search by Keyword and cases for retailers. But
where will companies find
qualified experts to install
Choose a Topic RFID systems? Some experts
are predicting an expensive
war for talent.

TOP NEWS

Geest Embraces RFID Compliance


The Geest Group, which supplies produce to Marks &
Spencer, is looking to deploy RFID for its own benefit.

Giant Eagle to Trial RFID WMS


One of the largest U.S. grocery chains has chosen new
supply chain software with an eye to adopting RFID.

Vendor Touts RFID Ready Program


SmartCode has launched a program aimed at retailers,
manufacturers and suppliers looking to deploy low-cost
RFID systems.

Playboy Uses RFID to Track Tapes


The cable TV station will save time and money by
knowing where master tapes are at all times.

©2003 RFID Journal Inc. Terms of Use | Privacy | Site Help


= For Subscribers Only
SITE DESIGNED BY LOEWY DESIGN

http://www.rfidjournal.com/news/nov02/biometrics111302.html7/31/2003 2:22:07 AM
RFID Journal - Geest Embraces RFID Compliance

NEWS

Geest Embraces RFID Compliance


The Geest Group, which supplies produce to
Marks & Spencer, is looking to deploy RFID for its
own benefit.
Search by Keyword
July 31, 2003 – As more retailers want to track their
shipped goods with RFID tags, suppliers are being
Choose a Topic forced to invest in RFID equipment. But at least one
supplier, the Geest Group of Companies in England,
which provides fresh produce to Marks & Spencer, is
realizing the added cost is also an opportunity.

"Marks & Spencer’s


decision meant a capital
outlay for us with
regard to buying the
RFID equipment," says
Jackie Brown, Geest's
planning manager, "but
we are certainly
expecting to see
benefits as well." A tagged Marks & Spencer
plastic tray
Marks & Spencer, one
of the UK's largest retailers, has been putting RFID tags
on four million reusable trays used by more than 200 of
Labor Pains
its suppliers. The goal is to improve supply chain speed
and reduce errors. The suppliers, therefore, have to
invest in readers that can scan the tags and write data Competition for people
to the tags. who can deploy RFID
systems will be intense.
The RFID tags replace a card file system. Suppliers
used to write information about a shipment—the tray's FULL STORY
contents and how long the produce should be displayed
in the store—on a card and place it in the tray along
with the goods being shipped to M&S. The cards often
got lost or damaged.

The same data will now be written to RFID tags on the


tray. Marks & Spencer decided to use 13.56 MHz read/
write tags from Texas Instruments. By installing
readers at its loading docks, the retailer can
automatically record having received the trays. Portal
readers can simultaneously read all the data from tags
on trays stacked on a dolly.

Unlike the cards, RFID is not susceptible to in-transit


damage, weather and other factors, ensuring the data
stays with the contents until the tag is overwritten.
Systems can be set up to scan tags and match the
shipment to an M&S order. That can mean significant
savings for Geest.

At present, M&S charges suppliers £100 (US$162) a


week for each depot that ships the wrong goods to the
retailer ordered. Since the goods are perishable and
can't be sent to another supplier, Geest loses the value
of the products and the profits on the goods, Brown
says.

http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/519/1/1/ (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:22:41 AM


RFID Journal - Geest Embraces RFID Compliance

The Geest Group of Companies comprises Bourne Stir


Fry, Geest QV, Caledonian Produce, Tilmanstone
Salads, Geest Prepared Foods, World Wide Fruit and
English Village Salads. Each of these companies is
deploying RFID in its distribution center. The
implementations should be completed by the second
quarter of 2004.

Each individual company within the group will choose


the equipment that best fits into existing warehouse
systems and processes. The design and readers of each
company’s RFID system will be provided by Intellident,
based in Manchester.

In one of its companies’ distribution centers, Geest


deployed Intellident portal readers, which can read and
write to multiple RFID tags simultaneously. Trays,
which are stacked nine high on dollies, pass through
the portal at the loading dock. "There are huge benefits
in the speed that we can load and dispatch our
products," says Brown. "We can write and verify [the
accuracy of an order with] 18 trays in a matter of
seconds."

At another Geest facility, where the production process


makes it better to write data to the tags on the trays as
the trays full of produce come off the production line,
the company is using Intellident’s Production
LineWriter, which can be integrated into conveyor belts,
roller beds, packing/filling lines and other pick and pack
processes.

Geest is also looking at ways that each of its companies


could link its new RFID equipment into its planning
system to give greater shop floor visibility. Further
benefits could come from using RFID to understand
where there is any downtime in current operations,
says Brown.

The systems don't affect the supplier's ability to deliver


to other retailers, but if other retailers choose different
RFID technology, that would man additional expenses
for Geest. "I suppose there will be an issue of money if
another retailer uses different software," says Brown,
"as this would require more money spent on different
kits."

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RFID Journal - Giant Eagle to Trial RFID WMS

NEWS

Giant Eagle to Trial RFID WMS


One of the largest U.S. grocery chains has chosen
new supply chain software with an eye to
adopting RFID.
Search by Keyword
By Jonathan Collins

Choose a Topic July 30, 2003 - Pittsburgh, Pa.-based supermarket


chain Giant Eagle is preparing an RFID pilot as part of
an overhaul of its warehouse management system. The
new system, which could
include RFID if the test goes
well, will support the company's
214 stores across four states.

With estimated sales of more


than $4 billion last year, Giant
Eagle is one the largest food
retailers in the United States. It
is looking at RFID as a way to
help streamline its distribution
processes, reduce inventory
levels and gain real-time
visibility across its supply chain.
Eric Peters
As part of that effort, Giant Eagle will deploy warehouse
management and trading partner management Labor Pains
software from Manhattan Associates. It was the
software vendor's recent addition of RFID capabilities Competition for people
that helped secure the contract, according to Eric who can deploy RFID
Peters, Manhattan's senior VP of products and strategy. systems will be intense.

"Giant Eagle intends to use RFID in the future, and they FULL STORY
wanted to make sure that their WMS solution is RFID-
capable for the needs of the grocery industry," he says.

Giant Eagle has five distribution centers (DCs). The first


site is scheduled to go live with Manhattan Associates
warehouse management application in the second
quarter of 2004. These centers, which range in size
from 75,000 sq. ft. to more than one million sq. ft.,
serve as way stations for health, beauty and cosmetics
products, meat, frozen foods, and dry or perishable
goods (two facilities).

Although interested in the potential of RFID, Giant


Eagle is cautious about setting goals for the
technology's deployment. It says its plans for an initial
RFID pilot are still in their "infancy stage," so
executives from the grocery chain are reluctant to
discuss details of the planned deployment.

Nevertheless, the company underlined that RFID was a


key factor in its choice of supply chain execution
systems. "We are very impressed with Manhattan
Associates' early commitment to RFID, a key driver to
achieving even greater levels of supply chain efficiency
and productivity," Larry Baldauf, senior VP of
distribution at Giant Eagle, said in a statement released
by Manhattan Associates.

http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/518/1/1/ (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:23:13 AM


RFID Journal - Giant Eagle to Trial RFID WMS

RFID promises to help Giant Eagle gain access to real-


time supply chain information that will help it to better
manage not just its DCs, but also its suppliers and the
supply network as a whole.

Manhattan's Peters says that Giant Eagle's cautious


approach is common; customers are concerned that the
Auto-ID Center has yet to create a specification for
read/write Electronic Product Code tags. "We have
many customers ready to run pilots but just waiting for
that standard," says Peters.

But Peters also says that Wal-Mart's June 11


announcement has pushed other Manhattan customers
and some potential customers to start their own RFID
pilots. "Some suppliers are starting to say, 'We don't
need RFID pilots; we need to get into production right
now,'" he says.

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RFID Journal - Passive, Active RFID Tags Linked

NEWS

Passive, Active RFID Tags Linked


Savi Technology is combining its long-range
battery-powered RFID tags with passive tags
from Matrics to create "nested visibility."
Search by Keyword
July 24, 2003 - Savi Technology is collaborating with
EPC tag producer Matrics to develop a new range of
Choose a Topic equipment that will enable companies to combine long-
and short-range RFID tags to create "nested visibility"
within the supply chain.

Savi, a
Sunnyvale,
Calif., provider
of RFID devices
and software for
the management
and security of
supply chain,
offers active, or
battery-powered,
tags for tracking
shipping containers, trailers and other conveyances. Up
to now, most of Savi's customers would scan bar codes
on boxes and then write the bar code data to Savi's
EchoPoint active tags. The partnership with Matrics will Labor Pains
allow customers to use RFID tags, instead of bar codes.
Competition for people
"The problem with tracking bar-coded items is that
who can deploy RFID
once they are inside the container you lose that
systems will be intense.
visibility," says Stephen Lambright, VP of Marketing at
Savi. "This collaboration extends visibility into the FULL STORY
container through the active tag."

Columbus, Md.-based Matrics produces and sells


passive RFID tags based on the Auto-ID Center's Class
0 specification. By providing visibility down to the items
within a box, Savi is providing a higher level of
visibility, which it says will offer companies new
capabilities. For example, if the security of a container
is breached, the integrated RFID solution could tell in
real-time that the container had been tampered with
and which, if any, specific items are missing.

In addition, using tags in place of bar codes should also


bring savings in time and greater inventory accuracy,
according to Lambright. "Replacing bar codes at the
carton and palette level with passive tags lets us
automate the entire process," he says.

That functionality can also be used to track backwards


to find out how individual items have been shipped and
what happened to them. Let's say packages of meat
are spoiled when they arrive at the store. The supplier
could trace which cartons they were shipped in and
what trucks they were on. That could help the supplier
determine what happened, whether other meat was
similarly affected and needs to be recalled and how to
correct the problem.

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RFID Journal - Passive, Active RFID Tags Linked

The first product to come from the collaboration will be


a handheld device that reads Matrics' passive EPC tags
and writes the data to Savi’s 433 MHz active RFID tags
and seals. The unit will be able to read passive tags
from up to 33 feet (10 meters) away and active tags
from up to 330 feet (100 meters).

The handheld device should be available within a few


months and separate fixed readers for dock doors,
forklift trucks and conveyor systems should come to
market by the end of the year. The readers will be
produced by Matrics but marketed by both companies.
They will support the Universal Data Appliance Protocol,
which Savi developed for the military. UDAP enables
any data collection device to be connected to the
network.

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RFID Journal

Image view:

Search by Keyword

Choose a Topic

<< Back

Labor Pains

Competition for people


who can deploy RFID
systems will be intense.

FULL STORY

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RFID Journal - V3 Teams with Alien, Xterprise

NEWS

V3 Teams with Alien, Xterprise


The three partners plan to offer mid-tier
manufacturers and suppliers a low-cost way to
meet Wal-Mart's RFID tagging deadline.
Search by Keyword
July 22, 2003 - Logistics and warehouse management
software vendor V3 Systems is teaming up with RFID
Choose a Topic equipment vendor Alien Technology and systems
integrator Xterprise to jointly market and implement
RFID technology for consumer goods manufacturers
and suppliers.

The three companies will


begin offering software,
RFID readers and systems
integration sometime over
the next few weeks. They
plan to target mid-tier
manufacturers and
suppliers now faced with
meeting Wal-Mart's
deadline for putting RFID
tags on pallets and cases
by January 2005 (see Wal-
Mart Draws Line in the Xterprise's Frew
Sand). Labor Pains

"Retail suppliers want RFID for compliance and they Competition for people
need technology that can be quickly implemented in a who can deploy RFID
supportable package," says Paul Weiss, co-founder and systems will be intense.
CTO at Charlotte, NC-based V3 Systems. The vendor
says it has about 60 customers, including third-party FULL STORY
logistics companies, that have deployed its warehouse
management system (WMS) in several hundred sites
around the world.

By bringing together WMS, RFID infrastructure and


systems integration, the partners believe they can offer
customers a lower-cost route to deploying RFID. "A lot
of these mid-tier companies haven't upgraded their
systems for years, and they don't have $5 million to
spend on new systems," says Weiss. He expects
average contracts, which will in many cases add RFID
to existing systems, to cost $400,000 to $450,000 for
the total package.

That price would include software from V3 for up to 20


users, (including installation and training), 20 dock
door readers, 10 handheld readers and 10 smart label
printers. Xterprise will provide installation and
consulting services for up-front business process
requirements. RFID tags will be sold separately.

Teaming to offer an integrated solution promises to


take much of the complexity out of deploying RFID,
according to Weiss. "Having one provider [Xterprise]
responsible for the entire deployment minimizes the
risk for the customer," he says. It should also mean
quicker deployments. Weiss expects most installations

http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/510/1/1/ (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:25:53 AM


RFID Journal - V3 Teams with Alien, Xterprise

to be completed in around 60 days.

Many suppliers are clearly concerned about finding


ways to meet Wal-Mart's compliance demands, but the
new partners maintain that customers are also keen to
see clear cost savings from any RFID investment. One
key issue for many of them is in penalty charges, or
charge-backs, made for unwanted or incorrect
shipments to retailers.

"It's a huge issue for suppliers," says Xterprise


President Dean Frew. "The saving in charge-backs
alone provide the payback for deploying RFID."

Frew says the partners are working with one supplier


with annual revenue of $56 million. The company
estimates that it could save $1.1 million per year in
charge-backs alone because of the greater accuracy of
RFID-managed shipments.

V3 says it's already in talks with potential customers


and that the contracts for the first installations should
be signed by the end of this quarter. The vendor did
not have to develop any new software to link its
systems to RFID data collection, because Xterprise will
be responsible for developing and deploying
middleware that will plug into V3 systems at each
installation.

According to Xterprise, the partnership came together


because all three members of the partnership have
already committed to working with Microsoft's .Net web
services technology.

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ALIEN TECHNOLOGY

Alien Technology Brings RFID Alien News


Down to Earth
● Alien Selects North Dakota Manufacturing
Site
RFID technology enables you to...
● Line56 declares "Now's the Time for RFID"

■ Locate, identify, and monitor ● Alien appoints Toray International as sole


your inventory remotely distributor for its products in Japan
● Gillette orders 500 million Alien Technology
Alien Technology RFID tags... RFID tags

Make RFID Affordable


Alien Academy

Learn more about Alien products and This 2-day course teaches the basics of RFID,
and helps you get started with development of
read the white paper on Alien's your own applications. Feedback from our sold-
patented Fluid Self Assembly process. out sessions to date:

● "Very informative"
Alien respects consumer privacy. ● "Great technology, great people as well"
● "Excellent work by instruction team"
Alien Is A Proud Member Of ● "Great opportunity to network with people
in similar fields and disciplines"
● "Very well done!" "Great class!"

Included with the Alien Academy is a


Developer's Kit with all you need to set up
prototype applications at your company.
Learn more about the Academy, and find
schedule and registration information.

Copyright © 2003, Alien Technology™ Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Legal Terms, Security, Privacy Statement.

http://www.alientechnology.com/ (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:26:35 AM


ALIEN TECHNOLOGY

http://www.alientechnology.com/ (2 of 2)7/31/2003 2:26:35 AM


ALIEN - Press Releases

Alien Announces Major Order for Low-cost RFID Tags

Enters Supply Agreement to Provide 500 Million Units to The Gillette


Company

MORGAN HILL, CA - - January 6, 2003. Alien Technology Corporation

announced today that it has won an order from The Gillette Company (NYSE:G)
for 500 million low-cost radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. This is the first

major commercial order for products incorporating the revolutionary electronic


product code (EPC) developed by researchers and member companies at the Auto-
ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The multi-million dollar

order will support large-scale testing of EPC tag technology through Gillette's
supply chain and in retail stores over the next several years.

Chief Executive of Alien Technology, Stav Prodromou, said: "This is a landmark


agreement. Alien's partnership with The Gillette Company not only signals that

EPC tags will be in commercial production at an affordable price but also heralds

the widespread adoption of next-generation Auto-ID technology across the


consumer packaged goods industry."

Alien Technology's patented manufacturing approach, Fluidic Self-Assembly,


allows tiny integrated circuits to be cost-effectively handled and packaged into

EPC tags in huge volumes. This enables Alien to achieve unprecedented low cost

in making tags, and also to meet market demand expected to grow rapidly to
tens of billions of units per year.

Alien has developed the first EPC labels that operate according to the open

specifications drafted at the Auto-ID Center (www.autoidcenter.org). Alien and


several other vendors have developed and are offering for sale readers for this

system. This worldwide standard for EPC labels will ensure interoperability of tags

and readers wherever they are operating.

A radio frequency "EPC label" affixed to a product or packaging can be used to

track it through its life cycle, from raw material to manufacturing to retail. As the

http://www.alientechnology.com/library/pr/alien_gillette.htm (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:26:55 AM


ALIEN - Press Releases

cost of these labels falls over the next several years, they are expected to

revolutionize supply chain management by providing unprecedented visibility into

inventory levels and product movement at the pallet, case, and shelf levels.
Integrated solutions based around this technology will help businesses save

billions of dollars in lost, stolen, or wasted products, and achieve significant


efficiencies across their own operations and those of their trading partners.

EPC labels much more than a radio "bar code" because they contain individual
item serial numbers and other information such as manufacturing location, date

codes, and other vital supply chain data. Manufacturers also expect dramatic
reductions in counterfeit branded products due to the use of EPC.

Leading the initiative at The Gillette Company, Vice President Dick Cantwell said:

"We are proud to be at the forefront of the introduction of Auto-ID technology and
we hope our leadership will help enable the wider consumer packaged goods
industry to open a new era in its relationship with retail customers."

Shipments of the first Alien EPC products to Gillette are expected to begin within
the next few months. Other terms of the purchase agreements were not disclosed.

About Alien Technology

Alien Technology has developed, and holds exclusive patent rights to, a

manufacturing technology that will dramatically reduce the production cost of


many kinds of important electronic products. Fluidic Self-Assembly permits the

high-speed assembly of tiny integrated circuits, called NanoBlock™ ICs, into rolls
of plastic film. Savings are driven by both lower silicon costs and the efficiency
inherent in the massively parallel assembly process.

Headquartered in Morgan Hill, California, Alien is privately held. Significant

investors include CMEA Ventures, Rho Management, Sevin-Rosen Funds, New


Enterprise Associates, Adams Street Partners, Avery Dennison, and UPM-

Kymmene. More information can be found at www.alientechnology.com.

Download PDF

Alien Technology, the Alien logo, FSA and NanoBlock are trademarks of Alien Technology Corporation.

For more information about this release, email us at info@alientechnology.com.

http://www.alientechnology.com/library/pr/alien_gillette.htm (2 of 3)7/31/2003 2:26:55 AM


ALIEN - Press Releases

Copyright © 2002, Alien Technology™ Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Legal Terms, Security, Privacy Statement.

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Line56.com: Now's the Time for RFID

This topic only July 31, 2003

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Email this article...


Topic Centers
e-Business News Print this article...
Ecosystem Stories Now's the Time for RFID Reader Comments...
e-Biz In Action Ask Not What RFID Technology Can Do for You, But What Link to this article...
Viewpoints You Can Do With RFID and an initial deployment strategy
by Prashant Bhatia and Greg Gilbert
Company Profiles Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Research Reports
Research Library The benefits of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in the supply chain
E-Business Top56 are clear. RFID tags attached to products are uniquely identified for higher quality
Magazine Archives information and real-time tracking across the supply chain. They have the potential to
revolutionize the efficiency, accuracy and security of the supply chain with dramatic
effects on both top- and bottom-line business results. According to the National Retail
Events Calendar Security Survey put out by the University of Florida, approximately $5.8 billion worth
of inventory was lost in 2001 due to administrative errors alone. RFID tracking can help
companies overcome this and many other obstacles.

Logos link to What is not apparent is the adoption rate of RFID technology, given potential technical and
company profiles financial obstacles and the natural inertia that exists in most organizations. As with any new
technology or dramatic change, many companies are taking a wait-and-see stance. A cautious
approach is understandable, but at the same time problematic. To further the adoption of RFID
and speed the benefits and ROI for all users, businesses need to take an active role in shaping
standards, investigating opportunities and demonstrating the value of RFID implementations.

More Supply Chain First Things First - Implementation within the DC


Management Profiles...
All Company Profiles... With a wide-range of possible RFID applications, one implementation approach is for businesses
to focus on the RFID benefits within the distribution center (DC). The best way to execute this
approach is to first determine the distribution processes where RFID would have the biggest
impact, and implement the technology area by area.
About Line56
How to Advertise For example, businesses should consider testing the speed and convenience of RFID in the
Getting Covered receiving area. Unlike bar codes, employees are not required to scan RFID tags. Instead, as
Site Map goods enter the DC, readers automatically capture product and shipment information and upload
Contact Us that into the warehouse management system (WMS). Not only does this reduce the amount of
labor needed to perform receiving, but it also increases inventory accuracy and tracking.

DestinationKM Before taking advantage of these and many other benefits of RFID, companies first need to work
with suppliers to resolve a few logistical issues. In order to enable this capability, companies first
Portals Magazine
need to purchase and apply RFID tags to their products at the pallet, case or unit level
(depending upon the type of product). The most effective way to do this is to utilize remote
RFID printing technology, enabling suppliers to generate RFID tags and apply them to goods
before they are shipped. These tags, in conjunction with advance ship notifications (ASNs) allow
for scan-free receipt of goods and automatic tracking. Not only does this method help
businesses improve receiving processes, but it also exposes suppliers to the benefits of RFID
without significant investment. Positive supplier experience will ultimately help further the
adoption of RFID.

Once RFID has been brought into the DC, other areas such as picking and putaway can be
addressed, helping to move increased volumes of goods in less time and with fewer people. The

http://www.line56.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=4592&ml=3%0A (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:27:51 AM


Line56.com: Now's the Time for RFID

improved information will mean better inventory control and product availability because product
sales readily tie back to successful shelf replenishment and inventory management. With U.S.
retailers losing approximately 3.8 percent of sales per year as a result of out-of-stock inventory
(GMA/FMI, 2002), greater inventory control and increased product availability have the potential
to have a major impact on companies' bottom lines.

Using RFID to help synchronize and streamline the flow of inventory across the supply chain
achieves quantifiable gains such as shipment visibility, inventory accuracy and labor
productivity. One of the many benefits of RFID is that it can capture the entire DC content in a
fraction of the time required by cycle or physical counts.

RFID Beyond the Four Walls

After seeing the value of RFID in a targeted fashion, companies can expand implementation of
the technology to improve other areas of the supply chain. With RFID, trading partners can
greatly improve global visibility and real-time collaboration and communication with external
trading partners. With RFID, it is possible to have totally automated logistics tracking processes,
where cartons can pass through the entire supply chain without having to be manually scanned.
It will allow trading partners to gain better insight and accessibility to information at each stage
of the supply chain, from the manufacturer's factory to the retailer's shelf. This improved
collaboration makes replenishment of goods more streamlined, reducing overall costs and
administration while increasing control.

Another reason to invest in RFID is because it will eventually be able to provide critical
information on customer demand in real time, without the delay and error potential associated
with human intervention. For example, if a customer cancels an order or a product recall occurs,
RFID will allow companies to locate the order, make adjustments and divert it immediately. The
increased accuracy, visibility and real-time decision making that RFID enables translates into
increased responsiveness and better forecasting and planning in the supply chain. Using real-
time data instead of relying on historical trends for forecasting and planning will allow companies
to be less conservative in their planning approach. Consequently, they will not have as many
exceptions or as much safety stock.

Emerging Trend Offers Promising Future

With the increased volatility and demands of the supply chain, RFID has emerged at a critical
time. Technological advances resulting in declining chip and reader prices and emerging
electronic product code (ePC) standards are quickening the pace for RFID adoption. Additionally,
we will increasingly see mandates from larger industry players to adopt RFID technology in order
to remain competitive.

Companies must contemplate how to capitalize on the myriad of potential opportunities RFID
presents to move their business forward. The rippling effects of RFID will permeate across many
industries enabling a new level of customer service and nimbleness in the supply chain. Instead
of looking to the industry to dictate what RFID can do for them; leading businesses will gain
recognition for what they have done with RFID.

Prashant Bhatia is director of product management at supply chain execution


specialist Manhattan Associates. Greg Gilbert is RFID strategist at Manhattan. They
can be contacted respectively at pbhatia@manh.com and ggilbert@manh.com.

Let us know what you think by emailing viewpoints@Line56.com and your response will be
considered for posting.

Line56 welcomes reader feedback to stories, research and opinions expressed in viewpoint columns.
Those wishing to submit opinion pieces for publication must identify themselves by title and company
affiliation, and include a telephone number and address for verification. Line56 reserves the right to edit
content.

Comments? Questions? Email our Editors...

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Line56.com: Now's the Time for RFID

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InfoWorld: RFID is about to explode: January 31, 2003: By Ephraim Schwartz: Wireless

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ANALYSIS REVIEWS RESEARCH REPORTS INTERVIEWS powered by Google

COLUMN

Wireless World
NEWS
RFID is about to explode
Top Stories
Ten-cent pieces of wireless equipment are being
deployed by the billions • Lotus IM comes to
By Ephraim Schwartz January 31, 2003 BlackBerry
• Senator calls for
To better understand the scope of RFID (radio frequency identification) reports on gov't data
technology, let's take a look at The Gillette Company, based in Boston , searches
and one of its distribution centers. The Chicago-based center is a • Conference shows
532,000-square-foot site with a 50,000 pallet capacity and doubts still plague
approximately $60 million of inventory at any one time.
online music
• Gateway PCs head
Following a pilot program, Gillette announced its intention to buy back to the low end
500,000,000 (that's not a typo — not half a million but half a billion) • Fujitsu may beat IBM
RFID tags, at 10 cents a piece and to tag every pallet and every carton
with fastest Linux
coming out of its distribution centers. By the way, the company selling
supercomputer
the tags to Gillette is Alien Technology, in Morgan Hill, Calif.
• SAP acquires stake in
DCW Software
Imagine the benefits of tracking those pallets, and the cases on the
News
pallets, from manufacturing to the point of sale. Gillette will be able to
reduce losses from out-of-stock, stolen or lost products, and as the
company understands the power of this tracking capability, it will
increase revenues by leveraging inventory information into smarter
marketing to the retailers. More about that later.

There are rumors of an even bigger deal in the works, so big that the
price of the tags will be cut in half. If anyone out there knows who might
be cutting this deal, send me an e-mail.

Each pallet will have two tags and will be wheeled past locations in the
distribution center with antennas. The antennas send the information to
the shipping dock where the pallet is checked and read again at the
back door. There, the pallet is put on the trailer, bound for its final
destination.

It doesn't stop there. At the retailers, the Gillette products will be placed
on "smart shelves" which are also tagged. The shelves relay to the
stores inventory system what and how many products are sitting there;
that data is viewable on any device, including the handheld the manager
is carrying.

The system also thanks the customer via electronic signage at the shelf
and alerts the manager if inventory is getting low. Somehow, it also
knows the difference between shoplifting and purchasing, but I wasn't
able to get that detail.

http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/01/31/05wireless_1.html (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:29:28 AM


InfoWorld: RFID is about to explode: January 31, 2003: By Ephraim Schwartz: Wireless

RFID tags will allow a computer to identify any object, anywhere,


automatically and — here's the scary part — will allow a product, in
essence, to sense the real world on its own. At least that is the dream of
Kevin Ashton, executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, in
Cambridge, Mass. , a Gillette partner in the project and a leading
research organization for RFID. (Go to www.autoidcenter.org.)

On a clip on the Center's Web site, Richard Cantwell, vice president of


Gillette and a board member at the Center, said to a manufacturer that
knowing where products are is "as valuable as knowing your bank
balance."

However, supply chain data is just part of the benefits of RFID tagging.
John Jordan, principal in the office of the chief technologist at Cap
Gemini Ernst & Young, also in Cambridge , asked me to imagine a
pharmaceutical company tagging all of its samples that it distributes to
doctors. We don't want to call them customers; sounds unseemly
doesn't it? When the pharmaceutical sales rep calls on the doctor, the
rep can ask to scan the shelves where the samples are kept in order to
take a reading on what was distributed, how much is left, and to see
what wasn't given out to their customers … er, patients. "Is there
something you don't like about this product, doc?" Or, "I see you only
have two boxes of such and such. Are you pleased? Do you want to
order some?"

From supply chain to powerful marketing tool, all thanks to a 10-cent


piece of wireless technology. Not bad.

Ephraim Schwartz is editor at large at InfoWorld. Contact him at


ephraim_schwartz@infoworld.com.

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USATODAY.com - Several consumer products to get 'tagged'

• Cars • Jobs • Franchise • Business Opportunities • Travel • Real Estate • Tickets • More

Home
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Markets
Markets Report
Posted 1/27/2003 11:34 PM
Most active stocks
World stocks Several consumer products to get 'tagged'
Commodities
Currencies By Michelle Kessler, USA TODAY
Key interest rates SAN FRANCISCO — By the end of the year, a host of consumer products will, for the
Your Portfolio first time, be sold with tiny computer chips known as RFID tags in them.
Learn more
Log in The chips contain small bits of data, such as a product's serial number, which can be
Investor Research read by a scanner. The scanner sends the data to a database so stores and
Stock Screener manufacturers can quickly track what is sold.
Mutual funds
screener The radio frequency identification tags could dramatically improve inventory
Get a Quote processes, retail analysts say, thus reduce costs and maybe consumer prices.
Managing Money "Everybody's going to profit from these tags," says analyst Michael Liard of researcher
Columns and tips Venture Development.
Financial calculators
CD and loan rates But the technology, one of the most widely anticipated in years, also raises privacy
Calendars concerns. The fear: Thieves will buy or make chip scanners and crack security
Economic controls. That means someone might be able to scan shoppers' bags and know what
they bought. Companies are testing solutions, such as turning off tags once they leave
Company
stores. Testing tags:
Special Sections
Job Center
● Gillette. In the next several weeks, it plans to attach chips to packages of
Small Business
razors sold in a Brockton, Mass., Wal-Mart and several British grocery stores.
Cars
Chip scanners on the shelves will track supplies. When low, the scanners will
USA TODAY Travel alert store managers.
Interactive ● Procter & Gamble. It recently tested the chips on bottles of Pantene shampoo
Money eXchange and Bounty towels to help track warehouse inventory and reduce lost
Talk Today merchandise. Next, it will tag some unspecified products in a Broken Arrow,
Sports Okla., Wal-Mart.
Life ● Prada. It has tagged clothing in a New York store since December 2001. As
Tech customers shop, scanner-wielding salespeople can quickly tell what other
Weather colors and sizes a garment comes in, and if there are similar styles. Prada
removes the tags before items leave the store.

Search Next month, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Auto-ID research center,
which designs the chip technology, is expected to announce a widescale RFID
Go project, involving big partners such as Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Home
Advanced Search Depot and Target. The center has not yet specified which products will be tested in
which stores.

RFID technology has been around since World War II. It's used to track shipping
containers. It's found in gas station "speed passes" — key chains drivers wave in front
of the pump to charge a fill-up to credit cards. It also powers some highway toll
systems, allowing drivers to bypass booths and pass an RFID-reading sensor instead.

Click here to get the But until recently, the chips were too expensive to put on individual products. Gillette's
Daily Briefing in your order this month for 500 million chips was among the largest ever, allowing them to be
inbox mass-produced for about 15 cents each, says Mark Roberti, editor of the RFID
Journal trade magazine.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2003-01-27-rfid_x.htm (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:30:20 AM


USATODAY.com - Several consumer products to get 'tagged'

Soon, they might be found in all kinds of products. Tiremakers Michelin (by mid-2004)
and Goodyear (by 2005) plan to embed the chips in some new tires. They will tell
where a tire was made.

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InformationWeek > Supply-Chain Management > Pinpoint Control > September 30, 2002

Michael Dell Q&A Review: Tablet PCs


He's gaining in surprising areas Who needs a $2,000 writing pad?

Pinpoint Control Sept. 30, 2002


Microsoft Takes Linux For A Test
Tiny chips may revolutionize all areas of supply-chain Drive 7/30/03
management Homeland Security Will Drive
By David M. Ewalt Federal Spending On Knowledge
Management 7/30/03
A breakthrough technology -- about the size of a grain of sugar and the cost of a piece of candy -- promises to revolutionize supply-chain management, letting companies track products from the early
stages of manufacturing until they're plucked from store shelves, and every point in between. Radio-frequency identification tags incorporating tiny microchips are approaching a price point that could vault
them from the realm of specialty applications into mainstream manufacturing, distribution, and retail environments. A Who's Who of consumer-goods companies and retailers, including Procter & Gamble, Sprint PCS Users Gain Access To
Target, Unilever, and Wal-Mart, are poised to use the devices.
AOL IM And E-Mail 7/30/03

When applied to pallets, cases, or even individual items, RFID tags can give suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers unprecedented control over inventory, shipping, and other logistics. The HP Goes For CRM, In A Big Way
real-time data generated by the tags as products move along a route could help businesses make faster decisions, increasing efficiency and productivity in many areas, including how invoices and
payments are handled. For instance, when a loaded pallet enters a retailer's warehouse, the RFID tag's signal could trigger an electronic payment to the shipper, rendering invoices obsolete, says Simon 7/30/03
Ellis, supply-chain futurist at Unilever.

The concept has been around for decades, but its application has been held back in part by the expense of the tags, which ranges from just under $1 to $20. Now the potential cost has dropped to about a
nickel, as sponsors of the commercially funded Auto-ID Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have figured out ways to produce cheap chips in quantity based on developing standards. "You
need volume," says Kevin Ashton, executive director of the Auto-ID Center. "If you produce them in the billions, it'll cost as little as 5 cents." Ashton unveiled one of the first of the low-cost tags, just
manufactured by Alien Technology Corp., last week at InformationWeek's Fall Conference in Tucson, Ariz.

With businesses lining up behind the effort, large-scale production may not be far off. Since the Auto-ID Center was founded three years ago, membership has grown to 67. In addition to the four
Economy Makes Strongest Showing
companies mentioned above, sponsors include Coca-Cola, the Department of Defense, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. If Procter & Gamble fully embraced the concept, it alone could account for
about 2 billion chips a year, according to a story to appear in the October issue of Optimize magazine, InformationWeek's sister publication.
In A Year 7/31/2003

Large retailers such as Wal-Mart will create a cascade of demand for RFID tags and the hardware and software needed to use them if those companies push business partners to adopt the technology for Anxiety Mounts Over Possible
improved supply-chain coordination. "If they deploy RFID and show good results, it will really open up the market," Frost and Sullivan analyst Deepak Shetty says.
Internet Attack 7/31/2003
Depending on the outcome of an upcoming test, Home Depot Inc. says it could eventually put RFID tags on all of the 50,000 products it sells. If that happens, the home-improvement chain envisions
asking manufacturers and distributors to join the initiative, says VP of IS Gary Cochran. The pilot program entails putting RFID tags on special-order goods in Boston-area stores so they can be located
easily when a customer comes for them, Cochran says. Sprint PCS Users Gain Access To
AOL IM And E-Mail 7/30/2003
Unilever is conducting a three-phase trial of RFID technology, based on the Auto-ID Center's developing standard, that involves testing the tags on pallets, cases of goods, and eventually individual items.
Unilever also participated in a trial with grocer Safeway Inc., completed a few months ago in England. "I could very easily see us investing in some pallet-level applications late next year or early in 2004,"
Ellis says.
Microsoft Takes Linux For A Test
Drive 7/30/2003

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Michael Dell Q&A Review: Tablet PCs


He's gaining in surprising areas Who needs a $2,000 writing pad?

Pinpoint Control Sept. 30, 2002


Microsoft Takes Linux For A Test
Drive 7/30/03
(Page 2 of 2)
Homeland Security Will Drive
Federal Spending On Knowledge
What's needed for full-scale rollouts, in addition to the RFID tags, are scanners that work with the tags and services for businesses that need integration help, Ellis says. The Auto-ID Center is slated to
publish a complete standard in the second half of next year. "If this technology is going to deliver the benefits, it's going to require a common approach, and that's not what we have today," Ellis says. Management 7/30/03

Unilever is working with pallet rental company CHEP International to develop reusable shipping pallets with built-in RFID tags and with RedPrairie Corp. on applications for warehouse management that
Sprint PCS Users Gain Access To
work with RFID tags. But there's more to do. Unilever hasn't yet tested how RFID data will be managed across its SAP applications or how new data sources will affect its databases. "It's still not entirely AOL IM And E-Mail 7/30/03
clear how the [whole] system is going to work," Ellis says.

HP Goes For CRM, In A Big Way


Vendors also need to figure out how their systems will process the massive amounts of data potentially produced by RFID technology. "You're looking at very large amounts of transactions and data
measured in the tens or hundreds of terabytes," says Jon Chorley, senior director of development for Oracle's inventory- and warehouse-management products. Oracle, SAP, and others are enhancing
7/30/03
their apps to support RFID.

One potential benefit of the technology, the ability to track items after they're purchased, could make it easier for manufacturers to recall defective products or provide services. For instance, a "sprayable"
RFID tag being developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and due commercially in three to five years could be used by automakers to monitor parts on assembly lines and, later, to service those
parts, says Fred Schramm, manager of high-risk research at Marshall. Yet such capabilities could trigger a backlash from consumers worried about having their movements tracked or intrusive profiling
and marketing. Experts say the devices, which transmit signals short distances to RFID readers, can be turned off, so that shouldn't happen. Still, because of potential privacy concerns, Unilever isn't
ready to use the tags on individual products. "We would have to have a much clearer idea of what consumers think," Ellis says.
Economy Makes Strongest Showing
And cost remains an issue for some. A 5-cent RFID tag "isn't cost effective for gum," says Jeff Martin, director of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.'s Global Center of Excellence. "Even at the box or pallet level, it's just In A Year 7/31/2003
not in our future right now," (see story, "New Wrigley Flavor: SAP"). To be practical for some retail applications, RFID tags need to drop to a penny or less, says Christian Knoll, VP for global supply-chain
management with SAP.

Anxiety Mounts Over Possible


Others, however, aren't waiting. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. is using RFID tags on 12,000 pieces of trucking equipment to control inventory in its freight yard, track shipments, and monitor employee
productivity. The result: a one-year payback. "It saves clerical time and helps us manage yard time," says David Congdon, president and chief operating officer.
Internet Attack 7/31/2003

As the cost of RFID tags drops from dollars to pennies, more business-technology professionals will begin to get out the scratch pads to assess when and where to use the devices. "It's easy to get
wrapped up in the cost of the chip," Unilever's Ellis says. "Ultimately, it's a function of what you save."
Sprint PCS Users Gain Access To
AOL IM And E-Mail 7/30/2003
-- With John Foley, Robin Gareiss, Mary Hayes, and Cheryl Rosen

Microsoft Takes Linux For A Test


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USATODAY.com

Home
News
Money
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Life 02/06/2002 - Updated 05:22 PM ET

Tech
Main Categories Alien's tiny cheap chips could open new worlds
Tech briefs
Web Guide MORGAN HILL, Calif. — I'm at a company Maney archive
Tech Investor called Alien Technology. I'm thinking the board
For more columns by Kevin,
Product reviews meetings must be interesting with, like, Mork click here
More Tech from Ork, E.T. and David Bowie around the
Columnists table. Other columnists
Shareware Shelf ● Edward C. Baig
Talk Today Outside is a farming community a good hour ● Tamara Holmes
Weather from the heart of Silicon Valley. Here in the ● Larry Johnson
lobby, I'm staring at a full-size replica of Robby ● Kim Komando
Search the Robot from Forbidden Planet, which, as you ● John Makulowich
might recall, starred Leslie Nielsen in 1956. ● Sam Vincent Meddis
Go ● Robin Raskin
Advanced Search Bruce Schwartz
The reason I'm visiting this seemingly odd outfit ●

is that Arno Penzias, former head of Bell Labs ● Joel Smith


and now a venture capitalist, told me it's one of ● Elizabeth Weise
the most important new companies he's seen. ● John Yaukey
He's now on the board, perhaps fitting right in.
This is a guy who has a Nobel Prize in physics. You have to figure he's smart.
Looking at Robby, I'm not certain.

Click here to get the There's one other reason for checking this out. Alien is raising huge amounts of
Daily Briefing in your venture capital. Yep. In this Godforsaken era, when it's harder to land venture
inbox money than to find a mosh pit in Amish country, Alien raised $55 million in
August and is confident of raising even more in another round of financing this
year.

So there's got to be something here. And this is it: Alien seems like the missing
key to a bunch of advances that technologists have been hoping to see. Those
advances include thin plastic computer screens that can be rolled up, groceries
that check themselves out and eyeglasses that can't be lost. If Alien is that key, it
could unleash a torrent of innovation. Then the company will most definitely be
important.

Alien, a private company, has found a way to make tiny 1-cent computer chips
and easily put them into things on a mass-production scale. That's a first. The
process is based on work done 6 years ago by J. Stephen Smith, a professor at
the University of California at Berkeley. CEO Jeff Jacobsen, an industry veteran
at 47, was hired in September 1998 to build a real company around Smith's work.
Not long after, Penzias came to check it out, and despite seeing a lab that used
such sophisticated equipment as a turkey baster, told his venture capital firm,
New Enterprise Associates, to invest.

Alien's process is as fantastic as everything else about the company. As I sit at a


conference table here, Jacobson hands me a sealed test tube full of water and
what looks like suspended silver glitter. The glitter is actually floating computer
chips, each a few times the width of a human hair and shaped like a minuscule
Ex-Lax tablet. The shape fits precisely into holes that can be stamped into sheets
of plastic in any pattern.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/2001-03-14-maney.htm (1 of 3)7/31/2003 2:32:26 AM


USATODAY.com

The plastic can be fed on rolls — like a printing press — through a bath
containing the chips. The chips fall into place, filling every hole. Alien calls this
Fluidic Self-Assembly, or FSA. The plastic rolls through a couple of other
processes that seal the chips in and connect them to tiny wire leads. The sheet
can then be cut into whatever is being made — big flexible computer screens, or
tiny displays that go on ATM cards to show you how much money you have in
your account.

FSA is a departure from current methods of embedding things with individual


chips. One method requires high heat, which would melt plastic. That's why
displays on computers and cell phones are glass. The glass can withstand the
heat, but it's heavy, breakable and inflexible — all liabilities. Another method
picks up individual chips and glues them in place, but that's too slow and costly.

Don't get me wrong — Alien still has a lot to prove. It hasn't mass-produced
anything yet. It's building its first factory. It's taking baby steps. "Our strategy is to
start with something simple," Jacobson says. Right now, that's a numeric display
built into the plastic of a smart card. The display shows the amount of money
remaining on the card. Alien is developing the displays under a $40 million
contract with France's Gemplus, the biggest smart card maker.

Beyond that, the possibilities are huge. In displays alone, Jacobson's ideas
include plastic screens that can be unrolled out of the side of a cell phone, and
plastic computer screens that soldiers can roll up and carry into battle.

Motorola, Presto Technologies, E Ink and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson


have all talked about devices and applications that would work if only there were
1-cent, easily-embedded chips. In other words, if there were a company like Alien.

Some of those applications would use radio frequency (RF) tags, which are
cheap chips attached to tiny radio antennas. RF tags can send and receive little
bits of information. Alien's FSA is a way to mass-produce RF tags — possibly the
best way to make super-cheap RF tags and put them into anything.

The tags could be attached to all packaged goods, each tag encoded with the
item and price. Then, if you walk out a grocery store's door with a full shopping
cart, all the RF tags could send the store's computer a blip saying those items
are being bought. That's it — you're checked out. No having to stare at a
teenager's multiple piercings while she operates the register.

Penzias likes the eyeglasses example. Embed an RF tag in every pair of


glasses. You lose your glasses, you go to a special Web site, which listens the
world over for a little ping from your glasses' RF tag. The site shows that you left
them on the bar at Thirsty's. The only alarming part is that you only vaguely
remember even being at the bar at Thirsty's.

There is no shortage of ideas flying Alien's way. Silicon Valley executives keep
driving here to see what's up. Intel wanted to invest but was turned away. Philips
and Dow Chemical are investors. "Japanese companies come in here all the
time, and they start saying, 'We can do this and this and this,' " says Stan
Drobac, a vice president. "We're running out of bandwidth to chase more things."

For now, Alien just wants to get going on smart cards. Then, Jacobson says, it
might move into plastic displays for cell phones and palmtop computers. After
that, who knows?

Jacobson at times seems barely able to contain his giddiness about Alien's good
fortune. He's so confident, he's even willing to spend some of that rarified venture
money on a full-size Terminator replica that can join Robby in the lobby. He's got

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/2001-03-14-maney.htm (2 of 3)7/31/2003 2:32:26 AM


USATODAY.com

his order in.

When you've got a technology that seems momentous, you can be as weird as
you want to be.

Kevin Maney writes a weekly column about technology. Send e-mail to Kevin at
kmaney@usatoday.com.

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EE Times - Euro bank notes to embed RFID chips by 2005

Euro bank notes to embed RFID chips by 2005

By Junko Yoshida
EE Times
December 19, 2001 (3:03 p.m. ET)

SAN MATEO, Calif. — The European Central Recent Articles


Bank is working with technology partners
on a hush-hush project to embed radio EET
frequency identification tags into the very Centralized
fibers of euro bank notes by 2005, EE wireless LAN
Times has learned. Intended to foil interface proposed
counterfeiters, the project is developing as
SoC vendor woos
Europe prepares for a massive changeover
to the euro, and would create an instant military markets
mass market for RFID chips, which have TI to buy Radia to
long sought profitable application. complete WLAN
chip set offering
The banking community and chip suppliers
Cypress phasing
say the integration of an RFID antenna and
out PLD business
chip on a bank note is technically possible,
but no bank notes in the world today Intel, MIPS,
employ such a technology. Critics say it's Qualcomm
unclear if the technology can be welcome to join
implemented at a cost that can justify the MIPI
effort, and question whether it is robust
enough to survive the rough-and-tumble Siemens to cut
life span of paper money. 2300 in mobile unit
Mentor tool will
A spokesman for the European Central team up on pcb
Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany layout
confirmed the existence of a project, but
was careful not to comment on its DVCon sets 2004
technologies. At least two European dates, calls for
semiconductor makers contacted by EE papers
Times, Philips Semiconductors and Infineon
Speed Is One Thing... Technologies, acknowledged their Archives
SMART SPEED IS awareness of the ECB project but said they
EVERYTHING For more
information about how
are under strict nondisclosure agreements.
you can put smart
speed into action with The euro will become "the most common currency in the world" at
the i.MX Family visit midnight on Jan. 1, when 12 nations embrace it, according to Ingo
Motorola
Susemihl, vice president and general manager of RFID group at
Infineon. The ECB and criminal investigators in Europe are already
on high alert, worried not only about counterfeiting of a currency
most people haven't seen, but also of a possible increase in money
laundering, given the euro's broad cross-border reach.

The ECB said 14.5 billion bank notes are being produced, 10 billion
of which will go into circulation at once in January, with 4.5 billion

http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20011219S0016 (1 of 4)7/31/2003 2:32:56 AM


EE Times - Euro bank notes to embed RFID chips by 2005

being held in reserve to accommodate potential leaps in demand.

Thwarting underworld popularity

Although euro bank notes already include such security features as


holograms, foil stripes, special threads, microprinting, special inks
and watermarks, the ECB believes it must add further protection to
keep the euro from becoming the currency of choice in the criminal
Online Editions
underworld, where the U.S. dollar is now the world's most
EE TIMES
counterfeited currency. The ECB spokesman said his organization
EE TIMES ASIA has contacted various central banks worldwide — not just in Europe
EE TIMES CHINA — to discuss added security measures for the currency.
EE TIMES FRANCE
EE TIMES GERMANY In theory, an RFID tag's ability to read and write information to a
EE TIMES KOREA bank note could make it very difficult, for example, for kidnappers
EE TIMES TAIWAN to ask for "unmarked" bills. Further, a tag would give governments
EE TIMES UK and law enforcement agencies a means to literally "follow the
money" in illegal transactions.
Web Sites
• CommsDesign
iApplianceWeb.com "The RFID allows money to carry its own history," by recording
• Microwave information about where it has been, said Paul Saffo, director of
Engineering Institute for the Future (Menlo Park, Calif.).
• EEdesign
Deepchip.com The embedding of an RFID tag on a bank note is "a fundamental
Design & Reuse departure" from the conventional security measures applied to
• Embedded.com currency, Saffo said. "Most [currency] security today is based on a
• Elektronik i Norden
false premise that people would look at the money to see if it is
• Planet Analog
counterfeit," he said. But "nobody does that. The RFID chip is an
• Semiconductor
important advance because it no longer depends on humans" to
Business News
spot funny money.
• The Work Circuit

RFID basics
• ChipCenter
• EBN The basic technology building blocks for RFID on bank notes are
• EBN China similar to those required for today's smart labels or contactless
• Electronics Express cards. They require a contactless data link that can automatically
• NetSeminar Services collect information about a product, place, time or transaction.
• QuestLink
Smart labels produced by companies such as Philips
• Custom Magazines
Semiconductors, Infineon, STMicroelectronics and Texas
Instruments are already used in such applications as smart airline
luggage tags, library books and for supply chain management of
various products.

"Two minimum elements you need for RFID are a chip and an
antenna," according to Gordon Kenneth Andrew Oswald, associate
director at Arthur D. Little Inc., a technology consulting firm based
in Cambridge, Mass. When a bank note passes through reader
equipment, the antenna on the note collects energy and converts it
to electric energy to activates the chip, he said.

The antenna then "provides a communication path between a chip


[on the bank note] and the rest of the world," said Tres Wiley,
emerging markets strategy manager for RFID Systems at TI. For its
part, the chip "is a dedicated processor to handle protocols, to carry
out data encoding to send and receive data and address memory"
embedded on the chip.

Although the industry is "well down the road with the smart label
technology," Wiley said he was "a bit surprised to learn that
someone goes to that extent — to embed RFID into bank notes —

http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20011219S0016 (2 of 4)7/31/2003 2:32:56 AM


EE Times - Euro bank notes to embed RFID chips by 2005

to combat counterfeit money."


A list of upcoming
NetSeminars, plus a A number of challenges must be overcome before RFID tags can be
link to the archive. embedded on bills, said Kevin Ashton, executive director of the
Auto ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The
• Application- most obvious one is the price," he said. Today's RFID tags cost
Driven Power between 20 cents to $1.00, and "that's not economic enough for
Management: most bills," Ashton said. "We've absolutely got to get the cost way
Controlling Power down." The goal of the Auto ID Center is to find an application that
Consumption in requires billions of RFID chips to bring their cost as low as 5 cents,
Mobile Devices he added.

• Predicting
While most chip companies with RFID expertise are keeping their
Battery
plans for money applications close to their chest, Hitachi Ltd.
Performance
announced plans last July for a chip designed for paper money that
Under Real World
would pack RF circuitry and ROM in a 0.4-mm square circuit
Operating
measuring 60 microns thick. Although the chip features no
Conditions
rewritable capability, Ryo Imura, chief executive of Hitachi's Mew
Solutions venture, said at the time of announcement, "We'll
• Thriving in the
consider them for the next generation [of] products." Hitachi's chip
World of High-
stores encrypted ID information in ROM during the manufacturing
Speed Serial
process, presumably to replace the serial number of each bank
Interconnects
note.

• Design with
Even without writable memory, Hitachi's chip is said to be fairly
Altera’s New
ASIC Alternative:
costly. Hitachi declined to be interviewed for this article.
Get ASIC Gain
without the Pain While the size of the rewritable memory embedded on an RFID chip
will determine the kinds of information it can store, it also affects
• ADI - the chip's cost.
Considerations in
RF Frequency Affordable with bigger bills
Direct Digital
Synthesis It is unclear whether the ECB will incorporate RFID chips into all
euro bank notes or just on the larger bills. The EUR 200 and EUR
Archive 500 bank notes in particular — equivalent to roughly $200 and
$500 in value — are expected to be popular in the "informal"
economy. Embedding a 30 cents chip into a EUR 500 bill would
make more sense than putting it into a European buck, several
industry sources said.

Manufacturing processes are also considered a major hurdle to


embedding a low-cost antenna and chip onto bank notes. "The chip
is already so small," MIT's Ashton said. "To connect the two ends of
a coil — an antenna — at precisely the right place on a chip could
present a major problem."

A printing process is an option, Ashton said, but "you need a


breakthrough in the high-volume manufacturing process." Such a
technology does not exist today, he said.

Size and thickness are key attributes of an RFID chip for paper
currency, said Karsten Ottenberg, senior vice president and general
manager of business unit identification at Philips Semiconductors.
"For putting chips into documents, they need to be very small —
less than a square millimeter — and thin such that they are not
cracking under mechanical stress of the document. Thinning down
to 50 micron and below is a key challenge." That would require
advanced mechanical and chemical techniques, he said.

http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20011219S0016 (3 of 4)7/31/2003 2:32:56 AM


EE Times - Euro bank notes to embed RFID chips by 2005

Bank notes present "an interesting future application for us," said
Tom Pounds, vice president of RFID projects at Alien Technology,
which holds the rights to a fabrication process that suspends tiny
semiconductor devices in a liquid that's deposited over a substrate
containing holes of corresponding shape. The devices settle on the
substrate and self-align. Rather than working on the
interconnection to an RF antenna one chip at a time, "we can do a
massively parallel interconnection," Pounds said. Bank notes are
not Alien's primary focus at present, he said.

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Line56.com: RFID Rising

This topic only July 31, 2003

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Topic Centers
e-Business News Print this article...
Ecosystem Stories RFID Rising Reader Comments...
e-Biz In Action Gillette deal a watershed, pilots paying off, no end in sight for Link to this article...
Viewpoints application potential; endorsements not where you'd expect
by Jim Ericson, Line56
Company Profiles Thursday, February 13, 2003
Research Reports
Research Library We have been watching for awhile, but it was just five months ago
E-Business Top56 that we introduced our own readers to the topic of radio frequency
Magazine Archives identification, (RFID) passive and active semiconductor chips that
could be embedded in products and read on the fly to help track
goods in the supply chain, and reduce theft and counterfeiting. (Older
Events Calendar readers might recall being fascinated 25 years ago by the barcodes
and security devices RFID is just beginning to replace.)

Now the game is afoot, and companies quick to the mark are looking pretty smart for it. We're
Logos link to mere months from the first standards release (driven by the folks at MIT, thank goodness) the
company profiles
stars are aligning, and companies are not waiting. The latest vision was last month's
commitment by Gillette to buy 500 million RFID tags from privately held Alien Technology. Five
hundred million is a lot of anything, but it's really the tip of the iceberg.

"When we saw Alien and Gillette coming, we just looked at each other and said well, here comes
the first seismic shift that takes this from being on peripheral vision to something on radar,"
More Supply Chain says Lyle Ginsburg, managing partner of technology innovation at Accenture Technology Labs in
Management Profiles... Chicago.
All Company Profiles...
Pilots Aplenty

Ginsburg is traveling frenetically these days, working with customer CEOs, niche technology
About Line56
vendors and supply chain software vendors, as well as the overseeing Auto-ID Center driven at
How to Advertise MIT, now spread to a global effort. Almost everybody seems to want a pilot. In Gillette's case,
Getting Covered Ginsburg thinks risk is minimal since the company is working through a single consortium and
Site Map standard going forward driven by 80-some of the top companies in the world. The global 'punch'
Contact Us of this is not to be underestimated. "Now they're saying, 'here's the way we are going to do this
so everybody please start building this way.'"

DestinationKM That's not to say there's only one application for RFID being applied, or that it's all under tight
Portals Magazine wraps. The motives and goals behind the technology expand daily. Remember, Viagra was
originally launched as a heart medication. Now it's beginning to look like RFID is shaping up as
an aspirin tablet for e-business applications.

Under headings like "ubiquitous commerce" and "silent commerce," Accenture streams demos of
RFID applied to distribution; customer insights; worker safety (tagged hazardous materials in
proximity); shrinkage; and counterfeiting. Separately, a little searching finds "RFID in action" in
the public domain. Here are four random examples:

● Italian fashion designer Prada has a Manhattan store in which all items of clothing
have been tagged with Texas Instruments RFID chips and KTP reader technology.
Upon entering one of seven dressing booths built by industrial designer ideo,

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Line56.com: RFID Rising

shoppers are presented with sizes and colors available, and alternate styles and
complementary products via a video monitor. Preferences can be stored on a
customer card, and sales associates are equipped with hand-held devices to locate
products and display catwalk clips to customers.

● Scottish Courage Brewing has long been using RFID in a "keg-sharing" plan in the
U.K. where 65 percent of beer is served in draft form. With a U.K. inventory of 10
million kegs and no deposit laws, shrinkage of the stock was a problem. RFID
tagging, "100 percent accurate" in the words of program director Graham Miller, is
used to track kegs at various points in the supply chain, reducing shrinkage to
almost zero, reducing cycle times, improving delivery for outgoing and incoming
stock and providing an audit trail for inventory.

● UK retailer Marks & Spencer is replacing barcodes with RFID chips and Intellident
technology on 3.5 million reusable food trays, dollies and rolling cages carrying
perishable food items. Last November, the company called this the largest RFID
project in the world. Texas Instruments says the tags reduce the time to read a
stack of multiple trays by 80 percent. Complete dollies of trays are read in five
seconds of passing a scanner, and the project is now making its way to the retail
floor.

● Malden Mills, the U.S. textile inventor and manufacturer of Polartec severe-weather
fabric sold by outlets like L.L. Bean, Nike, (also used by the military) uses Escort
Memory System RFID tags in the manufacturing process to mark the beginning and
end of imperfections in fabric runs. Detectors on slitting machines sense and
remove defective areas of material, minimizing waste at the point of the
imperfection.

"Conventional wisdom says you start tagging high-volume things and work down, but there are
many exceptions for people who are highly motivated for one reason or another," says AMR
Research analyst Pete Abell. "For Prada, it's about image and marketing. At GAP Stores, they're
interested in increasing sales and improving inventory management. Guess what, it works."

Conventional wisdom also goes awry when evaluating the thinking that leads RFID applications.
Geographical and cultural nuances often drive users and suppliers in discrete directions. In the U.
K., for example, much of the impetus for RFID came via the 5.5 million pound "Chipping of
Goods Initiative" initiated by the U.K. Home Office in December, 2002. Led by the Police
Scientific Development Branch and road crimes unit, the goal was to reduce man-hours and
prosecutorial costs for stolen items.

For its part, Gillette will be in part tagging cases and packages of expensive razor blades that fly
off the shelf, often illegally. They're also putting smart shelf readers in Wal-Mart and Tesco
stores to manage inventory and track inventory movement. "Their biggest problem is shrinkage
with those Mach III razors," Ginsburg says. "When I first joined the Auto-ID Center, I heard
about this and went to Walgreens to see what it was all about, and there were no razors on the
shelf." Either they're selling or they're stolen, he says, both important reasons to be tracking the
goods.

Who's Doing What

Our own conventional wisdom leads us back to the supply chain and the confluence of familiar
and unfamiliar names. Who is doing what? How are supply-chain execution software firms fitting
in?

While early security devices might have been applied by retailers, those companies see
themselves in the tag reader business and aren't going to be buying and applying millions of
tags for their stores. "Everyone assumes it's the manufacturers that will be tagging," Ginsburg
says, though he thinks that's only partly true. For their part, manufacturers will be more
interested in tracking large volumes, pallets and cases, at choke points like loading dock doors,
he says. Generally, this starts deep in the supply chain and slowly works its way toward store
shelves.

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Line56.com: RFID Rising

A first step then is the tracking of all reusable containers, as Marks & Spencer has undertaken.
Bins, pallets, raw materials vats, freight containers, cargo carriers and such are all useful and
acceptable cost asset utilization projects that yield insights today.

Getting back to cases and individual items, the packaging industry has taken the ball as the
likely applicant for tagging. International Paper and Meade/Wesvaco are Auto-ID members, and
Ginsburg says Asian packaging companies are aggressively looking at RFID packaging as a way
to become that much more important to the Unilevers and Coca-Colas of the world. A perusal of
the patent office will provide much evidence of activity in ink-based antennas and chip-
embedded packaging and tape.

Supply chain execution software specialist Manhattan Associates sees a future of automated
conveyors, where cases and items can be automatically routed at distribution centers (DCs) to
their proper destination with an audit trail to boot. "A lot of customers are asking how to use our
PkMS [warehouse management] system to do cross docking where nobody has to touch the
box," says Tilman Estes, director of product development at Manhattan. "Others are just
interested in reducing labor on inbound scanning."

Manhattan is also connecting its infolink remote order tracking software with RFID systems.
Infolink draws on ERP and warehouse management systems to provide visibility to inventory and
orders in progress. Already printing UCC-compliant labels, the next step is to embed RFID chips
in the labels as they are affixed to packages. In this case, Manhattan is working with printer
hardware maker Zebra Technologies, whose printers can embed ultra-thin barcodes into
packaging labels for execution against DC processes like receiving, replenishment, picking,
packing and shipping. "It's just a natural progression," says Estes.

Accenture is partnering with Manhattan Associates and building interfaces for other likely users,
like SAP and Retek. "We're all trying to get ourselves positioned," says Accenture's Ginsburg. For
its part SAP promises new announcements soon, and confirmed plans with Intel and Alien
Technology to open an item level tagged Metro retail store in Germany this April.

On the Drawing Board

There are many more nuances which will drive startups and mainstream competitors to new
requirements and products in support of RFID. One such need is an agile reader that can scan
multiple frequencies and formats, which vary by regulation, materials and geography.

Another is the need to take an event-oriented approach to handing up RFID information. With all
the potential reporting, companies need to discriminate between useful and overabundant
information. The Auto-ID center has created a public domain framework for what it calls a
savant, a bridge between the application and RFID technology vendors.

Software developer Oat Systems is working with savants to add business rules. "If the item
doesn't move, and I'm reading 1,000 tags per second, I don't care about the fact that it hasn't
moved," Abell says. "If it's moving to an area that might be the wrong temperature or indicate
theft, I want to know." For Gillette, picking more than three cartridges of razor blades might be
a good reason to trigger a security camera.

As we mentioned in our last story, a landmark will arrive in October with a conference in Chicago
rolling out Version 1.0 of the EPC code. But there is much more going on in the interim. Abell
says a recent event in Cambridge, England drew a large variety of users and interested parties
as diverse as DHL and the Gemological Society.

Pilots or not, the demand is plain. Beyond the clout of the Auto-ID Center members, the
entrepreneurial and venture capital interests are also active in the area. "Some will catch fire,
some will catch up and many will just disappear," says Ginsburg. "There are clearly some big
established companies that have had their head in the sand on this subject, or say it's a long
ways off so I'm not going to pay any attention and in the meantime, boom! A 500 million tag
order goes to Alien. Thank you very much."

(Jim Ericson is editorial director and news editor at Line56)

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Line56.com: RFID Rising

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Line56.com: RFID Changes Everything

This topic only July 31, 2003

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Ecosystem Stories RFID Changes Everything Reader Comments...
e-Biz In Action Radio frequency identification of unique products in the Link to this article...
Viewpoints supply chain is no pipe dream; some of the world's largest
companies want to see it put the industry on its ear
Company Profiles by Jim Ericson, Line56
Research Reports
Thursday, September 19, 2002
Research Library
E-Business Top56 In the next few years and beyond, the supply chain is aiming at a
Magazine Archives major facelift, some of which is already under way. If success favors
those who are prepared, then it's a good time to take a look at the
current state of radio frequency identification (RFID) as the tool being
Events Calendar bet on.

For businesses, RFID is simply about using radio waves to


automatically identify physical items in varying proximity to machine "readers" which can
Logos link to
uniquely identify them at the ship, truck, container, pallet or unique item level.
company profiles

As it applies to the supply chain, RFID and electronic product codes (EPCs) are not just a
replacement for the under-appreciated barcodes which revolutionized the manufacturing, retail
and shipping businesses 29 years ago. They are a giant step forward in supply-chain visibility
which one day should track goods from raw material to landfill, and simultaneously address
issues like counterfeiting, theft, and perishability.
More Supply Chain
Management Profiles...
Before you call in the hyperbole police to arrest us for overstatement, understand that it's the
All Company Profiles... availability and sheer variety of applications that get people thinking in Star Trek terms.
Consider the supply chain parallels in this real example of technology in use today:

About Line56 In large marathon races like those run in New York or Boston, officials need to account for not
only the winner, but for each of thousands of runners jostling in the streets. At the start of the
How to Advertise
race, contestants affix a small transponder to their bodies. Machine readers mark the correct
Getting Covered time they cross the starting line, chart relative progress at many intervals, reveal where they
Site Map slowed, sped, or dropped out. Spectators watch the ebb and flow on a leader board, and a
Contact Us permanent record secures the outcome.

That's basically it. RFID may revolutionize the supply chain, but it's hardly a new concept.
DestinationKM "Friend or foe" beacons identified military aircraft as far back as the Second World War. Newer
Portals Magazine uses arose about 17 years ago in livestock and vehicle identification tracking. Lately, salmon roe
are tracked in rivers with RFID, and there is talk of RFID tags in every euro bill. Though
ubiquitous RFID is no a slam-dunk business certainty, the technology works today in applications
where computers are able to recognize things around themselves automatically.

Efficiency, Security, Authenticity

Kevin Ashton is executive director of the Auto-ID Center, a research arm of Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT). Charged with building consensus and standards for uses of RFID,
Ashton's group might consider how the postal service could improve delivery, or how the
Department of Defense might fight a war more efficiently. The business side of RFID, he says, is
the real prize. "The question is, 'How do we use this to sell more stuff and be more profitable?'"

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In Ashton's mind, a warehouse is just an excuse for not knowing what you need.

The center is also working with a bandwagon of businesses (initially in retail and
pharmaceutical), that are testing and applying RFID for top and bottom-line benefits.
"We got involved in RFID and EPC trying to solve two problems and take advantage of one
opportunity," says Larry Kellum, director of B2B supply chain innovation at Procter & Gamble.

The problems are theft and counterfeiting, supply chain failures that are respective $50 and
$500 billion problems for global retailers. The opportunity, he says, is the potential to identify
products right down to the unique unit level and follow them through the supply chain.

Theft is addressed today with at least four technologies, acoustic-magnetic, (the little white
rectangles on high-value goods); foil radio frequency tags; electromagnetic; and microwave
tags. While these systems were initially bought and applied by retailers, the cost became such
that manufacturers soon took over some of the work, applying security devices inside costlier
packaged goods, perhaps working with four piles of inventory.

As for counterfeiting, which many consider an Asian problem, Kellum says P&G has found
counterfeit bottles of Head&Shoulders shampoo near its Cincinnati headquarters. "There are
three occasions this year where the FDA has pulled pharmaceutical drugs off shelves when there
was no way to tell the real from the fake," Kellum says. In such cases, whole stocks were
destroyed. In the wake of terror attacks, the scrutiny will only increase.

Meanwhile, product identification remains the work of the ubiquitous barcodes, UPC in the
United States, and EAN in 96 other countries around the world. "Barcodes have had almost
immeasurable impact," says Ashton, "but they're probably the only piece of information
technology from the 1960s that we still use unchanged."

And, barcodes are not really automatic identification technology. Applied by manufacturers,
they're usually read once, manually, at the checkout counter. "That's not the only time you want
to know where a product is, or what it is," Ashton says. Point-of-sale information is of little use if
an inventory system is waiting to sell 10 items that have been stolen off the shelf, and not many
businesses can afford more than annual inventories. RFID won't stop street-corner fencing of
goods, but it could prevent a retailer from buying gray-market perfume.

Tag, You're It!

RFID/EPC technology takes the security idea a step farther. So-called "smart tags" are un-
powered microcomputer chips activated when placed in the transmitting field of a fixed or
moving reader. "In its lowest cost implementation, it has just enough information to say its
name or shut up," says Ashton. Though it transmits nothing more than a unique number, when
connected to a network like the Internet, its value multiplies.

There's plenty of theorizing about the value of "smart shelves" that can itemize inventory in real
time, self-checkout, managing expiration dates and item location in stores. "In 35 percent of
cases, people walk out of apparel stores without product when the product was there, but the
customer or sales rep couldn't find it," notes Pete Abell, director of retail research at AMR. RFID,
he says, has many niche applications in higher-priced perishables and shelf goods with
expiration dates as well. "It's a value equation," Abell says. "No one wants fines or consumer
lawsuits."

The value equation is the central issue around RFID deployment, a mix of product ubiquity,
value, and the cost of the tag. A 40-cent tag makes sense for a leather jacket, but not for a can
of soup. So, many retailers and middlemen are experimenting with RFID at the pallet, and
perhaps the case level. CHEP, a large, London-based company that pools pallets and containers,
launched a pilot last year to install 250,000 EPC-compliant chips on its products. A company like
Wal-Mart, big as it is, has only three pallet suppliers. Pushing the scale to 500,000 pallets brings
the cost down; Abell believes Wal-Mart is hoping the technology, even at that level, might lower
supply chain costs 3 to 5 percent.

P&G is already in a pallet-level field test with a Sam's store in Tulsa; next February it begins
case-level testing with Sams and Wal-Mart on products shipped from P&G's Missouri plant. If

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Line56.com: RFID Changes Everything

they choose, testing could include active, self-powered tags connected to GPS units, and even
temperature sensing tags. Reconciling damage in transit and invoice disputes are still more
potential benefits of RFID.

In early 2003, P&G also plans tests at the item level, and will even include some smart shelves
that track the identity of unique bottles or cans, not just grades and classes. But making RFID
practical on the item level is still a ways out, a chicken and egg problem that will determine if
quantities ever drive chip cost to a nickel or less. "If we tag all the pallets and cases we should
in a year, that would take about 2.5 billion tags," says Kellum. "At the item level, it's more like
22 billion. Until you build five billion chips, you can't get to a nickel."

All Tags Equal

The P&G case is just one of scores or hundreds of simple and deep trials underway in the U.S.,
and to an even greater extent in Europe. Many of these projects are under wraps at companies
that feel they're protecting a competitive advantage. The industry and solutions are fragmented
to the point where Kellum has identified 123 protocols for RFID. "Just about all of them work,
and they're all incompatible," he says.

On October 1, 1999, (the 25th anniversary of the UCC code), the Auto-ID Center came into
official existence in MIT's engineering department. Having developed the barcode in the first
place, MIT was a logical setting to extend the discussion. Funded by UCC, Gillette and P&G, the
center today has 50 sponsors on three continents, a who's who of CPG, technology, shipping,
and retail interests, not to mention the U.S. Department of Defense and Postal Service. A work
in progress, the Auto-ID Center sponsors have met, developed and demonstrated technology,
and worked for a common set of standards for RFID.

But there were bound to be squabbles, such as those over extant UPC and EAN standards. To
their credit, the group has opened Auto-ID centers in Cambridge, England, and Adelaide,
Australia; next month, new centers will be announced in Tokyo and Shanghai; another is
planned in South America.

The actual code structure may not be the greatest issue. "Revenue is the dirty little secret,"
Abell says. Both EAN and UPC are paid for issuing code to suppliers in their countries. While UCC
governs 26 industries in North America, EAN is fragmented across 96 nations. "They all have
little bureaucracies to feed," Abell says. As a result, the Auto-ID Center has made sure it can set
aside enough unique digits so all the parties can continue to issue code.

Also, technology is ahead of the game. "Relative to standards, we always say, 'Look at whether
RFID can improve your automation today and go from there,'" says Susy d'Hont, marketing
manager at RFID system manufacturer Matrics, one of some 30 tech partners welcomed but
treated neutrally at the Auto-ID Center. With technology a proprietary advantage, best-practice
leaders won't wait for consensus. The process is incremental, though d'Hont says without
standards, the market might never scale to the billions.

There are technical issues as well. Different countries allow different frequencies and power
levels for RFID devices. For Matrics, 10 feet is the minimum standard for RFID measurement;
other system vendors see it differently. The very properties of the materials being scanned,
plastics, liquids, metals, can also affect the properties of the devices.

Finally, you might also worry that ubiquitous use of RFID would make the tags themselves
subject to counterfeit. With proper infrastructure in place that would be hard to do, Ashton says,
the equivalent of typing a Web address into a browser for a page that doesn't exist.

A Meeting of Minds

The proof will be in the pudding. Mark your calendars for October, 2003, the date set for a
symposium in Chicago. There, Version 1 of EPC automatic identification will be rolled out, with
open specifications for tags talking to readers, readers talking to computers, standards for
capturing and managing the data and so on. Hopefully, a lot of vendors will be present as well.
"People will be fighting to sell you compliant tags just like they fight to sell you PCs today," says
Ashton.

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Line56.com: RFID Changes Everything

It's not an all-at-once proposition, but Ashton hopes some of the rest of the world will be ready
to at least dip their toes in the technology. The more people who use the technology, the more
valuable it becomes, and the cheaper it gets. "We'll have six months to a year," Ashton says. If
confidence and momentum remain high, things could happen quickly from the end of 2004. "By
2010 it could be a whole different world or nothing could happen," he says, with a scientist's
aplomb.

He's also hoping for results beyond pure capitalistic efficiency. The Auto-ID center is working
with consumer and watchdog groups and promises easy, secure opt-out for consumers who fear
obtrusive marketing and data gathering. In the end, he feels you're identifying a product, not a
person, and for those who participate, the technology will be no more intrusive than a grocery
loyalty card. For futurists who see the days of "smart appliances," refrigerators or microwave
ovens that can interrogate their contents, the technology may be helpful, but that's way down
the road.

We have moved past the starting line though. Recycling, Ashton says, could be the greatest
application of all. Imagine if, in 20 years, everything had a chip in it. The landfill operator could
establish what he has and what to do with it. "So many things go into holes in the ground
because we can't sort them out."

Will we ever reach the day when every product made carries a unique number? Are there even
enough numbers to go around? Leave it to MIT to at least get that issue out of the way. EPC
Version 1 contains 96 bits (ones and zeroes). "Fifty-six bits is enough to number every grain of
rice consumed on the planet this year," Ashton says. "One hundred twenty-eight bits can
number every molecule on the surface of the Earth." In this regard at least, future-speak or not,
Y3K is already taken care of.

(Jim Ericson is editorial director and senior news editor at Line56 Media)

This article is part of an ongoing series navigating the e-Business Ecosystem.


To download a copy of the ecosystem click here.
Please help us evolve these projects with your feedback.

Continental Shift
Shifting to Business Process
A Case For SMB Portals
The Value Chain's True Costs
Starting Over With BPM

e-Business Ecosystem Index...

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http://www.line56.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=4025 (4 of 4)7/31/2003 2:34:21 AM


Transponder news - KSW Microtec GmbH - Suppliers of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders

A news service reporting on developments regarding the use of radio based tagging
transponder systems for commerce and scientific applications. Covering the RFID
technologies, EAS technologies and magnetic coupled techniques.

Suppliers of RFID materials


KSW Microtec GmbH
Gesellschaft fur angewandte Microtechnik mbH
Gostritzer Str 63
D001217 Dresden
Germany
Tel +49-351-871-8044
Fax +49-351-871-8411

Email: Jens Galties(galties@ksw-microtec.de)

KSW Microtec GmbH are a solution provider for the high volume assembly of transponder inlays and
tags

Their speciality is in the provision of solutions for the flip chip assembly of transponder and smartcard
systems using adhesives and polymer tape.

The use of polymer tape as substrate and adhesive paves the way for low cost packaging of smart labels.
KSW Microtec can provide this low cost assembling solution with their expertise and extended
capabilities in flip chip technologies. Based on a broad spectrum of isotropic conductive (ICA),
anisotropic conductive (ACA), and non-conductive adhesives (NCA), electroless Pd plating and stencil
printing, the flip chips could be assembled on different types of antenna. The assembling technology is
easily adaptable for antennas made out of a few windings - printed, winded, etched or punched coil,
copper or aluminium traces in any shape. KSW Microtec's strength in reel to reel manufacturing assures
that our cost-effective inlays will remain a solution for your identification.

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Transponder news - KSW Microtec GmbH - Suppliers of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders

The company KSW Microtec was started in 1994, from a viewpoint of the application and further
advancement of the Flip Chip Technology.

As Europe's first service supplier of Polymer Flip Chip technology KSW Microtec offers an advanced
technology in microelectronic packaging and assembly.

The success of KSW Microtec rests on the well-qualified and highly motivated co-workers. Most
modern equipment such as electroless plating line, precision screen/ stencil printer for wafer and
substrate bumping, highly accurate pick & place machines, automatic dispensers accommodated in a
clean space, guarantee the highest quality and largest throughput.

The company has close cooperation with international manufacturers and guarantees the customers an
optimal solution.

Suppliers, if you want your details added, please send the details via Email - Ed

If you want to contact the editor about additional information or questions,


send mail to The editor, Transponder News

* NOTE* Fast mirror and backup site BOOKMARK FOR REFERENCE Main site * NOTE*

Transponder News © / process@pixie.co.za

http://www.rapidttp.co.za/transponder/rfsupp55.html (2 of 2)7/31/2003 2:35:47 AM


RFID Journal - RFID Vendors - The Americas

RFID Vendors - The Americas


Animal, Asset & Vehicle Tracking

Click on the company's name to visit its Web site.

Search by Keyword Advanced Data Capture Corp.: This Concord, Mass.,


maker of bar code equipment is moving into RFID
systems.
Choose a Topic
Ameritrac Wireless, Inc.: Based in Atlanta, Georgia,
Ameritrac offers RFID, systems, as well as real-time
location tracking systems. The company was founded in
2002 and purchased RJI, an RFID systems integrator.

The Argent Group: Based in Troy Michigan, the


Argent Group is a small consortium of businesses
formed to offer RFID and smart label users a complete
service, including specification, selection, and
installation of hardware, and software, and systems
integration. The companies are converters and printers
of various materials for incorporation into adhesive or
non-adhesive labels, which are used throughout
automotive, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and
other supply chains. Argent specializes in the
manufacture of smart labels, many of which
incorporate RFID technology. They can print antennas
using conductive inks and can assist clients with Labor Pains
selection of the most appropriate chips and antenna
designs. Competition for people
who can deploy RFID
Applied Wireless Identifications: Based in Monsey, systems will be intense.
NY, AWID offers RFID readers for access control and
asset tracking. The company has developed the first FULL STORY
multi-protocol reader housed inside a standard PCMCIA
card, which can be used with handheld computers.

Avid Canada: A Canadian company that offers an


injectable RFID microchip for tracking pets and farm
animals.

Avid, Inc.: This Norco, Calif. Company offers systems


for track your pets or your cattle.

AXCESS Inc.: Based in Dallas, Texas, Axcess provides


network-based security and asset management
systems for the enterprise, including RFID systems.

Checkpoint Systems: Based in Thorofare, NJ.


Checkpoint is a leader in Electronic Article Surveillance.
It’s technology is also used in libraries to track books
and in other asset tracking applications.

CrossLink Inc.: This Boulder, Colorado, company


offers wireless data, RFID, bluetooth and telemetry
technology.

EasyFile: This File Management software company


offers an RFID solution for tracking important
documents. The system can be set up to sound an
alarm when critical files are removed from the building,
or a particular area, without authorization. The

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RFID Journal - RFID Vendors - The Americas

company’s solutions are aimed at a variety of


industries, including consulting, insurance, financial
services, legal, government, and health care.

eXI Wireless Inc.: Richmond, British Columbia-based


eXI is a developer and manufacturer of RFID
infrastructure and tagging products, including Assetrac
for tracking, managing and securing assets; Halo for
infant protection; and RoamAlertPlus for tracking
patients and preventing them from leaving specific
areas.

HID Corp.: A spin off of Hughes Aircraft, this company


provides radio frequency (RFID) and Wiegand solutions
for automated identification and data transmission in
access control and asset management applications.

Identec Solutions: A Canadian company based in


Kelowna, BC, Identec offers long-range active RFID
equipment for asset tracking."

Indala: Acquired by ASSA ABLOY in November of


2001, Indala manufactures proximity cards and
readers. Its line of FlexPass readers combines
intelligent programming technology with
interchangeable components, including uniform
modules and a range of stylish cover designs. Indala's
product portfolio also consists of FlexPass cards, tags
and OEM modules. Founded in 1985 and acquired by
Motorola in 1993, Indala's installed base consists of
approximately 60 million cards and 1 million readers.
The company's headquarters is located in San Jose,
California.

i-Ray, Inc.: Based in Ashland Mass., i-Ray develops


wireless location and positioning technologies for
resource management, delivering far-reaching read-
ranges, highly accurate 3D-positioning, Web-based
remote systems management and open and scaleable
platforms.

Intermec Technologies Corp.: A UNOVA Inc.


company, Intermec is a leader in global supply chain
solutions and in the development, manufacture and
integration of wired and wireless automated data
collection, Intellitag RFID, mobile computing systems,
bar code printers and label media. The company’s
products and services are used by customers in many
industries to improve productivity, quality and
responsiveness of business operations, from supply
chain management and enterprise resource planning to
field sales and service.

ITS Cooperative Deployment Network: A shared


Internet resource containing news, insight, and
resources about intelligent transportation systems for
transportation professionals and agencies alike.

LAN-Link Corporation: St. Louis, Missouri-based LAN-


Link offers integrated systems using RFID Technology,
specializing in waste management, asset tracking &
access control.

Lockwood Technology: This Merrimack, N.H.,


company, founded in 1994, offers asset tracking and
physical inventory software and service using RFID and
bar code technology for various industries around
world. Specialties include custom solutions to match
customer needs in various environments. Clients

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RFID Journal - RFID Vendors - The Americas

include banks, school districts, software companies,


healthcare facilities, insurance companies, law firms,
among others.

OMI International, Inc.: This Dallas software


company is a leading provider of integrated supply
chain management solutions. It’s asset and dock
management system can use RFID technology to
automate scheduling and movement of trucks through
a yard as they pick up goods and drop of salvaged
goods. In North America, one or more of OMI's SCM
offerings is installed in 60% of the top 100 retail
grocery organizations and in 46% of the wholesale
grocery businesses.

PrePass: An automatic vehicle identification system


that allows participating transponder equipped
commercial vehicles to bypass designated weigh
stations and port-of entry facilities.

RF Code: Based in Mesa, Ariz., RF Code designs,


develops and manufactures high-performance, low-cost
real-time locating systems for tracking physical assets,
information and personnel. The company, which was
founded in 1997, sells complete systems comprised of
radio-frequency tags, readers, antennas and software.
Status information is relayed via Total Asset Visibility
software, which can interface to legacy database
systems on a local, regional or worldwide basis.

RJI, Inc.: Based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., RJI


provides RFID, real-time location and telematics
tracking solutions across a wide range of industries.
Assets are monitored through the RJI tracking portal, a
secure hosted Web site used to provide a graphical
view of activity, aggregate data, and generate reports.

Savi Technology: A division spun off by Raytheon,


they build supply chain systems for the U.S. military.
Now they are moving into software for tracking goods
in the supply chain. Chep International is working with
them to track pallets in one of the first large scale RFID
tests.

SCS Corporation: Based in San Diego, SCS provides


passive radio frequency identification tags and scanners
for industries requiring item tracking and management
technology.

SIRIT: This Toronto-company's Radio Frequency


Solutions division creates custom RFID readers that are
embedded into industrial printers, hand-held computers
and cashless payment terminals from major
manufacturers. The division also does R&D for smart
shelves that can read radio frequency waves emitted by
RFID chips embedded into product packaging. The
information can be used to alert employees when stock
or inventory is low and to facilitate automated
merchandising techniques for consumer products
companies. Founded in 1993, SIRIT also has divisions
that focus on Automatic Vehicle Identification
applications, including electronic toll collection, parking
and access control, airports, fleet, vehicle registration
and intermodal applications.

Smart RF: This Sunnyvale, Calif., company is an


application/sales/marketing and engineering
organization that supplies products, technology and
services for short-haul voice and data wireless

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RFID Journal - RFID Vendors - The Americas

communications for a variety of environments,


including RFID asset management. The company works
with marketing partners to provide systems integration
along with sales, applications and engineering support
for customers.

Syscan: This Quebec, Canada, company makes RFID


transponders and RFID readers, software and
numerous smart card applications. Applications include
asset tracking, warehousing and logistics, and livestock
monitoring.

Tiris Electronic Toll and Traffic Management: The


home page for Texas Instruments’ toll collection
technology.

Transcore: One of the leading providers of active RFID


tags and readers. It's technology is used for toll
collection systems, fleet management, tracking railway
cars, mobile commerce and tracking baggage at
airports.

©2003 RFID Journal Inc. Terms of Use | Privacy | Site Help


= For Subscribers Only
SITE DESIGNED BY LOEWY DESIGN

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ALIEN - Overview

Overview

Alien Technology Corporation is working with the Auto-ID Center and leading
technology partners to deploy electronic product code (EPC) tags inexpensive enough
to let virtually every product communicate, both locally and globally, throughout its life
cycle.

By incorporating EPC tags into your supply chain, warehouse operations, and retail
stores, you can cut operating costs and eliminate stock-outs while reducing inventory
and billing errors.

Using the Auto-ID Center's open protocol, Alien delivers high performance at the lowest
possible cost. The blue-chip membership of the Auto-ID Center, including leading global
retailers and consumer goods companies, ensure that the protocol will see broad
application and will be supported by major software and technology companies.

Even the simplest EPC tag is a powerful tool, with a user-programmable 64-bit code
representing standard barcode data plus individual unit identification. Built on proven
UHF technology, Alien's low-cost EPC tags and readers provide the range, speed, and
robustness required for logistics and asset tracking. In addition to EPC tags, Alien offers
more sophisticated battery powered backscatter tags, that feature longer range,
additional memory, and onboard data processing, making them well suited for
temperature and condition sensing. All Alien RFID systems seamlessly integrate into
your existing IT infrastructure using standard network protocols.

RFID IC (1.3 mm square RFID IC representing current


practice) shown with six 350 micron square Nanoblock® ICs.

Alien is working with partners Rafsec and Avery Dennison for manufacturing of inlays
and finished tags. The first product, a 64-bit read-only tag operating in the 915 MHz
band, is expected by Jan. 2003. Passive and semi-passive RFID products with greater
capability and at higher frequencies will follow shortly thereafter.

Alien expects to pursue a variety of business models in RFID, including producing


"straps" (IC's with leads ready to attach to an antenna), contract manufacturing, and
licensing.

Fluidic Self Assembly

http://www.alientechnology.com/technology/overview.html (1 of 2)7/31/2003 2:40:17 AM


ALIEN - Overview

Alien Technology has developed, and holds exclusive patent rights to, a manufacturing
assembly technology called Fluidic Self Assembly (FSA®) which was invented at UC
Berkeley by Prof. John S. Smith. FSA allows for the efficient placement of arbitrarily
large numbers of small components across a surface in a single operation. FSA has
numerous potential uses. The Company plans to first use the technology to
manufacture very low-cost RFID tags and subsequently to address other potential
markets such as antennas and sensors.

Alien's revolutionary FSA process allows us to package tiny integrated circuits


(NanoBlock® ICs) for assembly into EPC tags at rates upwards of 2,000,000 per hour
versus the approximately 10,000 per hour possible with conventional methods that are
only capable of handling much larger and more costly ICs. This is essential for reducing
the cost of tags, but is also important for producing EPC tags in quantities of billions or
even trillions.

The Company has demonstrated the feasibilityof the FSA process and has engaged
with leaders in web processing to apply proven web equipment and processes. The first
high volume assembly line is nearing completion. Key customers and other partners
from around the world have endorsed the Company's strategy through direct
investments, purchase orders and/or development agreements.

Nanoblock™ IC and
corresponding hole

For more information on Alien's technology, download the FSA White Paper or email
info@alientechnology.com

Copyright © 2001, Alien Technology™. All Rights Reserved.


Legal Terms, Security, Privacy Statement.
Problems or Suggestions contact aliensitemgr@alientechnology.com

http://www.alientechnology.com/technology/overview.html (2 of 2)7/31/2003 2:40:17 AM


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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• Introduction Introduction
The Auto-ID Center aims to change the world. By creating
• What is automatic
an open global network that can identify anything,
Search Tips identification? anywhere, automatically, it seeks to give companies
something that, until now, they have only dreamed of:
near-perfect supply chain visibility. The system, if widely
• Why Focus on Radio
adopted, could eliminate human error from data collection,
Frequency
reduce inventories, keep product in-stock, reduce loss and
Identification?
waste, and improve safety and security. The possibilities
seem limitless.
• The Importance of
tracking Individual
Items? The following pages deal with the basics of auto
identification and data capture. It explains the
• Creating an Internet shortcomings of existing technology and shows how an
of Things open, global network for identifying goods with RFID tags
has the potential to make companies vastly more efficient
• Identifying Trillions and profitable.
of Items

Click here for the Idiots Guide, a topline introduction

Click here for an Indepth Look at the technology building blocks

Click here to download a Technology Guide

Click here to download and comment on our latest specifications

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech.asp7/31/2003 2:41:57 AM
Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC How the EPC Network Will Automate the
Network Will Supply Chain
Automate the With the new EPC network, computers will be able to 'see'
Search Tips Supply Chain physical objects, allowing manufacturers to be able to
track and trace items automatically throughout the supply
• Adding Identity to chain. This technology will revolutionize the way we
Products manufacture, sell and buy products.

• Adding Identity to Here's how it works…


Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution

• Efficiency in
Inventory

• Overstocking
Eliminated

• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Adding Identity to Products
• Efficiency in SuperCola, Inc. adds a Radio Frequency Identification
Inventory (RFID) tag to every cola can it produces. Each tag is cheap
- it costs about five cents - and contains a unique
• Overstocking Electronic Product Code, or EPC. This is stored in the tag's
Eliminated microchip which, at 400 microns square, is smaller than a
grain of sand. The tag also includes a tiny radio antenna.
• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Adding Identity to Cases
• Efficiency in These tags will allow the cola cans to be identified, counted
Inventory and tracked in a completely automated, cost-effective
fashion. The cans are packed into cases - which feature
• Overstocking their own RFID tags - and loaded onto tagged palettes.
Eliminated

• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution

Reading Tags
• Efficiency in As the palettes of cola leave the manufacturer, an RFID
Inventory reader positioned above the loading dock door hits the
smart tags with radio waves, powering them. The tags
• Overstocking "wake up" and start broadcasting their individual EPCs.
Eliminated Like a good kindergarten teacher, the reader only allows
one tag to talk at a time. It rapidly switches them on and
• Consumer off in sequence, until it's read them.
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution

Savant at Work
• Efficiency in The reader is wired into a computer system running
Inventory Savant. It sends Savant the EPCs it's collected, and Savant
goes to work. The system sends a query over the internet
• Overstocking to an Object Name Service (ONS) database, which acts like
Eliminated a reverse telephone directory - it receives a number and
produces an address.
• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
ONS at Work
• Efficiency in The ONS server matches the EPC number (the only data
Inventory stored on an RFID tag) to the address of a server which
has extensive information about the product. This data is
• Overstocking available to, and can be augmented by, Savant systems
Eliminated around the world.

• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
PML at Work
• Efficiency in This second server uses PML, or Physical Markup
Inventory Language, to store comprehensive data about
manufacturers' products. It recognizes the incoming EPCs
• Overstocking
as belonging to cans of SuperCola, Inc.'s Cherry Hydro.
Eliminated
Because it knows the location of the reader which sent the
• Consumer query, the system now also knows which plant produced
Convenience the cola. If an incident involving a defect or tampering
arose, this information would make it easy to track the
source of the problem - and recall the products in question.

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Efficiency in Distribution
• Efficiency in The palettes of cola arrive at the shipping service's
Inventory distribution center. Thanks to RFID readers in the
unloading area, there's no need to open packages and
examine their contents. Savant provides a description of
• Overstocking
Eliminated
the cargo, and the cola is quickly routed to the appropriate
truck.
• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Efficiency in Inventory
• Efficiency in The delivery arrives at SpeedyMart, who has been tracking
Inventory the shipment thanks to its own Savant connection.
SpeedyMart also has loading dock readers. As soon as the
• Overstocking cola arrives, SpeedyMart's retail systems are automatically
Eliminated updated to include every can of Cherry Hydro that arrived.
In this manner, SpeedyMart can locate its entire Cherry
• Consumer Hydro inventory automatically, accurately and without
Convenience incurring cost.

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Overstocking Eliminated
• Efficiency in What's more, SpeedyMart's retail shelves also feature
Inventory integrated readers. When the cans of cola are stocked, the
shelves "understand" what's being put in them. Now, when
• Overstocking a customer grabs a six-pack of Cherry Hydro, the
Eliminated diminished shelf will route a message to SpeedyMart's
automated replenishment systems - which will order more
• Consumer Cherry Hydro from SuperCola, Inc. With such a system,
Convenience the need to maintain costly "safety volumes" of Cherry
Hyrdo in remote warehouses is eliminated.

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• How the EPC


Network Will
Automate the Supply
Search Tips Chain

• Adding Identity to
Products

• Adding Identity to
Cases

• Reading Tags

• Savant at Work

• ONS at Work

• PML at Work

• Efficiency in
Distribution
Consumer Convenience
• Efficiency in Auto-ID makes the customer's life easier, too. Rather than
Inventory wait in line for a cashier, she simply walks out the door
with her purchases. A reader built into the door recognizes
• Overstocking the items in her cart by their individual EPCs; A swipe of
Eliminated the debit or credit card and the customer is on her way.

• Consumer
Convenience

Images on this page ©XPLANE 2002

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• The Electronic An in-depth look at the new network


Product Code The Auto-ID Center and its sponsors are working to
develop flexible tags and readers and to bring the cost of
Search Tips • The Basics of RFID the hardware down to a level where RFID can be used to
Tags track individual items. And we're working to create a new,
open, global network that will allow companies to take
• Bringing Down the
advantage of low-cost RFID tags. Below, we explain the
Costs of Tags key elements of our approach to automatic identification in
greater depth.
• Understanding Radio
Waves

• The Reader

• Savant

• Object Name Service The Electronic Product Code


The Auto-ID Center has proposed a new Electronic Product
Code as the next standard for identifying products. Our
• Physical Markup
goal is not to replace existing bar code standards, but
Language
rather to create a migration path for companies to move
from established standards for bar codes to the new EPC.
• Control
To encourage this evolution, we have adopted the basic
structures of the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), an
umbrella group under which virtually all existing bar codes
fall. There's no guarantee that the world will adopt the
EPC, but our proposal already has the support of the
Uniform Code Council and EAN International, the two main
bodies that oversee international bar code standards.
We're also working with other national and international
trade groups and standard bodies.

How it works
The EPC is a number made up of a header and three sets
of data, as shown in the above figure. The header
identifies the EPC's version number - this allows for
different lengths or types of EPC later on. The second part
of the number identifies the EPC Manager - most likely the
manufacturer of the product the EPC is attached to - for
example 'The Coca-Cola Company'. The third, called object
class, refers to the exact type of product, most often the
Stock Keeping Unit - for example 'Diet Coke 330 ml can,
US version'. The fourth is the serial number, unique to the
item - this tells us exactly which 330 ml can of Diet Coke
we are referring to. This makes it possible, for example, to
quickly find products that might be nearing their expiration
date.

Types of EPCs
The Auto-ID Center has proposed EPCs of 64- and 96 bits.
Eventually, there could be more. The 96-bit number is the
one we think should be most common. We chose 96 bits as
a compromise between the desire to ensure that all objects
have a unique EPC and the need to keep the cost of the

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

tag down. The 96-bit EPC provides unique identifiers for


268 million companies. Each manufacturer can have 16
million object classes and 68 billion serial numbers in each
class, more than enough to cover all products
manufactured worldwide for years to come. Since there is
no need for that many serial numbers at this time, we
propose an interim 64-bit code. The smaller code will help
keep the price of the RFID chips down initially, while
providing more than enough unique EPCs for current
needs.

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Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• The Electronic The Basics of RFID Tags


Product Code An RFID tag is made up of a microchip attached to an
antenna. There are different kinds of tags for different
Search Tips applications, and we'll explain these in this section. One of
• The Basics of
RFID Tags the keys to making RFID useful for tracking individual
items is dramatically reducing the cost of the tags. The
• Bringing Down the
section below explains how we plan to do that.
Costs of Tags
Active vs passive
• Understanding Radio Active RFID tags have a battery, which is used to run the
Waves microchip's circuitry and to broadcast a signal to a reader
(the way a cell phone transmits signals to a base station).
Passive tags have no battery. Instead, they draw power
• The Reader
from the reader, which sends out electromagnetic waves
that induce a current in the tag's antenna. Semi-passive
• Savant
tags use a battery to run the chip's circuitry, but
communicate by drawing power from the reader. Active
• Object Name Service and semi-passive tags are useful for tracking high-value
goods that need to be scanned over long ranges, such as
• Physical Markup railway cars on a track, but they cost a dollar or more,
Language making them too expensive to put on low-cost items. The
Auto-ID Center is focusing on passive tags, which cost
• Control under a dollar today. Their read range isn't as far - less
than ten feet vs. 100 feet or more for active tags - but
they are far less expensive than active tags and require no
maintenance. We also research other tag types, however,
and they are not excluded from our system.

Read-write vs. read-only


Chips in RF tags can be read-write or read-only. With read-
write chips, you can add information to the tag or write
over existing information when the tag is within range of a
reader, or interrogator. Read-write tags are useful in some
specialized applications, but since they are more expensive
than read-only chips, they are impractical for tracking
inexpensive items. Some read-only microchips have
information stored on them during the manufacturing
process. The information on such chips can never be
changed. Another method is to use something called
electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, or
EEPROM. With EEPROM, the data can be overwritten using
a special electronic process.

The Auto-ID Center's spec


We are not creating RFID tags or even telling vendors what
types of tags to make. Our only concern is that tags carry
an EPC, communicate in an open standard way, and meet
some minimum performance requirements so they can be
read by readers anywhere. However, because very low-
cost tags are a key component of our system, we have
been working on designs for chips that will cost around 5
cents when produced in bulk and can be read from at least
four feet. The first tags are ultra-high frequency; that is,
they operate at 915 MHz. They use EEPROM, so companies

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can write an EPC to the tag when the item is produced and
packaged, but other memory technologies could also be
used.

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• The Electronic Bringing Down Tag Costs


Product Code The high-cost of RFID tags has been one of the biggest
inhibitors to wide-scale adoption of the technology. Today,
Search Tips the cheapest RFID tags sell for about 50 cents in large
• The Basics of RFID
quantities. At the Auto-ID Center, we aim to bring down
Tags
the price of a tag to 5 cents. We have devised several
strategies for doing that.
• Bringing Down
the Costs of Tags
Simple is better
• Understanding Radio Under the Auto-ID Center's scheme, a 96-bit or 64-bit
Waves Electronic Product Code will be the only information stored
on the chip in an RFID tag. That's because chips with less
memory cost less money. Consider that a single gate of
• The Reader
silicon logic - the fundamental building block for digital
microchips - costs about one thousandth of one cent. The
• Savant
Auto-ID Center's members produce more than 500 billion
units a year, so each additional logic gate on a tag would
• Object Name Service cost them more than $5 million in lost profit.

• Physical Markup Shrink the chip


Language One key to bringing down the cost of passive, read-only
tags is the size of the microchip used. The price of an 8-
• Control inch silicon wafer is relatively stable, but by cutting the
wafer into smaller pieces, the price of each chip falls.
Today, most wafers are cut with a diamond saw. This
process yields a maximum of about 15,000 microchips that
are one millimeter square. A process called wet etching -
laying down a thin line of acid to eat through the wafer -
can yield upwards of 250,000 chips that are about 150
microns square, or about three times the width of a human
hair. Chips that are small are much cheaper than
traditional microchips. But working with them has always
been a problem. Pick-and-place robots that handle most
silicon chips are unable to deal with anything that tiny.
Auto-ID Center sponsor Alien Technology, a startup based
in Morgan Hill, Calif., has developed a process called fluidic
self-assembly to put the chips in a base, so the antennas
can be added. The chips have beveled edges because of
the way the acid eats through the silicon crystal. Alien
creates a base with holes that look like molds for these
chips. It then flows thousands of tiny chips, which Alien
calls "nanoblocks," in a special liquid over the base and
some fall perfectly into place. The rest are collected and
reused. The base is cut into straps with metal pads so an
antenna can be mounted on the chip to create a tag. The
antenna and chip are sandwiched between two layers to
create a finished tag. When Alien's new production facility
is fully operational, it will turn out 80 billion chips a year.
Other methods of assembling small chips are also being
developed, as are improvements to existing approaches.
One promising approach is vibratory assembly, which is
being researched by MIT and also by Auto-ID
Center sponsor Philips Semiconductor.

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A new antenna
Another key to creating low-cost tags is reducing the cost
of the antenna. Rafsec, an Auto-ID Center sponsor, is
developing an innovative antenna that will be attached to
Alien chips to make tags that, at high volumes, could cost
around 5 cents. Today, most RFID antennas are made by
removing elements from conductive metals like copper and
aluminum with acid and then shaping them. Rafsec, a
subsidiary of Finland's UPM-Kymmene Corp., one of the
world's largest manufacturers of printing papers, has
pioneered a high-speed plating technology, where an
antenna is printed using conductive ink and then a layer of
metal is stamped on top. Using this technology, Rafsec can
produce antennas for about a penny when manufactured in
bulk, compared with 5 to 15 cents for a typical antenna
made with existing technology. Other innovative
approaches to low cost antenna manufacturing are being
developed by other Auto-ID Center sponsors.

Silicon alternatives
Several companies are working independently of the Auto-
ID Center on RFID tags that use cheaper alternatives to
silicon, and even "chipless tags," that are purely magnetic.
These efforts hold great promise, and the Auto-ID Center
supports them. The system we are developing does not
exclude these technologies or any other. Our vision is of an
evolving world where any tag, silicon or not, can talk to
any reader, provided that both speak the right language,
and meet some basic performance requirements. Chips
made of synthetic polymers or special crystals may turn
out to be less expensive than silicon chips, and they may
have other applications, such as in complementary sensors
for detecting temperature or vibration. By creating a global
network companies can use to identify products, we are
also creating a new market in which such innovations can
flourish.

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• The Electronic Understanding Radio Waves


Product Code Tags communicate with readers using radio waves. Before
we explain how readers work, it's useful to explain a little
Search Tips bit about radio waves and their properties. Radio waves
• The Basics of RFID
are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the broad name
Tags
that scientists use to cover all frequencies of energy
emitted in the form of waves. At one end of the spectrum
• Bringing Down the
are low-frequency waves, such as those used by AM radio
Costs of Tags
and communication systems for ships at sea. At the high
end are x-rays and gamma rays.
• Understanding
Radio Waves
Government regulation
Governments around the world regulate much of the
• The Reader
electromagnetic spectrum. FM radio stations in the United
States, for instance, must operate between 88 and 108
• Savant
MHz. (If you listen to 91.5 FM, it means your radio is tuned
to receive waves repeating 91.5 million times per second.)
• Object Name Service One problem with RFID is that countries around the world
have assigned parts of the spectrum for different uses.
• Physical Markup With the exception of special ISM bands, which are set
Language aside for industrial, scientific and medical use, there is
almost no part of the spectrum available everywhere in the
• Control world. That means a tag operating at 915 MHz in one
country might not be readable in another where that area
of the spectrum is used for another purpose.

One frequency doesn't fit all


Even if there were one band of the spectrum available in
every country around the world, it might be
counterproductive to restrict all RFID tags to that band.
That's because different frequencies have different
characteristics that make them more useful for different
applications. For instance, low frequency tags are cheaper
than ultra high frequency (UHF) tags, use less power and
are better able to penetrate non-metallic substances. They
are ideal for scanning objects with high-water content,
such as fruit, at close range. UHF frequencies typically
offer better range and can transfer data faster. But they
use more power and are less likely to pass through
materials. And because they tend to be more "directed,"
they require a clear path between the tag and reader. UHF
tags might be better for scanning boxes of goods as they
pass through a bay door into a warehouse.

Water and metal


Many people have heard that radio waves are absorbed by
water and are distorted by metal, making RFID useless for
tracking products with high water content or packaged in
metal containers. The way radio waves are affected by
water and metal does make tracking metal products or
those with high water content more problematic, but we
have found that good system design and engineering can
overcome these shortcomings of RFID. This is one reason
why our approach is not to constrain vendors and users by

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promoting a system that relies on just one frequency.


Instead, our goal is to create a system in which any tag
can be used to identify a product, as long as it has an
Electronic Product Code and communicates using some
basic communication standards we have established.

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• The Electronic The Reader


Product Code RFID readers use a variety of methods to communicate
with tags. The most common method for reading passive
Search Tips tags at close range is called inductive coupling. Simply put,
• The Basics of RFID
the coiled antenna of the reader creates a magnetic field
Tags
with the coiled antenna of the tag. The tag draws energy
from this field and uses it to send back waves to the
• Bringing Down the
reader, which are turned into digital information - the tag's
Costs of Tags
Electronic Product Code.

• Understanding Radio
Affordable agile readers
Waves
Today, readers cost $1,000 or more. Most can only read
chips using a single frequency. The Auto-ID Center has
• The Reader designed reference specifications for agile readers that can
read chips of different frequencies. That way, companies
• Savant can use different types of tags in different situations and
not have to buy a reader for each frequency. Since
• Object Name Service companies will need to buy many readers to cover all the
area of their operations, readers must be affordable. Our
• Physical Markup spec will enable manufacturers to produce agile readers for
Language around $100 in volume.

• Control Avoiding reader collision


One problem encountered with RFID readers is the signal
from one can interfere with the signal from another where
coverage overlaps. This is called reader collision. The Auto-
ID Center uses an anti-collision scheme called time division
multiple access, or TDMA. In simple terms, the readers are
instructed to read at different times, rather than both
trying to read at the same time. This ensures that they
don't interfere with each other. But it means any RFID tag
in an area where two readers overlap will be read twice. So
we've developed a system for deleting duplicate codes.

Avoiding tag collision


Another problem readers have is reading a lot of chips in
the same field. Tag collision occurs when more than one
chip reflects back a signal at the same time, confusing the
reader. The Auto-ID Center has adopted a standard
method for solving the problem. The reader asks tags to
respond only if their first digits match the digits
communicated by the reader. In essence, the reader says
to the tags: "Respond only if your EPC begins with 0." If
more than one chip responds, the reader then says:
"Respond if your EPC begins with 00." It keeps doing this
until only one tag responds. But it happens so quickly that
a reader can read 50 tags in less than a second.

Read range
The read range of a tag depends on the power of the
reader and the frequency the reader and tag use to
communicate. Generally speaking, higher frequency tags
have longer read ranges but they require more energy
output from the reader. A typical low frequency tag has to

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be read within a foot. A UHF tag can be read from 10 to 20


feet. Range can be a critical issue in some applications,
such as identifying train cars as they roll down the track.
But longer range isn't always an advantage. If you had two
readers in a warehouse the size of a football field, you
might know what's in inventory, but the readers wouldn't
help you find it. For the supply chain, it's better to have a
network of readers that can pinpoint precisely where a tag
is. The Auto-ID Center's design is for an agile reader that
can read tags from around four feet.

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• The Electronic Savant


Product Code In a world where every object has an RFID tag, readers
will be picking up a continual stream of EPCs. Managing
Search Tips and moving all this data is a difficult problem and one that
• The Basics of RFID
must be overcome for any global RFID network to be of
Tags
value. The Auto-ID Center has designed software
technology called Savant to act as the nervous system of
• Bringing Down the
the network.
Costs of Tags

Distributed architecture
• Understanding Radio
Savant is different from most enterprise software in that it
Waves
isn't one overarching application. Instead, it uses a
distributed architecture and is organized in a hierarchy that
• The Reader manages the flow of data. There will be Savants running in
stores, distribution centers, regional offices, factories,
• Savant perhaps even on trucks and in cargo planes. Savants at
each level will gather, store and act on information and
• Object Name Service interact with other Savants. For instance, a Savant at a
store might inform a distribution center that more product
• Physical Markup is needed. A Savant at the distribution center might inform
Language the store Savant that a shipment was dispatched at a
specific time. Here are some of the tasks the Savants will
• Control handle.

Data smoothing
Savants at the edge of the network - those attached to
readers - will smooth data. Not every tag is read every
time, and sometimes a tag is read incorrectly. By using
algorithms Savant is able to correct these errors.

Reader coordination
If the signals from two readers overlap, they may read the
same tag, producing duplicate EPCs. One of the Savant's
jobs is to analyze reads and delete duplicate codes.

Data forwarding
At each level, the Savant has to decide what information
needs to be forwarded up or down the chain. For instance,
a Savant in a cold storage facility might forward only
changes in the temperature of stored items.

Data storage
Existing databases can't handle more than a few hundred
transactions a second, so another job of the Savants is to
maintain a real-time in-memory event database (RIED). In
essence, the system will take the EPC data that is
generated in real time and store it intelligently, so that
other enterprise applications have access to the
information, but databases aren't overloaded.

Task management
All Savants, regardless of their level in the hierarchy,
feature a Task Management System (TMS), which enables
them to perform data management and data monitoring

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Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

using customizable tasks. For example, a Savant running


in a store might be programmed to alert the stockroom
manager when product on the shelves drops below a
certain level.

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• The Electronic Object Name Service


Product Code The Auto-ID Center's vision of an open, global network for
tracking goods requires some special network architecture.
Search Tips Since only the Electronic Product Code is stored on the tag,
• The Basics of RFID
computers need some way of matching the EPC to
Tags
information about the associated item. That's the role of
the Object Name Service (ONS), an automated networking
• Bringing Down the
service similar to the Domain Name Service (DNS) that
Costs of Tags
points computers to sites on the World Wide Web.

• Understanding Radio
When an interrogator reads an RFID tag, the Electronic
Waves
Product Code is passed on to a Savant (see above). The
Savant can, in turn, go to an ONS on a local network or
• The Reader the Internet to find where information on the product is
stored. ONS points Savant to a server where a file about
• Savant that product is stored. That file can then be retrieved by
the Savant, and the information about the product in the
• Object Name file can be forwarded to a company's inventory or supply
Service chain applications.

• Physical Markup Special requirements


Language The Object Name Service will handle many more requests
than the Web's Domain Name Service. Therefore,
• Control companies will need to maintain ONS servers locally, which
will store information for quick retrieval. So a computer
manufacturer may store ONS data from its current
suppliers on its own network, rather than pulling the
information off the Web site every time a shipment arrives
at the assembly plant. The system will also have built-in
redundancies. For example, if a server with information on
a certain product crashes, ONS will be able to point the
Savant to another server where the same information is
stored.

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• The Electronic Physical Markup Language


Product Code The Electronic Product Code identifies individual products,
but all the useful information about the product is written
Search Tips in a new, standard computer language we call Physical
• The Basics of RFID
Markup Language (PML). PML is based on the widely
Tags
accepted eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Because it's
meant to be a universal standard for describing all physical
• Bringing Down the
objects, processes and environments, PML will be broad
Costs of Tags
and will cover all industries. Our aim is to start with a
simple language to encourage adoption. PML can evolve
• Understanding Radio over time, just as HTML, the basic language of the Web,
Waves has become more sophisticated since it was introduced.

• The Reader Standards for describing objects


PML will provide a common method for describing physical
• Savant objects. It will be broadly hierarchical. So, for instance, a
can of Coke might be described as a carbonated beverage,
• Object Name Service which would fall under the subcategory soft drink, which
would fall under the broader category food. Not all
• Physical Markup classifications are so simple, so to ensure that PML has
Language broad acceptance, we are relying on work already done by
standards bodies, such as the International Bureau of
• Control Weights and Measures (Le Système International d'Unités -
SI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology
in the United States.

Types of PML data


In addition to product information that doesn't change
(such as material composition), PML will include data that
changes constantly (dynamic data) and data that changes
over time (temporal data). Dynamic data in a PML file
might include the temperature of a shipment of fruit, or
vibration levels from a machine. Temporal data changes
discretely and intermittently throughout an object's life.
One example is an object's location. By making all of this
information available in a PML file, companies will be able
to use information in new and innovative ways. A company
could, for instance, set triggers so the price of a product
falls as its expiration date approaches. Third party logistics
providers could offer service-level contracts indicating that
goods will be stored at a certain temperature as they are
transported.

PMLServer
PML files will be stored on a PML server, a dedicated
computer that is configured to provide files to other
computers requesting them. PML servers will be
maintained by manufacturers and will store files for all of
the items a manufacturer makes.

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• The Electronic Control


Product Code Once Auto ID data is linked to related PML information via
a network, the next important issue relates to what
Search Tips decisions should be made on the basis of this information
• The Basics of RFID
and to what extent the actions that drive physical
Tags
operations might be influenced. Whether it is in
manufacturing, distribution, retail or domestic use, the
• Bringing Down the
process of adjusting operating conditions in order to meet
Costs of Tags
desired requirements is known as "control". For example,
in manufacturing, this might refer to the optimal
• Understanding Radio maneuvering of a robot to achieve the best packing
Waves sequence for a packaging line.

• The Reader The Auto-ID Center's vision is of a world where smart


products can interact with machines without human
• Savant involvement, and hence can influence the manner in which
they are produced, moved, sold or used. For instance, a
• Object Name Service smart washing machine of the future might read a tag
sewn into the collar of a shirt, learn directly from a related
• Physical Markup web site that the shirt is made of a delicate fabric and
Language adjust the wash cycle and amount or type of soap
accordingly. Auto ID will enable a new generation of highly
• Control
distributed and intelligent control systems. For this to
happen, however, there has to be a formal process.

Decisions
The first step, of course, is for a computer or other
machine to recognize an object. Our core technology- the
EPC, ONS and PML file - make that possible. The PML file
may also contain instructions, or rules, about how a shirt
should be washed. But there has to be a set of protocols to
follow in order that the shirt and machine can "converse"
effectively. The washing machine may be incapable of
executing certain instructions for example, because it
doesn't have a specific feature or is washing other clothes
at the same time. The protocols can provide a set of steps
to go through to reach a decision, and can even support a
"negotiation" between shirt and machine if needed.

Execution
This refers to the ability of a machine to carry out a set of
customized instructions in a suitable manner. Recall that
the machine may be washing more than one shirt at a
time. There are two basic elements which influence the
effectiveness of control execution: physical control and
physical operation. Physical control refers to the computer
control hardware and software required to execute
decisions within the physical world. The physical operation
is where digital instructions become real-world actions.
Physical operations can include warehouse conveyors,
factory robots and smart appliances.

The Holy Grail


The Auto-ID Center's control research group at the

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University of Cambridge is focused on the fundamental


issues associated with control and is considering various
novel applications in inventory management, production
control, domestic functions, and product distribution.
Creating some standard rules, protocols and guidelines for
decision making and execution will enable software
engineers to develop a new breed of enterprise software
that allows managers to set some basic parameters and
have machines act on them automatically.

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• The Benefits of The Benefits of Real-Time Visibility


Real-Time Visibility We envision RFID becoming part of every company's basic
infrastructure, as important as its local area network. Here
Search Tips • Fewer Out of Stocks are some of the ways companies will benefit from having
the ability to track individual items.
• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout

• Lower Inventory

• Reduced Shrinkage

• Anti-Counterfeiting

• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

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• The Benefits of Real- Fewer Out of Stocks


Time Visibility Retailers and their suppliers have long struggled with how
to make sure an item is always on the shelf when a
Search Tips customer wants to buy it. Today's inventory systems
• Fewer Out of
Stocks record only what's been sold and what's on the premises.
They provide no visibility into what's on - or not on -- the
• Better
shelves. And in the case of clothes, where items have to be
Merchandising and stocked in a specific order, inventory systems provide no
Promotions information about what is in stock but not in the right
place. As a results, sales are lost even when the goods are
at the store because they are not where a customer can
• Faster Checkout
find them.
• Lower Inventory
RFID has the potential to dramatically reduce out of
stocks. One day, readers installed on store shelves will
• Reduced Shrinkage
automatically track every time an item is picked up, or put
back. When stock on the shelf gets low, the system can
• Anti-Counterfeiting automatically alert staff to bring out more product from the
back room. When the storeroom is running low, the
• Better Asset distribution center or manufacturer can be alerted
Utilization automatically to send replenishments. And an inventory
system based on RFID technology could alert a store
• Targeted Recalls manager when items are put in the wrong location by staff
or customers. It would also eliminate human error at each
• More Efficient point where goods are received or handled by staff.
Recycling

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• The Benefits of Real-


Time Visibility

Search Tips
• Fewer Out of Stocks

• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout Better Merchandising and Promotions


Readers on the stores shelves will provide the first
• Lower Inventory
extensive real-time view of customer behavior in the store.
By recording how often an item is picked up, purchased or
put back, retailers and their suppliers will have instant
• Reduced Shrinkage
feedback on promotions. The information can be broken
down by product, store, region or chain, providing the
• Anti-Counterfeiting means to better tailor promotions to a specific market
segment.
• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech_bettermerch.asp7/31/2003 2:48:00 AM
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• The Benefits of Real-


Time Visibility

Search Tips
• Fewer Out of Stocks

• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout Faster Checkout


Customers hate long lines. RFID has the potential to
• Lower Inventory virtually eliminate checkout lines by making it possible to
scan a shopping cart full of goods in seconds. Self-service
checkout systems are already catching on in the United
• Reduced Shrinkage
States and Europe, and RFID has the potential to make
those systems virtually foolproof.
• Anti-Counterfeiting

• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech_faster.asp7/31/2003 2:48:11 AM
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• The Benefits of Real-


Time Visibility

Search Tips
• Fewer Out of Stocks

• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout Lower Inventory


Every company would like to reduce its inventory without
jeopardizing potential sales. RFID makes this possible by
• Lower Inventory
providing real-time information about not just what's in the
store, warehouse and factory, but what material is in the
• Reduced Shrinkage
supply pipeline. Knowing with absolute certainty what
goods are available and where they are located will give
• Anti-Counterfeiting companies that confidence to reduce inventory along every
link in the supply chain.
• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech_lower.asp7/31/2003 2:48:22 AM
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• The Benefits of Real- Reduced Shrinkage


Time Visibility According to the National Retail Security Survey conducted
annually by the University of Florida, nearly 2 percent of
Search Tips total sales in United States is lost each year due to
• Fewer Out of Stocks
"shrinkage" - employee and customer theft, vendor fraud
and administrative error. RFID can reduce vendor fraud
• Better and administrative error by automatically matching the
Merchandising and
Electronic Product Codes of items arriving or being shipped
Promotions
with those scheduled. It can reduce employee theft by
providing real-time information about the movement of
• Faster Checkout products.

• Lower Inventory Perhaps RFID's biggest impact in this area, however, will
be reducing shoplifting. By analyzing customer behavior at
• Reduced the shelf, companies will be able to spot unusual activity
Shrinkage that could signal a theft is about to occur. Let's say the
data shows customers typically pick up one or two packs of
• Anti-Counterfeiting a particular item at a time. If a reader on the shelf detects
that six units have been snapped up, it could alert staff of
• Better Asset the unusual activity well before a suspected shoplifter is
Utilization out the door.

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

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• The Benefits of Real- Anti-Counterfeiting


Time Visibility Manufacturers can greatly reduce losses from
counterfeiting by assigning a specific ID number to every
Search Tips item they produce. Any item without an RFID tag is
• Fewer Out of Stocks
immediately spotted as a fake. And even if a counterfeiter
managed to produce phony RFID tags for counterfeit
• Better goods, retailers, police and customs officials could refer to
Merchandising and
the manufacturer's database to find that the Electronic
Promotions
Product Codes in question are bogus, or are duplicates of
existing codes.
• Faster Checkout

• Lower Inventory

• Reduced Shrinkage

• Anti-
Counterfeiting

• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

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• The Benefits of Real-


Time Visibility

Search Tips
• Fewer Out of Stocks

• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout Better Asset Utilization


Any company that invests in hard assets wants to get the
most out of them. But today's tracking systems don't
• Lower Inventory
provide data about individual units, so it's impossible to
know how they are deployed or how they could be used
• Reduced Shrinkage more effectively. RFID changes that by providing real-time
information about each unit's location and status.
• Anti-Counterfeiting Companies that have implemented expensive proprietary
RFID systems to track high-value assets have found that
• Better Asset these systems can dramatically increase asset utilization.
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech_betterasset.asp7/31/2003 2:48:57 AM
Auto-ID Center - About The Technology

Member Login Sitemap Welcome to the Auto-ID Center!

• The Benefits of Real-


Time Visibility

Search Tips
• Fewer Out of Stocks

• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout Better Asset Utilization


Any company that invests in hard assets wants to get the
most out of them. But today's tracking systems don't
• Lower Inventory
provide data about individual units, so it's impossible to
know how they are deployed or how they could be used
• Reduced Shrinkage more effectively. RFID changes that by providing real-time
information about each unit's location and status.
• Anti-Counterfeiting Companies that have implemented expensive proprietary
RFID systems to track high-value assets have found that
• Better Asset these systems can dramatically increase asset utilization.
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

http://www.autoidcenter.org/aboutthetech_betterasset.asp7/31/2003 2:49:06 AM
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• The Benefits of Real- Targeted Recalls


Time Visibility When a product has to be recalled, a company typically
has to recall all units sold, even if the problem affects only
Search Tips a small fraction of them. That's because there is no way to
• Fewer Out of Stocks
distinguish which units have the faulty part. With RFID,
companies will be able to save millions of dollars by having
• Better targeted recalls because they will be able to identify which
Merchandising and
specific units have a problem.
Promotions

• Faster Checkout

• Lower Inventory

• Reduced Shrinkage

• Anti-Counterfeiting

• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

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• The Benefits of Real- More Efficient Recycling


Time Visibility Because items can be tracked from the time they are made
until the time they are recycled, RFID technology has the
Search Tips potential to improve recycling. Items are more easily
• Fewer Out of Stocks
sorted. And specific instructions for recycling items that
require special care can be stored in a product's PML file.
• Better
Merchandising and
Promotions

• Faster Checkout

• Lower Inventory

• Reduced Shrinkage

• Anti-Counterfeiting

• Better Asset
Utilization

• Targeted Recalls

• More Efficient
Recycling

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