Savi, Matrics Collaborate on RFID System

Integrate EPC-based passive RFID tags with global active RFID network

Integrate EPC-based passive RFID tags with global active RFID network

Sunnyvale, CA, and Columbia, MD — July 15, 2003 — Savi Technology, a provider of solutions for global supply chain security and asset management, and Matrics Inc., a provider of radio frequency identification device (RFID) technology solutions, announced today that they have been collaborating on the integration of passive and active RFID technologies to achieve "nested visibility" throughout the supply chain.

The companies said the goal of the collaboration is to bridge the gaps in supply chain visibility, from the item level to the conveyance transporting them as well as end-to-end from the factory to final destination.

For example, if the security of a container is breached, the integrated solution could tell authorities in real-time what specific items are missing from a container, as well as that the container had been tampered with or violated, according to the companies.

The initial product to be delivered as a result of this partnership will be a handheld device that reads and writes to electronic product code (EPC)-compliant passive RFID tags. It will also be designed to read and write to 433 MHz active RFID tags and seals. The providers said that with the integrated handheld, shippers, manufacturers, logistics service providers and carriers would be able to automate the creation of an electronic manifest for each shipping container and be able to identify and track the status of both the container and its contents.

Kevin Ashton, executive director of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is a vehicle for passive RFID and EPC adoption in the supply chain, said, "The Auto-ID Center has always encouraged partnerships and collaboration between companies at the forefront of RFID. This kind of relationship is essential for the development of a common, ubiquitous system, and we are delighted to see two companies working together in this way."

Separately today, Savi Technology also announced that it would collaborate with the Massachusett's Institute of Technology's Auto-ID Center to include support of the EPC within Savi's SmartChain and SmartChain suite of software applications. Savi and Matrics are active sponsor-participants of the Auto ID Center.

"The Savi-Matrics partnership demonstrates that companies in the industry advancing automatic identification technologies realize the time has arrived for greater collaboration to fully capitalize on the promise of this technology," said Steve Banker, service director for Supply Chain Management at the ARC Advisory Group, a consultancy on manufacturing and supply chain solutions. "Because there are a variety of operational and logistics processes to be supported, as well as numerous hand-off points for products moving through a global supply chain, collaboration is critical among the leading suppliers to achieve end-to-end and top-to-bottom visibility."

Savi Technology and Matrics will focus on passive RFID/EPC-compliant passive labels produced by Matrics and Savi's SmartChain software platform and applications that are linked with Savi's active EchoPoint RFID tags. The partners said they would target applications for item-level product tracking and multi-level visibility management for aggregating, securing and monitoring supply chain assets that range from pallets and intermodal containers to trucks and railcars.

The Savi-Matrics partnership also will coordinate with EPC-related developments at the Auto-ID Center. This will include the specification of bar codes or EPC-compliant labels for particular items or passive or active RFID tags for pallets, containers or modes, such as truck trailers, rail cars or aircraft cargo containers called Unit Load Devices (ULDs).

The collaborative solutions are expected to cover a broad range of operational applications, including the aggregation, security and monitoring of pieces, cartons, cases, pallets and containers within facilities, such as warehouses and distribution centers, as well as between them, via all transportation modes and checkpoints, such as border crossings, airports, sea ports, truck terminals and railheads.