Symbol Debuts Upgradeable Multi-Protocol RFID Handheld

Latest rugged MC9000-G offers firmware upgrade path for EPC Generation 2 to "future-proof" the supply chain

Latest rugged MC9000-G offers firmware upgrade path for EPC Generation 2 to "future-proof" the supply chain

Holtsville, NY — April 11, 2005 — Symbol Technologies has debuted a new version of its rugged Symbol MC9000-G with radio frequency identification (RFID) mobile computer featuring an integrated multi-protocol electronic product code (EPC) reader/writer.

The MC9000-G with RFID handheld is capable of reading all EPC Generation 1 tags — both Class 0 and Class 1 — while also offering a firmware upgrade path to EPC Generation 2 (Gen 2) protocols, when available, Symbol said.

The solution provider said that retail, manufacturing and logistics organizations have already deployed Symbol's RFID-enabled Generation 1 mobile computing solutions to improve corporate efficiencies and productivity by tracking objects and goods in motion throughout the supply chain.

Simultaneous Reading of Gen 1, 2 tags

Some of the applications for the Symbol MC9000-G with RFID include inventory management for assembly lines; price verification by retail personnel; warehouse management of pallets and cartons using both RFID and bar codes; and baggage tracking by airline personnel.

Based on Symbol's flagship mobile computer platform, the MC9000-G with RFID offers flexibility to organizations with integrated bar code scanning and local 802.11b wireless connectivity along with a drop specification of six feet, including the integrated lightweight RFID antenna, according to the solution provider.

In addition to providing Gen 2 upgradeability as a standard feature, the MC9000-G with RFID will also support simultaneous reading of EPC Gen 1 and EPC Gen 2 tags.

Investment Protection for the Supply Chain

"Symbol has been a leader in deploying real world EPC Gen 1 RFID solutions and we have experienced significant market acceptance for Gen 1," said Phil Lazo, vice president and general manager of Symbol's RFID Infrastructure Division. "Enabling the MC9000-G to read both Gen 1 and Gen 2 simultaneously will be critical in ensuring that our customers have investment protection to take advantage of additional Gen 2 functionality while experiencing a smooth transition from Gen 1 to Gen 2."

EPC is an RFID standard that is currently being mandated by a number of leading global retailers and the U.S. Department of Defense as a means to increase supply chain visibility and efficiency. Products supporting the current generation of the EPC standard — Generation 1 — are in use today, while implementations of the next version of the standard — Generation 2 — are in development.

Additional Articles of Interest

— For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

  • More news from the 2005 RFID Journal LIVE! show in Chicago (April 10-12).

  • More articles about Symbol Technologies.