Texas Instruments Debuts Gen 2 RFID Silicon

New design aims to improve chip performance, ease supply chain RFID adoption

New design aims to improve chip performance, ease supply chain RFID adoption

Dallas — August 1, 2006 — Using an advanced silicon design that improves tag performance, Texas Instruments (TI) has announced a new silicon intended to help ease the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies and facilitate speed and visibility of retail supply chain goods.

TI announced the availability of its EPCglobal-certified Generation 2 (Gen 2) ultra-high frequency (UHF) silicon. Offered in wafer and strap form factors, TI said it developed its Gen 2 silicon on the most advanced analog process node at 130 nanometer and with a built-in Schottky diode for more efficient conversion of radio frequency (RF) signal energy.

The result is silicon chips with low power consumption and increased chip-to-reader sensitivity. Users can also write to TI's chips under the lowest RF power conditions in spite of background electromagnetic interference (EMI) common in typical supply chain factory floor and warehouse environments, according to the technology provider.

Improving Accuracy

Companies deploying UHF-based RFID systems based on the new technology can potentially capture a greater percentage of reads on cases and pallets as they move through manufacturing and distribution channels, TI said. "With improved chip-to-reader sensitivity, companies can expect to more accurately track products and packages at all points throughout their supply chain operations and improve process flow," the technology provider said.

TI also said its chip delivers reliable read range performance across both standard and dense reader mode operations. As a result, users are less constrained in the setup and placement of RFID readers and can more readily achieve effective results and maximum read rates, according to TI.

Different Needs, Different Forms

TI is providing its Gen 2 silicon to inlay, label and packaging manufacturers in three forms: bare wafers to support various assembly processes; processed wafers (bumped, sawn with back grind) that are suitable for immediate use with commercially available inlay equipment; and silicon chip on straps for label and packaging manufacturers who are printing their own antennas. TI also is offering reference antenna designs, enabling customers to develop labels and tags that optimize its Gen 2 silicon.

"Users of EPC Gen 2 tags, from box and label manufacturers to distributors of consumer product goods, have different needs and expectations from RFID systems that power their supply chains," said Tony Sabetti, director of UHF/retail supply chain at Texas Instruments RFID Systems. "With TI technology, they can take advantage of the form factor that is best suited for their manufacturing flow."

Additional Articles of Interest

— It's best-of-breed versus supply chain suite versus ERP in supply chain solutions: How will your company decide? Read more in "The Great IT Debate," in the June/July 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— To learn about best practices for optimizing last mile pick up and delivery operations, read "The Last Mile is the Longest Mile," in the June/July 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.