12/6/2004 - Intermec Technologies Corp. has demonstrated the industry’s first working EPC UHF Generation 2 RFID reader. The demonstration Dec. 2 to EPCglobal Inc used a firmware upgrade to Intermec’s currently available model IF5 Intellitag® RFID reader. The IF5 is the industry’s first intelligent reader certified under current regulations by both the FCC and ETSI, designed for use by customers around the world. The demonstration to EPCglobal Inc of a reader and RFID chip operating according to the proposed UHF Generation 2 standard is the final step before a vote on ratification of the candidate standard by EPCglobal’s Board of Governors. EPCglobal has said it expects to have a ratified UHF Generation 2 standard by the end of 2004.
Generation 2 RFID technology offers read/write capability, improved security and read rates that are up to 10 times faster than current EPC RFID standards in stringent radio-regulated environments such as Asia and Europe. It also provides up to 50 times less reader interference at close operating distances.
The IF5 Intellitag RFID reader is already deployed by the world’s fourth largest retailer, METRO Group. The German-based company is the first retailer in the world to bring RFID out of trial mode and into commercial deployment.
“Intermec is a great partner in bringing forward our RFID implementation. The IF5 provides a clear path to the next generation in standards,” said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, executive project manager of the METRO Group Future Store Initiative.
The IF5 is firmware-upgradeable to UHF Generation 2, cutting risk and cost for system upgrades. It is multi-protocol capable and is the first RFID intelligent reader based on a Linux platform. Intelligent readers perform on-board decision-making – eliminating the need for a separate “edge” server connected to an RFID reader – allowing it to filter incoming RFID tag data. This capability eliminates the need for extra servers and consequential points of failure in the system, reducing both cost and risk for users.
“The IF5 Intellitag reader is the first to demonstrate compliance with UHF Generation 2 specifications and already is giving our customers maximum utility in an RFID reader,” said Intermec Vice President Mike Wills. “Our co-development efforts with major chip suppliers clearly demonstrates that the vision of EPC Generation 2 readers and tags interoperating on a global basis is now a reality.”
Intermec’s IF5 has been tested and certified compliant with ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) radio standards for operation in Europe; both under the lower power 0.5W erp (EN300 220) standard and the newly established 2.0W erp (EN302 208) RFID standard that permits higher RF power. Intermec is the first manufacturer to complete compliance requirements under both rules.
The IF5 is a member of Intermec’s family of RFID products that include forklift systems; portal, conveyor and dock door systems; fixed, mobile and handheld readers, as well as RFID printers, smart labels and tags. Each Intermec RFID product family will soon have EPC Generation 2-compliant members.
RFID is a complement to industry’s current bar code-based tracking systems, allowing companies to automatically track inventory throughout an entire supply chain. RFID automatic data collection typically does not require line of sight or manual scanning as do most bar code-based systems. For example, information from RFID-tagged cases on a pallet can be read automatically using fixed, mobile or handheld readers rather than requiring individual bar code scanning. Read/write RFID tags and labels can be reprogrammed to update the information on each tag as it proceeds through manufacturing and supply chain processes, providing new levels of up-to-date information for timely decision making.
About the Intermec Intellitag IF5 RFID reader
The Intermec Intellitag IF5 intelligent RFID reader is enclosed in a rugged industrial housing with advanced networking features including RS-232, wired Ethernet, wireless 802.11g, SNMP and remote device management. It controls and supplies power to external indicators and sensors via General Purpose IO, and it executes third-party programs with Linux and Java VM platforms, giving users the ability to run programs inside the reader and to interface to warehouse management and enterprise resource planning systems. This execution, combined with its on-board decision-making capabilities, lowers overall systems costs, enhances reliability, reduces traffic on IT networks and reduces IT administration requirements. To fully comply with local RF regulations, the IF5 has an internal real-time clock, listen-before-talk capability, duty cycle management, and adjacent channel selectivity capabilities.
Intermec Technologies Corp., a UNOVA Inc. (NYSE:UNA) company, is a leader in global supply chain solutions and in the development, manufacture and integration of wired and wireless automated data collection, RFID (radio frequency identification), 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. For further information, visit www.intermec.com.
To learn more about how companies can benefit from Intermec’s wireless technologies, contact Intermec Technologies Corp., 6001 36th Ave. West, Everett, WA 98203 USA; telephone 800-347-2636; or visit Intermec's web site at www.intermec.com. To learn more about UNOVA, visit www.unova.com.
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