A group of manufacturers and technology providers of data collection and RFID (radio frequency identification) have submitted an RFID protocol definition they believe would pave the way for rapid adoption of a new worldwide RFID standard known as EPC UHF Generation 2. Companies supporting the protocol include Royal Philips Electronics, Texas Instruments Inc., Impinj Inc., SAMSys Technologies, Q.E.D Systems, UPM Rafsec and Intermec Technologies Corp., along with several others.
The proposed RFID definition currently is in development by EPCglobal Inc., an arm of UCC.EAN charged with establishing the EPC system. The proposed definition meets user requirements outlined by the world's leading retailers and others, including the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the companies say. It fully meets user requirements, works worldwide, meets international standards and provides a path to low-cost RFID tags and readers.
Together these companies represent multiple sources for every aspect of a fully implemented RFID system -- chips, tag, and readers -- as well as manufacturers of barcode and 2-D symbology equipment, wireless networks, mobile computers and terminals, software companies and RFID system manufacturers and integrators.
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. EPC UHF Generation 2 RFID technology adds the capability to change and update the information on each tag as it proceeds, providing new levels of up-to-date information for better decision making.