Industry Leaders Propose Gen 2 RFID Standard

May 1, 2004
Leading technology innovators and global RFID manufacturers, jointly represented as the "Performance Team," have submitted a candidate RFID UHF Generation

Leading technology innovators and global RFID manufacturers, jointly represented as the "Performance Team," have submitted a candidate RFID UHF Generation 2 air interface protocol to EPCglobal for ratification and adoption. The proposal meets all the stated requirements of the EPC user community.

The Performance Team includes Atmel Corp.’s German subsidiary Atmel Germany GmbH, BTG plc, EM Microelectronic-Marin, Matrics Inc. and RFIP Solutions Ltd. This submission marks the merger of the original submissions by the Performance and the Flexworks team members.

"The combined passive UHF RFID experience of the Performance Team has led to a high-performance protocol specification," said Piyush Sodha, chairman and CEO of Matrics. "We are pleased to be partnering with global RFID industry leaders in the Gen 2 standards initiative and believe this protocol represents the most comprehensive submission for the EPC user community."

As the Performance Team represents a majority share of the current passive UHF RFID shipments and because members have a global presence, the air interface protocol they have submitted addresses customer needs around the world. The protocol was designed to provide the best possible performance in narrow band regulatory jurisdictions such as Europe and the Far East while maintaining optimum performance where more spectrum is available such as in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

An important guiding principle of the protocol and one that differentiates this submission from others is that team members have made their intellectual property (IP) available, free of any royalties, for incorporation into the standard. Furthermore, the Performance Team has designed the standard to avoid using IP from any other known patents, thus negating the need to negotiate licenses and pay royalties. As a result, this protocol provides a free and secure means to access tags through the use of a password-controlled challenge/response mechanism and encryption of reader to tag communications.

Another guiding principle was to make the protocol "future proof." While the core protocol is optimized for Generation 2 Class 1, it provides the necessary elements to support future Class 2 and Class 3 tagging systems as envisaged by the EPC user community. A further guiding principle ensures that existing Generation 1 Class 0, Class 1 and ISO18000-6A systems may be upgraded seamlessly to Generation 2. Generation 1, 2 and ISO18000-6A tags may be operated simultaneously in the same environment, which will provide users a smooth, forward migration path.

The Performance Team submission, which is the merging of the original submissions made by the Performance Team and the Flexworks Team members, now provides the EPC user community with a functionally superior, high performance protocol, free of any IP royalties, designed to support both existing and future tagging systems.