Breakthrough RFID System Integrates Passive and Active RFID

July 1, 2003
SUNNYVALE, CA and COLUMBIA, MD - Savi Technology, a leading provider of real-time solutions for global supply chain security and asset management, and

SUNNYVALE, CA and COLUMBIA, MD - Savi Technology, a leading provider of real-time solutions for global supply chain security and asset management, and Matrics Inc., a pioneer in the advanced development and standardization of low-cost, high-performance, EPC-compliant smart label technology, announced that they have been collaborating on the integration of passive and active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to achieve "nested visibility" throughout the supply chain.

The goal of this collaboration is to help bridge the gaps in supply chain visibility, from the item level to the conveyance transporting them as well as end-to-end from the factory to final destination. For example, if the security of a container is breached, the integrated solution could tell authorities in real-time what specific items are missing from a container as well as that the container had been tampered with or violated. The integrated solution of this partnership will enable users to have complete, real-time visibility of item-level products as well as the pallets, containers and other conveyances that transport them.

The initial product to be delivered through the collaboration of Matrics and Savi will be a handheld device that reads and writes to EPC-compliant passive RFID tags. It will also be designed to read and write to 433 MHz active RFID tags and seals. With this integrated handheld, shippers, manufacturers, logistics service providers, and carriers will be able to fully automate the creation of an electronic manifest for each shipping container and be able to identify and track the status of both the container and its contents.

Kevin Ashton, Executive Director of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , which is a catalyst for passive RFID and EPC adoption in the supply chain, said, "The Auto-ID Center has always encouraged partnerships and collaboration between companies at the forefront of RFID. This kind of relationship (between Savi Technology and Matrics) is essential for the development of a common, ubiquitous system, and we are delighted to see two forward thinking technology companies working together in this way."

Separately today, Savi Technology also announced that it will collaborate with the Massachusett's Institute of Technology's Auto-ID Center to include support of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) within Savi's SmartChain and SmartChain suite of software applications - including the Savi Transportation Security System and Savi Asset Management System.. Matrics is one of the key developers of EPC-compliant smart labels to be used to automate and improve real-time visibility of individual products moving through the retail supply chain, and both Savi and Matrics are active sponsor-participants of the Auto ID Center.

"The Savi-Matrics partnership demonstrates that leaders in the industry advancing automatic identification technologies realize the time has arrived for greater collaboration to fully capitilize on the promise of this technology," said Steve Banker, Service Director for Supply Chain Management at the ARC Advisory Group, a leading consultancy on manufacturing and supply chain solutions. "Because there are a variety of operational and logistics processes to be supported, as well as numerous hand-off points for products moving through a global supply chain, collaboration is critical among the leading suppliers to achieve end-to-end and top-to-bottom visibility."

Savi Technology and Matrics will work together to demonstrate the integration and interoperability of their complementary technologies. The focus will be on passive RFID/EPC-compliant passive labels produced by Matrics and Savi's SmartChain software platform and applications that are linked with Savi's active EchoPoint RFID tags. The partners will target applications for item-level product tracking and multi-level visibility management for aggregating, securing and monitoring supply chain assets that range from pallets and intermodal containers to trucks and railcars.

The ability of both technologies to communicate with each other and across Savi's Asset Management and Security software platforms, will enable manufacturers, retailers and logistics service providers to have complete multi-level, or "nested," visibility of products and their conveyances in real-time as they move or remain at rest in the supply chain. This will connect directly to their existing planning, operating and financial systems, thereby creating real-time feeds to allow them to make more secure and effective business decisions that are based on more accurate and timely information.

The Savi-Matrics partnership also will coordinate closely with EPC-related developments at the Auto-ID Center. The partnership will focus on determining the appropriate applications of Savi Asset Management and Transportation Security System software and their integration with automatic identification technology for each level of supply chain visibility. This will include the specification of bar codes or EPC-compliant labels for particular items or passive or active RFID tags for pallets, containers or modes, such as truck trailers, rail cars or aircraft cargo containers called Unit Load Devices (ULDs). The real-time solutions also will incorporate applications for stationary and handheld mobile readers to perform scanning, data capture and read-write capabilities for various products, assets and conveyances.

The collaborative solutions are expected to cover a broad range of operational applications, including the aggregation, security and monitoring of pieces, cartons, cases, pallets and containers within facilities, such as warehouses and distribution centers, as well as between them, via all transportation modes and checkpoints, such as border crossings, airports, sea ports, truck terminals and railheads.

"Savi Technology has been providing software linked with active RFID solutions for more than a dozen years, and this is one of the most exciting times yet for the general industry to work more closely together to provide the right solution for the right application," said Blair LaCorte, Executive Vice-President at Savi Technology. "Our collaboration with Matrics - one of the real pioneers in advancing EPC-compliant labels for item-level tracking - will help lead to more widespread understanding and adoption of real-time solutions for multiple participants and multiple uses in the global supply chain."

"Although we are at the other end of the spectrum of automatic identification technologies," said John Shoemaker, Vice-President of Business Development at Matrics, "Matrics has always admired Savi's leadership in advancing real-time solutions on a global scale. Matrics is looking forward to collaborating and contributing to our mutual objectives of providing complementary, multi-level visibility for leading-edge users of this technology."

Matrics Inc., based in Columbia, Maryland, is a provider of RFID technology and visibility solutions for supply chain, asset management and security and a corporate sponsor of the Auto-ID Center. For more information, visit Matrics on the web at

With over 12 years of global logistics infrastructure experience, Savi is a proven leader in real-time supply chain asset management and security solutions. For additional information, visit