News | April 6, 2011

Impinj Drives Item-Level RFID With Monza 5 Tag Chip And STP Source Tagging Platform

Source: Impinj, Inc.

New Products Answer Retail Industry Demand for Scalable Item-Level RFID Solutions

Leading UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) technology provider Impinj, Inc. recently announced the launch of two critical components for implementing item-level RFID across retail markets and supply chains. Impinj's Monza 5 tag chip and STP source tagging platform will enable widespread scaling of RFID retail inventory management solutions, driven by the Item-Level RFID Initiative announced last November by leading retailers, suppliers and industry organizations.

Available now, Monza 5 is Impinj's newest RFID tag chip. Designed for serializing items such as apparel, electronics, cosmetics, jewelry and pharmaceuticals, the chip breaks new ground in item-level tag performance. Monza 5 chips are optimized for single-use tag applications that demand the highest read reliability and lowest applied tag cost. In addition, Monza 5 tag chips deliver value on multiple fronts for item-level tagging: the design satisfies supplier and brand owner cost/performance requirements, maximizes RFID business results for retailers, and streamlines high volume inlay manufacturing.

The STP source tagging platform is a UHF RFID reader system with hardware and software optimized to streamline high-speed commissioning during item-level tagging. Utilizing Impinj Monza-based tags, STP is capable of encoding up to 1,750 tags per minute, thus enabling large-scale deployments. STP simplifies source tagging by supporting both inline and bulk encoding solutions.

Monza 5 Enables the Lowest Applied Tag Cost in Item-level Applications
For suppliers, brand owners and their service bureau partners, Monza 5 tag chips deliver the industry's lowest applied tag cost via robust write reliability and encoding speed. During writing, Monza 5 tags are four to six times more sensitive than competing chips, enabling greater reliability and significantly faster encode and lock rates. Monza 5 tag chips also include Impinj's patented SafeWrite mechanism that ensures accurate and reliable operation when writing data into the tag. Without this capability other tags may initiate write operations which fail, thereby stalling assembly and packing lines. Only Impinj's Monza 4 family of tag chips matches these capabilities.

For retailers investing in RFID for item-level inventory accuracy, Monza 5 tag chips provide the industry's highest single-antenna sensitivity, ensuring significantly improved read reliability over competing tags, particularly in more challenging conditions. Only Impinj's Monza 4 tag chips with True3D dual-antenna technology can achieve higher sensitivity. In addition, Monza tag chips support two unique, patent-pending features designed to boost inventory performance for traditional EPC and TID-based applications: TagFocus mode minimizes redundant reads of strong tag signals, allowing the reader to focus on harder-to-find tags with weaker signals. FastID mode makes applications based on tag ID (TID), such as authentication, practical for the first time by boosting TID-based inventory speeds by 2-3 times. These fundamental advantages deliver more effective RFID system performance and more profitable business results for retailers.

For inlay vendors and tag manufacturers, Monza 5 tag chips provide features that enable better yields and higher quality. A patent-pending "repassivation" spacing layer makes inlay manufacture less sensitive to die-attach pressure during production, resulting in less variance and more predictable performance in the final inlay product.

Many of the world's leading RFID inlay manufacturers, including Avery Dennison, Invengo, LSIS, and UPM Raflatac are currently developing inlays with Monza 5 chips.

STP Source Tagging Platform Delivers Best-in-Class Performance
The STP source tagging platform enables and simplifies item-level source tagging deployments and leverages Monza chip capabilities to sustain production line throughput up to 1,750 tags per minute. More importantly, STP allows suppliers to implement either bulk encoding or in-line encoding solutions.

A bulk encoding system, which writes data to potentially hundreds of tags en masse, generally with the tags attached to items in cases, gives brand owners new flexibility in how and where they manage RFID data. An inline encoding system, which writes data to tags individually, at high speed, before the tags' application to products, mirrors existing print-oriented processes for handling variable product data. STP allows users to implement either method of encoding or a hybrid approach.

Built on the industry-leading Impinj Speedway Revolution reader with Autopilot technology, the STP platform includes high-level software API's for easy application development and application-specific antennas and operating modes tuned for inline encoding or bulk encoding. STP is a foundation for source tagging solutions that meets commercial manufacturing throughput and flexibility requirements.

Many companies are evaluating or developing solutions based on the STP source tagging platform, including Argo Wireless, Avery Dennison RBIS, Challenge Printing, Checkpoint Systems, Cybra, Lab ID, LS Industrial Systems, Mid-South Marking Systems, Pittsfield ID, r-pac, Tagsys RFID, Telectronica, USA ID and WS Packaging.

"Building on Impinj's industry leadership in RFID technology, Monza 5 tag chips will become the industry standard for item-level tagging," said William Colleran Ph.D., Impinj President and CEO. "We believe Monza 5 and STP bring to market exactly what retailers, suppliers and tag manufacturers need for item-level tagging to go mainstream."

"A well-defined approach for tag commissioning that can deliver item-level RFID tags with no encoding errors is emerging as a critical requirement in the apparel sector," states Michael Liard, Research Director for RFID and Barcode Scanning at ABI Research. "Source tagging solutions require strong throughput speed, write rate, and cost requirements. As noted in ABI Research's 2010 Passive UHF RFID Transponder IC Vendor Matrix, Impinj is positioned to innovate and implement products to meet these needs."

About Impinj, Inc.
Impinj, Inc. is the world's leading innovator in UHF Gen 2 RFID solutions for both item-level and supply-chain tagging. Impinj draws on its technical expertise and industry partnerships to deliver a wide range of products and solutions, comprising high-performance tag chips, readers, reader chips, software, antennas and RFID subsystem integration. Impinj's products provide robust performance, integration and cost effectiveness to a global customer base across numerous vertical markets with applications including inventory management, asset tracking, authentication and serialization.

SOURCE: Impinj, Inc.