Munich, Germany / Graz, Austria – March 30, 2004 – Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) today opened its RFID Solution Excellence Center and System Lab in Graz, thereby introducing a keystone of the company strategy to provide solutions and presenting a complete RFID system for logistics applications. From the 140 employees of the Graz Development Center, around 40 people will be occupied with RFID activities.
Infineon is implementing a comprehensive approach to the RFID-based logistics segment, incorporating smart label technology, which consists of the RFID chip and the antenna both integrated into paper or plastic, smart label readers, the system platform to integrate RFID-supported logistics applications into a company's operations, and accompanying services for development, roll-out and maintenance of logistics systems. Infineon RFID system solutions can be adapted, for example, to applications in the automotive and textile industry, meeting sector-specific requirements for logistics processes in production and supply chain management.
"This comprehensive approach will allow us to significantly simplify installation and operation of RFID infrastructure in existing logistics systems," said Bodo Ischebeck, Senior Director and General Manager, Ident Solutions Business Activities at Infineon Technologies AG. "The success of RFID technology in logistics applications will depend on its optimum integration, with all its advantages and restrictions, into existing logistics infrastructures. Through our competence in the radio frequency interface, information technology and RFID-relevant process management in logistics, Infineon can be a single source provider of RFID system solutions suitable for a broad IT landscape and designed for the simple and trouble-free introduction of RFID technology into existing logistics systems."
Rapid introduction of RFID-supported logistics systems by Infineon
The Infineon Development Center in Graz already plays a key role in the RFID area. Developers here conceived on RFID system integration platform called the You-R® OPEN (OPerating ENvironment) platform. This is an operating system environment, developed specifically for RFID technologies, that links a company's existing logistics IT landscape to the RFID-supported logistics system. You-R OPEN supports the entire RFID infrastructure - from smart labels to readers, PC and severs, and links to IT networks. It makes it possible to integrate RFID systems into a company's internal IT landscape using J2EE, Microsoft .net, http, C++, XML or PML programming. This allows existing corporate logistics systems to be converted to RFID-supported processes using standard development tools. The platform You-R OPEN also makes it possible to perform maintenance, diagnose faults and update the software for the RFID hardware via a remote connection.
Tasks of the RFID System Lab
The RFID System Lab performs four separate tasks. It is an Application Demo Center, giving live local demonstrations of various RFID technologies. From day one, customers can acquaint themselves with sector-specific RFID-supported logistics sequences in the B2B area. It provides information about Infineon's RFID system solution, which includes the software and system integration platform, infrastructure, readers and RFID labels. Demo Center services support customers from the first consultation through to implementation and maintenance of an RFID-supported logistics process.
In addition, the RFID System Lab serves as a development and verification center for application-specific RFID system infrastructures. Typical RFID logistics solutions for specific sectors are developed and tested here.
The third task of the Lab is Technology Evaluation to determine the performance and limits of RFID technologies in order to ensure the proper functioning of the RFID infrastructure within the optimized processes.
Finally, the System Lab Training Center is intended for potential customers, partners and RFID service personnel.
Worldwide RFID market
The electronic identification of goods in the logistics process plays a key role given the growing industry trend toward manufacturing of individualized products, where ever possible, in order to save capital investment through rational inventory control and intelligent logistics. Industrial applications in logistics and production therefore count as the strongest growth sector in the RIFD chip market. According to figures provided by the market research organization Allied Business Intelligence, these applications will account for more than 50 percent of the entire RFID transponder market by 2007, with worldwide sales worth more than 1.1 billion euros.
Different RFID technologies
Depending on the sector and the task involved, a variety of different RFID technologies can be employed in logistics processes. A distinction is made between Ultra High Frequency (UHF), in the frequency band around 900 MHz, and High Frequency (HF) systems at 13.56 MHz. UHF systems allow ranges of three to four meters and are thus able to identify paletted goods on a loading ramp. Technologies operating at 13.56 MHz have a shorter read range. Infineon's 13.56 MHz-based systems implement a technique known as PJM (Phase Jitter Modulation) technology that supports reading of labeled objects as they pass a reader unit at high speed on conveyor belts. This high data rate recording is required, for recognition of tightly packed medicines or documents, for example.
To introduce RFID systems into logistics, Infineon makes use of the RFID technologies and products appropriate to the situation, regardless of its own RFID product portfolio.
Infineon's Development Center in Graz
In recent years, Graz has emerged as a European center and one of the leading locations in the world for RF (or contactless) technologies. Infineon founded its Development Center here in 1998. There are currently 140 people employed at the center. The budget for R&D amounts to around 30 million euros for the current fiscal year. Chips that exchange data with readers via radio waves are developed here. These chips are typically used in smart card applications for local public transport, in radio keys for automobiles and for transmitting tire pressure readings, as well as being used in mobile phones. Further focus is the development of chip systems for the automotive industry, i. e. to control mirror, motors and lighting in a car door.
For further information about Infineon's RFID Solution Excellence Center go to: www.infineon.com/rfid.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In fiscal year 2003 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.