EM supplies UHF RFID chips for Marks and Spencer's trial
to improve supply chain efficiency;
Embedded into a complete tag, the ultra small chip contains a unique 64-bit ID number and will optimize product availability for customers.
MARIN, Switzerland - November 11, 2003 - EM Microelectronic, a company of the Swatch Group, announces that one of its recently-announced transponder ICs has been used by Marks & Spencer in a small-scale trial aimed at evaluating the use of RFID technology to improve supply chain efficiency and product availability for customers. The four-week trial, which ended November 7, was conducted at one store in the UK on a limited selection of men's suits, shirts and ties.
The circuit provided by EM Microelectronic is a passive, read-only 868MHz UHF RFID IC containing a 64-bit identifier number programmed during fabrication. The IC is contained within a paper label that is attached to the garment alongside the separate pricing label and is designed to be cut off and thrown away. The garment information associated with the unique identifier number is held on Marks and Spencer's secure computer database and relates only to that garment's details, for example, the size, style and color. As a result, the chip can be of minimum complexity, which is ideal for very cost-effective solutions in closed system logistics applications. The RFID IC is part of a new generation of UHF chips and is optimized to yield the absolute minimum die area. The device is a UHF and microwave (300MHz-2.45GHz) single-chip solution with a very small footprint slightly above one fourth of a square millimeter with two pads for antenna attachment. Depending on the chip programming, tags can be read at speeds between 0.5 m/s and 100 m/s, while the maximum number of tags that can be read per second is 240. Average tag ID reading rate is nearly 200 tags per second.
"This kind of UHF circuit can also be used in other applications closely linked to logistics and supply chain management, such as transport management of goods, anti-counterfeiting and tampering, toll collection, sport applications, parcel and baggage tracking and pallet tracking," says Mougahed Darwish, president of the management board of EM Microelectronic. "Such achievements and capabilities are no surprise, since EM Microelectronic has more than 14 years experience in this market and is number one in the worldwide RFID IC market, according to a recent study."
Now that the trial has ended, Marks & Spencer will be evaluating the performance of the technology and its acceptance by customers.
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About EM Microelectronic
EM Microelectronic is a semiconductor manufacturer designing and producing ultra low power, low voltage, digital, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) for battery-operated and field-powered devices in consumer, automotive and industrial applications.
RFID chips feature read/write, anti-collision, 125kHz, 13.56MHz, UHF and 2.45GHz operation for applications in security and access control, animal ID, logistics and immobilization in automotive. Other products include microprocessor supervisors and reset ICs, microcontrollers, smart card ICs, mixed analog and digital gate arrays, ASICs, LCD drivers and displays and optoelectronic ICs. EM also produces (LCD) modules and offers bumping services.
EM Microelectronic was founded in 1975 with headquarters in Marin (Neuchatel), Switzerland. It is a company of The Swatch Group Ltd., the world's largest manufacturer of finished watches. Additional company and product information is available at www.emmicroelectronic.com.