Longer range for new Omni-ID passive RFID tags

  • 14-Oct-2009 03:15 EDT
Ultra - MCM size.jpg

Omni-ID says its passive Ultra tag has an industry-first 100-ft-plus read range.

Omni-ID has released a suite of new RFID products specifically designed for the manufacturing, transportation, and defense industries to track high-value assets. The Ultra, Max HD, and Max Pro passive UHF RFID tags are individually engineered to meet a range of market and customer needs, including global functionality across all geographic regions; good performance on, off, or near metals and liquids; and good read distances in on-metal-only environments.

The company says that until now, global and reliable performance at long distances or high speeds required active tag technology. Building on its patented tag design and adding advanced antenna technology, Omni-ID with its new products delivers what it calls an industry first with the 100-ft-plus read range Ultra tag. It uses 512-bit memory and 240-bit EPCglobal Class-1 Gen2-compliant silicon. The heavy-duty polycarbonate casing provides durability and helps make it a good choice for tracking containers, vehicles, and cargo commonly stored in outdoor environments, according to the company. Its dimensions are 210 x 110 x 20.8 mm and it has a mass of 300 g.

Omni-ID says its Max HD is optimized for on-metal performance and offers a rugged encasement for added durability and high heat resistance in applications where a tag is subject to high impact and extreme weather conditions. It is especially good for containers, cargo, racks, and bins that will be moved between regions with different operating frequencies.

The Max Pro is an evolution of the Omni-ID Max product line. It provides longer read ranges than the traditional Omni-ID Max tag and adds a level of ruggedness and more resistance to impact and vibration. The Max Pro is especially suited for applications that require maximum performance in on-metal environments, such as retail warehouse inventory tracking, and offers a longer read range for on-metal applications than most tags currently on the market.

The new tags are borne of a new technology platform developed by Omni-ID. The tags are optimized for global frequencies in accordance with the EPC Gen2 Protocol. They use a patented plasmonic structure that allows for scalability, repeatability, and higher tolerances. The two-component system optimizes the use of plasmonics and a near-field loop antenna design as a coupling structure. The loop antenna increases flexibility in design and facilitates unique performance while improving the capacity for solid-state quality, according to the company.

The core element (plasmonic structure) is particularly efficient at gathering and focusing RF energy. The energy is transferred (coupled) inductively to the chip via a coupling structure consisting of the chip wire-bonded to a loop antenna formed on a small printed circuit board. This is a more rugged and reliable, though thicker, construction, the company says, than that used for most RFID tags; in most tags, the chip is connected by a conductive adhesive to a thin, flexible antenna.

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