RFID Chipmakers Align on Industry-Wide Serialization Schema

Posted on April 2, 2012 @ 03:44 pm

Leading UHF Gen 2 RFID technology provider Impinj, Inc. announced industry alignment on a chip-based serialization schema, termed MCS (Multi-Vendor Chip-Based Serialization), to facilitate serialization for brand-owners using passive RFID tags for item level tagging. MCS addresses applications using the Serialized Global Trade Identification (SGTIN-96) for universally identifying products in the supply chain and complies with the guidelines set forth by GS1, the standards body for Electronic Product Code (EPC). Aligned UHF EPC Gen2 RFID tag IC manufacturers include Alien Technology, Impinj and NXP Semiconductors.

Under GS1 serialization guidelines, each brand-owner is responsible for ensuring unique serialization for their tagged products. Serial number management has clearly been identified as an industry challenge. Until today’s alignment, each IC vendor has been independently approaching the issue that would require each brand-owner to determine how to coordinate between IC suppliers. MCS was designed to address this issue by recommending a simple and flexible guideline for an industry-aligned approach, accommodating both chip-based and customized IT-based solutions.

MCS relieves the burdens associated with serial number management, even among multiple RFID IC suppliers providing solutions for billions of tags. MCS-compliant systems will utilize a self-contained, factory programmed and permanently locked unique serial number embedded within the Tag Identifier (TID) memory of each IC. With an MCS compatible solution, brand-owners simply distribute tag product data as before, leaving it to the printing or encoding device to provide the unique serial number for RFID encoding that is now extracted from the MCS compatible tag. The result is a complete SGTIN-96 without the burden of number management and without worry of a duplicate.

As a default top-level serialization plan, MCS is compatible with Impinj’s Monza Self-Serialization, which was announced in February of this year. Monza Self-Serialization supports a variety of top-level serialization plans, including MCS, giving brand owners the flexibility to decide when, where and how they manage the item-level tagging processes across their global supply chain. Nominated as a finalist for the 2012 RFID Journal Live Best in Show Award, Monza Self-Serialization is supported by Zebra Technologies' R110Xi4, RZ400, RZ600 and RP4T RFID printer-encoders and is being adopted by major brand owners today.

Exploiting Monza’s industry-leading write performance (in both speed and sensitivity) and the upcoming version 2 release of Impinj’s STP source tagging platform, brand owners and service bureaus can achieve speeds up to 7,500 tags per minute in real-world, high-speed encoding environments when using Monza Self-Serialization with MCS and other top-level serialization plans.

Impinj Monza 5 based inlays are available from leading inlay and ticket providers, including Arizon, Avery Dennison, C&C RFID, Invengo Information Technology Co, LAB ID, LS Industrial Systems, Smart Res, Smartrac, SML Group, Tageos and Trace-Tech Id Solutions.


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