NXP Semiconductors, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips and market leader in RFID chips, has established a Reference Design Centre (RDC) with the aim of facilitating deployment and adoption of RFID technology.
Based near Graz, Austria, the RDC improves the performance and reliability of existing RFID systems by thoroughly testing applications under real-life conditions for various industries such as pharmaceutical, manufacturing and retail.
Working in collaboration with key industry bodies such as EPCglobal and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the facility will help NXP and its partners to deliver RFID solutions with optimum read ranges and system configuration. The RDC will develop new RFID solutions with a 'frequency agnostic' approach, as wireless frequency ranges are assessed and recommended based on the exact needs of the individual application.
"The successful adoption of RFID hinges on smoothing out the issues surrounding interoperability and standardization, as in the past various stakeholders have developed solutions independently of each other," said Andrew Nathanson, practice director, AIDC/RFID Technologies, Venture Development Corporation. . "In order for organizations to be able to benefit from business-ready RFID solutions, there needs to be greater collaboration between all parties to ensure greater synchronicity in the use of RFID."
"RFID technology fundamentally changes how organizations operate, so it is essential that, before implementing RFID solutions, all the elements are ready to use in your business environment," said Jan-Willem Reynaerts, general manager, RFID, NXP Semiconductors. "In the past, system integrators have only been able to find out how components perform in actual applications when conducting trials with end-users. An environment such as NXP's RDC ensures these solutions are business ready, removing the need for beta testing, improving the calculation for the return-on-investment and providing an extra level of confidence for the customer."
One of the key applications for RFID is in the retail supply chain - on pallet, case and item level. The technology provides benefits, such as a more efficient goods receiving process and improved anti-counterfeit protection. In the future RFID will shorten checkout processes and enable an even better service for the customer. Keen to continually improve its logistical processes, Germany-based METRO Group is working with NXP, using the RDC to test a range of UHF RFID tag readers for use in its in high-density warehouses across Germany.
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