Atmel's High-Performance UHF IDIC Demo Kit Supports Long-Range RFID Applications

Operation distances of up to 12 meters and unique, write-protected IDs


HEILBRONN, Germany - Atmel, a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced today the availability of the new UHF RFID long-range demo kit for the evaluation of its high-performance TAGIDU IDIC ATA5590. The demo kit supports a broad range of applications including (intelligent) logistics, supply chain management, anti-counterfeiting, medical, and more.

The new demo kit allows operating distances of up to 12 meters, enabled by the asynchronous low-power design architecture and the PSK-modulation feature in the return link (backscatter). This makes it well-suited for logistics applications especially where metal containers or canisters filled with liquid need to be tagged. The demo kit consists of various labels and tags using the TAGIDU IDIC ATA5590 plus deister electronic GmbH's UDL 500, a long-distance UHF reader with two integrated antennas.

Two versions of the demo kit are available: an FCC-approved version for the US with an operating frequency of 915 MHz and an output power of 4W EIRP, and an ETSI version for use in Europe which has 2W ERP at 868 MHz.

The TAGIDU IC ATA5590 is designed for intelligent passive tags and labels. It features an innovative link mechanism, extremely low power consumption (typically 10 microwatt RF power at 10 kbit/s), simultaneous operation of multiple tags in the field of one reader antenna (anti-collision function, up to 460 tags per second), and 1024 bits of user memory plus 320 bits of system memory.

The ATA5590 is a proprietary solution and provides many benefits over standard solutions such as higher data transfer range and a unique ID, which is especially important for anti-counterfeiting applications since the ID is protected against overwriting. Customers can choose to create their own unique ID or use Atmel-programmed, unique tag IDs (56 bits). Also, the TAGIDU IC ATA5590 can be configured for Tag Talks First (TTF) or Reader Talks First (RTF) operation mode, which is not possible with standard solutions.

One major benefit over competing proprietary solutions is the device's outstanding performance, including data flexibility and anticollision speed. Hospitals, for example, have special areas where only low-power transmission is allowed, to prevent interference with medical implants. Due to the ATA5590's low-power capability, it is the only RFID product for medical applications that is able to reduce the reader's transmission power, an excellent example of the device's flexibility.

The ATA5590 is a result of the research and development of the European- funded project Palomar and also of Atmel's long-term research in the area of RFID.

Atmel, a pioneer in the RFID area and member of EPCglobal(TM), provided the industry's first read-only RFID ICs in the late 1980s. Since 1995, Atmel has also been offering the world's most flexible read/write RFID ICs. Today, Atmel is a key player for low-frequency-based 125-kHz RFID ICs for access control systems. The portfolio also includes ICs addressing the 13.56-MHz, UHF, and microwave frequency range.