Zebra Technologies Debuts Multi-Protocol RFID Printer/Encoders

VERNON HILLS, Ill. -- Zebra Technologies, a global leader in delivering on-demand printing solutions for business and process improvement, and a pioneer in the development and adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) label printing solutions for global business, announces the introduction of two new UHF EPC multi- protocol printer/encoders, the Zebra R110Xi and R170Xi. In addition to their built-in multi-protocol flexibility, these printer/encoders can be easily upgraded to include future protocols as existing standards evolve and new ones emerge. As a result customers' RFID investments are protected long-term against the uncertainty of changing protocols and standards.

Until now, many companies needing to comply with RFID mandates set to take effect January 1, 2005, were concerned that evolving standards would make current investments in RFID technology obsolete. The R110Xi and R170Xi eliminate that concern by being the first multi-protocol RFID printer/encoders to provide fully integrated support for Class 1, Class 0, Matrics' 0+ (read/write), ISO 18000-06B and Philips UCODE 1.19. Zebra also offers a simple, cost-free upgrade path for support of "Gen 2" and other future RFID protocols as they evolve.

"Our customers told us they have an immediate need for a low-risk, cost- effective solution that supports both current and future smart label standards to enable them to meet RFID compliance mandates," said Bob Cornick, vice president and general manager of RFID for Zebra. "These printer/encoders meet this requirement. Zebra's objective is to provide a broad array of tools to help ensure that the RFID investments our customers make today deliver long- term benefits and effortless accommodation to evolving standards and technology shifts."

Zebra's R110Xi and R170Xi are the only printer/encoders to embed ThingMagic's Mercury4e RFID reader module, which uses advanced software radio technology to read and encode virtually any EPC tag without compromising performance. The reader's unique software architecture allows remote software upgrades for new protocols, including the forthcoming EPC Generation 2, which will be downloadable free of charge on Zebra's Web site.

As the sixth and seventh RFID printer/encoders to be introduced by Zebra this year, the R110Xi and R170Xi are built on Zebra's proven Xi series platform and offer an unprecedented level of on-demand printing flexibility for tag placement and label size (4-inch and 6-inch print widths). They also support XML encoding for seamless integration into enterprise systems, automatic inlay position calibration for easier smart label formatting, program position for flexibility of transponder placement, and multiple power levels for precisely encoding small labels.

As a pioneer and leader in RFID printing/encoding technologies, Zebra has been developing RFID technologies for nearly 10 years and was the first company to produce an integrated, on-demand RFID printer/encoder-the R140- nearly four years ago. Zebra's innovative RFID family of products now includes the popular R402 desktop model, the durable R4Mplus, the second-generation R2844-Z desktop, the R110PAX3 print and apply engine, the R110Xi, and the R170Xi, as well as Zebra's Genuine Smart Media, to provide customers and partners the widest choice of RFID printing solutions available today. Zebra's RFID product family is supported by a comprehensive nationwide network of RFID-certified Zebra partners.