STMicroelectronics Unveils New Long-Range RFID Chips

May 30, 2006
Low-cost chips are designed for asset tracking usages

GENEVA -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a worldwide leader in serial non-volatile memories, today announced the availability of two new 2048-bit 'long range' RFID memory products that are fully compliant with the ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 1 RFID standards for tracking applications.

The use of 2048-bit memories in the LRI2K and LRIS2K has been driven by the demand for increased memory in cost-sensitive general-purpose RFID applications requiring both data storage and security. The new devices are particularly suited for market segments such as access control, library automation, and supply-chain management, as well as for anti-counterfeiting of sensitive products, such as pharmaceuticals and high-value items.

One of the devices, the LRIS2K, also offers an innovative password feature for additional protection. Each memory block in the device can be individually 'profiled' using one of three available passwords. Security profiling brings a high level of flexibility and allows different parts of the supply chain to control different segments of memory.

Both the LRI2K and LRIS2K provide 2 Kbits of electrically erasable user memory (EEPROM), with an on-chip RF interface operating at the standard HF (high-frequency) 13.56MHz carrier frequency. Offering high-speed data-rate capability, an application reading range of up to 1.5m, and the advantages offered by 13.56MHz-based RFID technology, such as high reliability and low RFID reader cost, the two devices are highly suited for item-level tagging, whenever security, inventory speed, and tag size are relevant requirements.

Additionally, due to their high on-chip tuning capacitance, the LRI2K and LRIS2K also allow the design of very small antennas, thus saving space and making them suitable for use with small objects, such as medicine bottles in the pharmaceutical industry.

"These two new products are an important addition to ST's high-frequency RFID product range," said Francis Dell'ova, ST's RFID Business Unit Manager. "They confirm our commitment to offer a wide HF and UHF product portfolio and meet increasing market demands for devices with larger user memories and more security features."

Both devices offer 2048 EEPROM user bits with block lock capability (32 bits per block), a 64-bit Unique Identification number (UID) associated with the ISO-compliant anti-collision mechanism, internal tuning capacitor, and KILL function. Memory is organized as 64 blocks of 32 bits, and each block can be individually write-protected using a Lock command that prevents any subsequent modification of the data. In addition, a 64-bit read-only UID block and an 8-bit Application Family Identifier code uniquely identify the device, and an 8-bit Data Storage Family Identifier register stores data for the Anti-Collision mechanism. Thanks to their unrivaled reading range, an Electrical Article Surveillance (EAS) feature can be implemented for point-of-sale applications.

Built using ST's highly reliable and mature CMOS technology with embedded EEPROM, and uniquely featuring 40-year data retention, the LRI2K and LRIS2K are well-suited to address high-volume cost-driven markets, as well as reliability-sensitive segments such as automotive or avionics.

Samples of the LRI2K and LRIS2K are available now, with volume production expected in July 2006. Both devices can be delivered in various formats including thin un-sawn wafers, sawn and bumped wafers, ultra-thin MLP8 2x3mm package, or as inlays. LRI2K pricing is US$0.095 in volume quantities.

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