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Date: 01-04-12

Battery-assisted RFID chip with temperature sensor for multiple apps

EM Microelectronic has announced the EM4325, a multipurpose, battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID chip with integrated temperature sensor. Operating in the UHF frequency range, the EM4325 is compliant with the following standards: ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type C and Type D (TOTAL), EPC Class 1 Gen2 / EPC Class 3 Gen2, AIAG B-11, ATA 2000

The EM4325 operates in both BAP and purely passive modes. It integrates smart power management for longer battery life when used in BAP applications. The EM4325 also allows programmable duty cycle and automatic switching between battery-powered and field-powered operation when the tag is too far away from the reader. A unique ultra-low power (ULP) mode can be activated or disabled via a simple reader command. This ULP mode extends tag battery life when the tags are stored for long periods.

The EM4325 further contains 4 kbits of high speed, non-volatile memory (EEPROM). It supports either ISO or EPC data structures compliant with EPCglobal's Tag Data Standard, Version 1.6. To ensure full traceability, the chip is delivered with a factory programmed and serialized Unique Identifier (UID).

An integrated temperature sensor monitors temperature from -40°C to +64°C. In pure passive mode, the temperature sensor can be used for field-powered snapshot readings. But the chip can also be programmed to perform self-monitoring with user-programmable alarm conditions (upper and lower temperature thresholds). The sensor may also be configured to provide Simple Sensor Data reporting according to the data formats defined in ISO/IEC 18000-6 and ISO/IEC 24753.

The most unique feature of the EM4325 may be the inclusion of a programmable external interface for an auxiliary functions and a 4 bit I/O port. These interfaces open the door to advanced applications where the EM4325 can be operated either as an RFID tag or as an RFID interface or modem for embedded applications. The auxiliary function may be configured as input for tamper detection or as an output to notify external devices of RF events. The 4 bit I/O port can be programmed to support 4 discrete signals or as a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) configurable as an SPI master or slave device.

Applications: Standard Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Temperature Monitoring, Electronic Vehicle Identification (EVI) , Asset configuration and control, Tamper Detection, and RFID for Challenging RF Environments.

EM Microelectronic also announced the EM4124, its latest EPC Gen2 chip which offers best-in-class read range. The new device is a rewritable EPC Class 1 Gen2 circuit, compliant with the ISO 18000-6 Type C and Type D (TOTAL) standards.

With a typical read sensitivity of -19dBm, the EM4124 enables the development of RFID tags with -21dBm sensitivity (assuming a 2dBi gain dipole-like antenna). Therefore, properly designed EM4124-based EPC Gen2 tags will offer the longest range in their class.

Each device is delivered with a 64-bit manufacturer-programmed, serialized and locked unique identifier (TID/UID) to ensure full traceability. Furthermore, 256 bits of non-volatile memory enable the support of user-programmable ISO and EPC data structures; a 112 bit EPC code, a 32 bit kill password and a 32 bit access password.

The EM4124 also supports a tag-talk-only protocol called TOTAL. This reduced-complexity protocol is ideal for applications which require rapid detection of numerous fast moving items.

Label manufacturers will benefit from the EM4124's robust design, which results in higher assembly yields. The device also supports wideband antenna tuning thanks to its parallel-inductance matched design.

Through strict compliance to the EPC Gen2 standard, the EM4124 assures end users that their RFID tags will work seamlessly around the globe. The factory-programmed TID field, in addition to the EPC code, provides enhanced insurance against data inconsistencies and tag cloning.

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