Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Impinj for its Unique and Customer-focused RFID Tag Chip for the Apparel Sector
Impinj’s solutions enhance user satisfaction by offering superior read and write sensitivity and higher scalability
November 2, 2011 - Mountainview, California
Based on its recent analysis of the radio frequency identification (RFID) chips market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Impinj, Inc. with the 2011 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Differentiation Excellence for its Monza® 5 RFID chip. This product provides unmatched read reliability, accuracy and encoding performance for the retail apparel sector. The company leverages a decade of experience in the tagging market to develop and add this product to its Monza line.
The features embedded in the Monza 5 RFID tag chip are tailored to the needs of retailers that read tags as well as retail brand owners (RBOs) that must attach and encode tags. Impinj has enhanced the readability of its tags in multiple ways to boost inventory accuracy and business results for retailers and other end users.
“The Electronic Product Code (EPC) Gen 2 specification provides a mechanism to ‘sleep’ tags once they have been read; however, tags typically re-awake within a second, forcing readers to constantly re-read strong tags,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ram Ravi. “To restrain signals from tags that have been previously read, Impinj’s Monza 5 tag chips include the TagFocus feature, which enables the reader to indefinitely hold tags in the sleep state. This boosts read accuracy by enabling readers to focus on weaker tags that have not yet been discovered.”
RBOs that participate in retailer tagging programs to boost on-shelf availability seek to incur minimum total applied tag costs. Impinj has reduced this cost burden by incorporating sophisticated technologies in Monza 5 to enable very high write speed and write sensitivity. Write speed enables RBOs to encode nearly 1,750 tags per minute, which is up to four times faster than competitive tag chips. “Using Monza 5, we are able to avoid some costs that are typically associated with adding RFID to factory operations” said Jay Craft, VP of Product Development for VF Jeanswear. “We appreciate the leadership that Impinj has shown in delivering technology that makes a difference to business users in our industry.”
The Monza 5 chip also features Impinj’s FastID, a technology that enables innovative EPC encoding methods that rely on reading the tag ID (TID) serial number that is hard-coded into every chip at manufacture. FastID enables readers to extract the TID number two to three times faster than previous methods and its high write sensitivity reduces failed writes and re-writes. With the combination of speed and sensitivity enhancements during the write process, Monza 5 augments throughput for serialization and enables RBOs to cost-effectively implement RFID.
Before RFID tags can become hang tags and labels, inlay manufacturers must attach the tag chip, or ”die”, to a plastic and metal substrate to create a device called an “inlay.” With tag chips shrinking to the size of a grain of salt, the physics of handling the tiny die and attaching it to the substrate is challenging. Dozens of manufacturing variables come into play during this process, and inlay manufacturers employ highly trained technologists to manage it.
“To ease the risks and challenges of this effort, Impinj has implemented a patent-pending technology, which comprises a non-conductive spacer layer that is implemented through a process known as ‘repassivation,’” said Ravi. “The spacer layer reduces the sensitivity of the final product to variation in machine settings and drift, leading to higher yields, reduced performance variation, and, ultimately, better quality and lower cost for end-users.”
Impinj’s Monza tag chips are compatible with a large selection of Gen 2 compliant readers. Impinj’s own line of Speedway® readers is equipped with firmware that directly supports the features installed in the Monza RFID tag chips. The company’s line of Indy® reader chip products, which are used in the majority of handheld readers on the market, also support these features.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that demonstrates superior features and functionality as well as quality and complexity. The company also exhibits high levels of customization and excellent product mix, and meets the requirements of its target market.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, automobile parts, luggage and food to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, asset tracking and item authentication. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.
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