New IC line from NXP will advance retail deployment

Global supply chains continue to benefit from better visibility and improved inventory accuracy as a result of deploying RFID technology. With that in mind, NXP has announced the launch of its UCODE 7 UHF IC, which the company says sets a new industry standard for performance, versatility and speed for RFID supply chain applications.

Collaborating with industry partners Avery Dennison, Motorola Solutions and Zebra, NXP has produced what it calls a “best-in-class solution that delivers consistently high performance in all global markets, reinforcing the company’s leadership in UHF chips.”

RFID in apparel

The UCODE 7 line from NXP will allow retailers to take inventory faster.

NXP claims that UCODE 7 establishes best-in-class credentials for global versatility, higher sensitivity and fast encoding. Sample ICs and labels with UCODE 7 are already available; high volume shipments will begin at the end of May.

The launch of UCODE 7 will enable retailers and vendors to tag much smaller items such as jewelry and also will allow tags to be read from a greater distance, enhancing stock and inventory applications.

“Modern supply chains stretch across continents, so it is important that RFID tags can deliver reliable performance in every region and across the different global frequency bands,” said Rutger Vrijen, vice president and general manager for RFID Tagging at NXP.

UCODE 7 establishes its best-in-class credentials in three key areas:

Global versatility: UCODE 7 enables the creation of RFID labels and tags that can be used across different regions operating at different frequency ranges. This means that manufacturers and retailers can maintain high performance using the same label or tag across the entire global supply chain, significantly reducing operating costs.

Higher sensitivity: UCODE 7’s higher sensitivity enables both smaller tag designs with equal performance to current tag geometries – which means that retailers and suppliers can tag much smaller items – and for current tag geometries to be read from a much greater distance. It also means that inventory management and stock-taking becomes easier and quicker, even in harsh RFID environments.

Fast encoding: NXP claims that UCODE 7 delivers the fastest encoding capability on the market, with 100 items programmed in a matter of milliseconds. This unprecedented level of performance can significantly increase throughput when encoding apparel, shoes, pharmaceuticals and other items in manufacturing and distribution centers or in-store; enabling high-speed brand protection and tracking processes.

“Our new inlay products with the UCODE 7 combine flexibility of size and performance to provide retailers more options for their media developments,” said Rick Bauer, vice president global inventory accuracy and loss prevention from Avery Dennison. “Our early testing with retailers has been very positive with the NXP UCODE 7. This new chip improves global RFID inlay performance across two major frequency bands with minimal loss of performance. We have found this chip to be very versatile in its performance and application to existing designs and our ability to facilitate new designs.”