been made about the additional memory that the new Gen 2 tags will
carry. But thatés only part of the story of these new RFID tags.
éThe additional memory is important, but the biggest thing that Gen
2 brings to the table is higher levels of performance in several
dimensions,é says Bill Colleran, president and CEO of chip and
For starters, there is higher throughput. Data can be transmitted
from a Gen 2 tag to a reader at up to 640 kilobits per second,
versus less than 100 kilobits per second on other tags. That means
up to 1,500 Gen 2 tags can be read per second. By comparison, Class
O tags can be read at 300-400 per second, and Class 1 tags at half
éIf youére running a conveyor belt reading one carton at a time,
thatés probably not important,é says Colleran. éBut if you have a
lift truck handling hundreds of cases on a pallet, this is a big
Gen 2 tags were also developed to work in a dense reader environment,
like a distribution center that may have hundreds of readers at dock
doors and conveyor belts.
éIn other tag protocols, the signals from all those readers would
interfere with one another,é Colleran says. éGen 2 has a fairly
eloquent frequency plan that allows the systems to work even when
there are lots of readers transmitting.é
Colleran adds that a dense reader protocol isnét available on all
readers. For that reason, users who need that capability need to ask
Gen 2 readers also have greater security built into them, providing
users the ability to kill a tag or lock a tag in the field with 32
bit password technology.
While the technical achievements are important, they too are only
part of the story, adds Kevin Ashton, vice president of marketing,
(866-833-4069). Prior to joining ThingMagic, Ashton
helped launch the Gen 2 standard as executive director of MITés
éFrom my perspective, whatés really important is that Gen 2 is the
first RFID standard that has had widespread industry support,é says
Instead of two or three companies making chips, tags and readers,
there are now ten or more producers in each of those disciplines.
Ashton believes the increased competition will mean increased
innovation that will create a mass market for RFID products.