Impinj Introduces New RAIN RFID Tag Chips
Half the size, reduced costs and increased productivity – this innovation is changing the industry. The recent IC family, introduced by Impinj, Inc (NASDAQ: PI), a leading provider and pioneer of RAIN RFID solutions, in December 2019, translates to a range increase for the inlays and to smaller inlays retaining the same performance.
“In general, most applications today use slower read speeds for the tags in order to maximize sensitivity. Because usually, sensitivity decreases the faster you read the tag. With our new Impinj M700 IC series, sensitivity levels hold nearly constant with read speed. Thereby, readers can run faster, resulting in the reduction of inventory time, as well as reducing labor costs”, explains Chris Diorio, Chief Executive Officer, Vice Chair, and Co-Founder of Impinj.
Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Impinj has developed an idea towards the future by launching the first two chips of the Impinj M700 series - the M730 and M750 ICs. “It took us longer than initially expected. The most challenging part: Everything had to be innovated, every part was changed. In the end, we have created an entirely new chip”, elaborates Diorio.
Due to the breakdown of costs, more logical functions are now available. Adding more functionalities in the future will be much easier and more efficient.
≈ 30 Million Chips Fit into One Coffee Mug
The significant reduction in size of the chip provides new possibilities. Due to the smaller size, there can be twice as many chips per wafer, resulting in tremendous cost reduction. Yet, at the same time, the performance capacity is not diminished.
Unique Feature – “Protected Mode”
The newest logical function and greatest benefit of the chip is called “Protected Mode”. This mode is an extension to the Gen2 protocol and enables loss prevention, self-check out, and embedded tagging with seamless product returns. The idea: the tag can be rendered invisible at the retail point of sale. In essence, the tag is still there but will not respond to the reader. “If a customer leaves the store after purchasing the product, the tag is not removed but set invisible. Once the customer returns the product, the retailer can make the tag visible again. Ultimately, this mode can protect the retailer from loss and theft, and it allows them to protect the rights of of their customers”, explains Diorio.
Application in Various Segments
“We introduced the technology back in April to a selected audience, in order to give our partners time to begin working with the new chip. We were working directly day to day, closely with our partners to help them get ready for integrating this new technology”, Diorio elaborates.
The chip is broadly applicable to various fields. However, Impinj expects the most significant uptake in retail. This is due to the Protected Mode feature and because today, the retail industry is the largest consumer of RAIN RFID tags. After the initial announcement in April 2019, more and more technology partners are now announcing their use of this innovation.