Alien Technology announced the mass-market adoption of the Higgs 4 UHF RFID transponder IC. Additionally, Alien is announcing previously undisclosed Higgs-4 IC features that are designed to drive down the cost-of-ownership while increasing efficiencies of RFID solutions in large, distributed enterprises involved in the mass-market application of RFID.
The Higgs-4 IC further advances Alien’s industry-leading read sensitivity and real-environment performance, increasing the already significant operational lead over the competition. These capabilities benefit enterprises by increasing the rate of tag reads, the distances tags can be read and the quality of reads in adverse conditions — ultimately leading to lower costs and further system efficiencies.
“The Higgs-4 IC has been thoroughly optimized for high volume applications, including an optimized memory footprint, modern serialization schemes and mass-encoding,” said Mike Frieswyk, Alien Technology, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Together, these capabilities are expected to further drive the mass adoption of RFID into the marketplace while continuing to drive up the return-on-investment for brand-owners.”
The Higgs-4 IC also addresses the increasing need for more rapid tag encoding for enterprise and retail customers while simplifying the creation and management of Serialized Global Trade Item Numbers (SGTIN). This is accomplished by:
• Significantly increased write sensitivity, enabling tag encoding with less than half the power of prior generations.
• Use of the Multi-Vendor Chip-based Serialization (MCS) mechanism – a simple, universal and industry-compliant, chip-based serialization option.
• Adoption of a pre-encoded, chip-based serialization. This completely removes the need to program any serialization into the Higgs-4 SGTIN, as the chip is delivered pre-serialized. Brand-owners may optionally write their own scheme should they wish to use non-chip-based encoding. Alien is the only current chip vendor to support the pre-encoding of chips.
• BlastWrite, a mass-encoding capability that, with a single command, writes to a large group of selected tags. This programs the non-serialized portion of the SGTIN of hundreds of tags “simultaneously.”
• QuickWrite, the capability to block-write multiple words (up to a single bank) starting at any word aligned location
This means that the SGTIN initialization is simplified to the absolute minimal time and effort, while optionally pushing the serialization complexity away from brand-owners unless they desire to manage it themselves. The serial portion is provided by Alien, the non-serialized portion is encoded using BlastWrite. This results in a SGTIN creation rate of up to 3,600 to 4,000 tags per minute.
The Higgs-4 IC also provides new solutions for customers needing enhanced security. This includes new commands to return the status of locked memory, and Dynamic Authentication, a non-copyable, anti-cloning/anti-counterfeit technology.
Volume orders are open for Higgs-4 ICs in wafer or SMD package options. For more information, visit http://www.alientechnology.com/tags/rfid_ic.php  or visit Alien at RFID Journal Live 2012 in Orlando, Fla., April 3-5 at booth #614.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
April 03, 2012