Roundup of wireless, RFID activity

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other wireless technologies continue to expand in several separate developments. Datalogic Group, with headquarters in Bologna, Italy, through acquisition of PSC Inc., has become a member of Intermec's RFID Rapid Start program, according to Intermec Inc. Datalogic manufacturers CCD (charge-coupled device) and laser-based bar-code readers, mobile compute...


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other wireless technologies continue to expand in several separate developments.

Datalogic Group, with headquarters in Bologna, Italy, through acquisition of PSC Inc., has become a member of Intermec's RFID Rapid Start program, according to Intermec Inc. Datalogic manufacturers CCD (charge-coupled device) and laser-based bar-code readers, mobile computers, and RFID systems. The program gives participants access to various portfolios of the intellectual property within Intermec's 150+ RFID patents and makes Datalogic an Intermec RFID licensee. Intermec says Datalogic joins 19 other companies that elected to license various portfolios of Intermec RFID patents made available to Rapid Start licensees prior to program closing in August 2005. ,

IEEE 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Technical Advisory Group (TAG) continues development of a recommended practice on methods for assessing the coexistence of wireless networks. The document is expected to define recommended wireless coexistence metrics and the methods for computing them, as well as wireless coexistence scenarios.

"Industry continues to develop new standards and specifications for wireless networks that operate in the same frequency bands as other wireless networks," says Paul Nikolich, chair of the IEEE 802 Local Area and Metropolitan Area Network Standards Committee. "IEEE 802, for instance, has multiple working groups developing wireless networks standards for systems that share frequency bands. The recommended practice to be created by the IEEE 802.19 TAG will help IEEE 802 working groups and the rest of the industry assess the performance of new wireless technologies and those now deployed in shared frequency bands."

The TAG document (expected to be published in 2008) is IEEE 802.19, "Recommended Practice for Information Technology—Telecommunications and Information Exchange between systems—Local and Metropolitan networks—Specific requirements—Part 19: Methods for assessing coexistence of wireless networks."

IMS Research says in a recent report that wireless communication in automation will grow substantially over the next five years. The world market for this technology is forecast to grow at an average of 28.1% a year between now and 2009. John Morse, IMS senior market analyst, says, "Of the three market regions covered in the report, Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at a rate higher than either the EMEA (Europe, Middle-East, Africa) region or the Americas. This is true for most of the seven product sectors considered for the report." The study surveyed manufacturers and end-users. It concluded that there is a strong requirement for wireless communications in industry, but that growth is forecast to be limited to certain applications, including monitoring, data collection, and programming. "Although high growth is forecast," continues Morse, "progress will be restricted by concerns over the reliability and security of wireless communications. There will have to be a considerable period of confidence-building before wireless is commonly used for applications where there are safety issues."

ISA's Wireless Systems for Automation standards committee (ISA-SP100) agreed to form two new standards working groups, SP100.14 and SP100.11. The SP100.14 working group will define wireless connectivity standards optimized for the performance and cost needs of industrial monitoring, logging, and alerting applications. The SP100.11 work group will define wireless connectivity standards addressing control applications—from closed-loop regulatory control through open-loop manual control.

Omron Corp. says it will increase RFID inlay manufacturing capacity to support production of more than 250 million inlays per year at its Minakuchi factory in Shiga, Japan. This factory location was chosen to take advantage of its more than 30 years of experience with semiconductors and class 10,000 clean room standards. Inlays produced at the Minakuchi plant are marketed and distributed globally by Omron's RFID division.

Sensicast Systems plans to focus its wireless offerings for temperature measurement, energy, and predictive maintenance (rotating equipment condition) applications, according to ARC Advisory group. The new Sensicast corporate strategy, called the "Sensicast Wireless Advantage," will develop complete reference designs in collaboration with a set of sensor companies. These designs will remove customized engineering as a barrier to wireless measurement, making it a more attractive option for applications of these sensors.

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