Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


RFID chip

11 May 2011 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

NXP Semiconductors unveiled the UCODE I²C RFID chip, which features an integrated I²C interface and a 3328 bit user memory. The IC brings the power of Gen2 UHF to embedded systems, enabling bidirectional communication between a wireless reader and a microprocessor via an I²C bus. Using UCODE I²C, electronic devices can be configured and customised remotely, enabling wireless data exchange and product provisioning even while the device is powered down.

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of consumer electronic devices can take advantage of UCODE I²C functionality in a number of different ways. As an anti-theft measure, a pallet of electronic devices moving through a supply chain can remain disabled until they have been provisioned remotely through the I²C bus, and each device can be tracked through a unique tag ID. When a consumer purchases an electronic device, the chip enables the retailer to pre-configure and customise it without opening the box, pre-loading customer account information and eliminating the headache that customers typically face when setting up a new device.

In addition, the system makes it straightforward for manufacturers or retailers to remotely deliver minor upgrades or enable optional features purchased by the customer. In the event of any problems, the IC makes it possible to quickly identify the serial number as well as the error logs internal to the device without opening it, resulting in a significant reduction in the time it takes to resolve issues and repair the device as needed.

The device’s EEPROM memory can be used to upload updates to the embedded microprocessor upon power-up. The passive UHF interface includes two independent front-ends, each of which can be enabled or disabled independently, as well as an RF or I²C interface which can also be disabled independently.

Other target applications include RFID data loggers and sensors for products such as perishable foods and pharmaceuticals. By passing sensor information through the I²C bus, the UCODE I²C IC can track, monitor and record information such as temperature, humidity, pressure and shock as the products move through the supply chain. The chip could be used in other wireless sensor applications such as ‘smart shelves,’ by making it easy to monitor and manage electronic shelf displays by up­dating pricing and discounts dynamically through the I²C interface.



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