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Components | April 03, 2012

RFID chipmakers align on serialization schema

Multi-vendor Chip-based Serialization (MCS) simplifies item level tagging with chip-based serial number management option.
UHF Gen2 radio frequency identification (RFID) technology provider Impinj nnounced industry alignment on a chip-based serialization schema, termed MCS (Multi-vendor Chip-Based Serialization), to facilitate serialization for brand-owners using passive RFID tags for item level tagging.

MCS addresses applications using the Serialized Global Trade Identification (SGTIN-96) for universally identifying products in the supply chain and complies with the guidelines set forth by GS1, the standards body for Electronic Product Code (EPC).

Aligned UHF EPC Gen2 RFID tag IC manufacturers include Alien Technology, Impinj and NXP Semiconductors.

Under GS1 serialization guidelines, each brand-owner is responsible for ensuring unique serialization for their tagged products. Serial number management has clearly been identified as an industry challenge. Until today's alignment, each IC vendor has been independently approaching the issue that would require each brand-owner to determine how to coordinate between IC suppliers. MCS was designed to address this issue by recommending a simple and flexible guideline for an industry-aligned approach, accommodating both chip-based and customized IT-based solutions.

MCS relieves the burdens associated with serial number management, even among multiple RFID IC suppliers providing solutions for billions of tags. MCS-compliant systems will utilize a self-contained, factory programmed and permanently locked unique serial number embedded within the Tag Identifier (TID) memory of each IC.

With an MCS compatible solution, brand-owners simply distribute tag product data as before, leaving it to the printing or encoding device to provide the unique serial number for RFID encoding that is now extracted from the MCS compatible tag. The result is a complete SGTIN-96 without the burden of number management and without worry of a duplicate.

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