RFID Chipmakers Align on Industry-wide Serialization Schema

4th April 2012
Written by : ES Admin
NXP Semiconductors today announced industry alignment on a chip-based serialization schema, termed MCS, to facilitate serialization for brand-owners using passive RFID tags for item level tagging. MCS is designed to address 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. 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 the alignment, each IC vendor has been independently approaching the issue that would require each brand-owner to figure out how to coordinate between the 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.

Optionally, MCS may be extended to include a pre-encoded EPC serial number, further enhancing the serialization process efficiency.

Mike Poldino, vice president and general manager RFID, Motorola Solutions, explained, “As retailers scale their deployment of RFID across multiple categories, serial number management becomes increasingly important. MCS is clearly a step forward for the industry – one that can simplify this process. Motorola Solutions is actively engaged with the IC vendors to ensure that - as this serialization guideline evolves - it does so in way that makes sense for our customers.”

“Industry alignment around serial number management addresses a common pain point, particularly for item-level tagging deployments. Collaboration such as this will help avoid the issue of duplicates regardless of the IC vendor. Multi-Vendor Chip-Based Serialization (MCS) is important to adoption and scalability, providing end users with flexibility in IC selection and greater confidence in serial number management”, said Michael Liard, director of RFID, VDC Research.

Visit the NXP booth #604 at RFID Journal Live! on 3-5 April 2012, Orlando, to see a demonstration of the serialization process with a Motorola reader.

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