Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mappy for RFID network development… turn right at the next supplier!

21.01.2008
Agreed standards help ensure coordinated, efficient and rapid development of new technologies such as RFID radio tracking. A major report maps the stakeholders and rules affecting RFID and provides ground rules for successful standardisation.

When a technology is developing as rapidly as radio frequency identification (RFID) with the active participation of a huge range of industry sectors worldwide – from automotive manufacturing to pharmaceutical distribution and fashion retailing – it is not surprising that overlapping and, at times, conflicting standards develop, according to Peter Gabriel, spokesman for a European research project in this area.

RFID needs a coherent international approach to frequency and radio regulation, communication and data standards, network standards, application standards, as well as safety issues. Some areas require European or even global agreements, others simply require an agreed cross-sectoral approach. The complication is that the standards need to develop in parallel with the innovative research.

In such a complicated and multi-layered environment, RFID and the network that will share RFID-generated ‘Electronic Product Code’ data across the internet is developing rather quickly, according to Gabriel of the CE RFID project.

“The establishment of EPCglobal was a major breakthrough,” he says. EPCglobal is an industry-led organisation that is undertaking the establishment of RFID and Electronic Product Code standards. “[It] started just five years ago and they have built a complete system of standardisation documents… much quicker than would have been the case for an ISO standard.”

However, ISO’s reputation means that its stamp of approval is very important to anything EPCglobal develops. Gabriel points to EPCglobal’s ‘Gen 2’ air interface standard (protocols for RFID tag-to-reader interfaces) that received its ISO 18000-6 label. That speedy establishment of the standard provided a bedrock for future development.

Coordinating dynamic development
The CE RFID report provides an extensive overview of the main industries with an interest in RFID and the level of standardisation they have achieved.

The report draws on the lessons from previous investigations that tackled the same problem: how to ensure the rapid establishment of standards where the range of stakeholders is broad and the technology developing fast.

While European companies are often technology leaders in RFID and EPC, that has not translated to leadership in standards development – a particular interest to the sponsors of this EU-funded report.

The report concludes that fewer and broader standards are needed; a coordinated standardisation roadmap between the main stakeholders (especially EPCglobal and ISO) would ease development; standards should be easier to understand and work with; and regional or even national standards should be avoided where international standards are required.

The time and money European companies need to invest in a wide range of patents to cover their interests in different Member States is one example of how Europe is disadvantaged by its lack of coordination.

Another example in the report is the need for a single European radio regulation authority managing the spectrum. RFID advocates face some powerful rivals in the contest for limited frequencies.

Take UHF in Europe, RFID has only been awarded from 865-868 MHz. In the long run, this limited bandwidth is not sufficient for the expected mass applications. Moreover, the sector lacks the level of radio frequency harmonisation already reached for mobile phones.

The opportunity is now!
Many of the most powerful organisations with an interest in RFID are users rather than technology providers. Big retailers, logistics companies and others need to press the need for RFID on regulators, Gabriel suggests. Broadcasters’ move from analogue to digital will create a ‘digital dividend’ over the next 15 years. However, decisions about who will gain control of the freed-up frequencies will be made in the next two years. There is a need to act now!

Some of the frequencies available for RFID in Europe or China have already been awarded to telecoms companies in the USA for their cell-phone networks.

“We will never get a uniform spectrum in UHF,” says Gabriel. “That is not a major problem as all the frequency bands are so close. There will be minor technical problems but nothing the technology providers cannot cope with.”

The next step on the road to the complete RFID-EPC vision will be the EPCglobal internet network. Just as there were a series of air interface standards before the success of ‘Gen 2’, he expects the EPCglobal network will develop in steps.

“There will be first implementations and pilot projects for the great architecture of IT systems that is needed,” he says. “After the first standard, there will need to be a reality check. That will occur in the next one or two years.”

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89447

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
20.10.2017 | Brown University

nachricht New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>