WOLLERAU, SWITZERLAND —IDS Microchip began shipping development kits to early adopters for a novel radio-frequency-identification (RFID) sensor and data logging chip. Dubbed the IDS-SL900A, the chip is based on the EPC second-generation standard for supply chain applications. It therefore enables a vast new array of medical, food, healthcare, and environmental-supervision applications that ensure quality and/or freshness.

This RFID chip can automatically track, monitor, time-stamp, and record temperature, pressure, humidity, light, sound, and other information about any goods in supply-chain or cold-chain transport. Unlike other RFID solutions, it also can be configured to notify users automatically of an event. This event-driven capability enables various applications in the cold-chain, pharmaceutical, and food and health industries as well as applications in the construction industry. It makes it possible to determine the conditions of materials used in an economical, non-invasive, and practical way. For example, it can satisfy applications that require an event to be triggered for perishable goods decay, measure the effect of humidity and pressure on a metal rod in a concrete slab, or start a safety routine in case of chemical anomaly.

The IDS-SL900A's sensor reading range, which can reach 5 or 6 m, is at least triple that of other data monitors/loggers. The SL900A development kit is a complete system (UHF reader and smart active label). It includes demo application and graphical user interface (GUI) software with source codes, a comprehensive library of frequently asked questions, and application notes and hints that eliminate cumbersome implementation of RFID technology, saving time and effort. The development kit is backed by a support team with in-depth knowledge to make RFID easy and manageable.