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OMRON Adds Secure RFID Protocol to V750 Series UHF RFID Reader/Writer

- Additional Security Functions will be Available as Option in July 2008 -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 9, 2008

Tokyo, Japan - OMRON Corporation (TOKYO: 6645, ADR: OMRNY) today announced that, in cooperation with Hitachi, Ltd., it has achieved compatibility between its V750 series UHF RFID reader/writer and Secure RFID Protocol. Additional security functions provided by the protocol will be available as an option beginning in July 2008.

Secure RFID Protocol was developed through the Secure Electronic Tag Project led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), with Hitachi as a core partner, from August 2006 to March 2007. The protocol provides enhanced security functions including communication distance control, which restricts the communication range of tags, and reading prohibition, which limits access to tags through password authentication, while maintaining compatibility with the UHF RFID international standard ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type C. A Secure RFID Protocol-ready IC developed by Hitachi, “µ-Chip(mu-chip) Hibiki,” is already on the market.

RFID in the UHF band (860MHz to 960MHz) realizes longer communication ranges among passive-type tags and conducts faster and more diverse data processing as compared with HF band (13.56MHz) systems. Prompted by major retailers in the USA, UHF RFID systems are increasingly being used around the world in areas ranging from manufacturing, distribution and logistics to stores, offices, public services and amusement/sports facilities. However, in open systems shared by multiple companies, one company’s unique data (embedded on a tag) could easily be passed on to other companies along with shared data. The fact that all companies in an open system can read and alter all the data on tags is becoming an obstacle to the utilization of RFID systems.

To date, Omron has developed a number of RFID reader/writers, inlays and tags mainly focusing on the HF and UHF bands. Omron’s products are designed not only to comply with common standards, but also to easily incorporate new functions and advanced technologies developed in response to market needs. By readying the V750 reader/writer for Secure RFID Protocol, Omron acknowledges that protecting company and product information is critical to increasing the use of RFID in distribution and logistics. In Japan, feasibility studies and trials of secured RFID systems are increasingly being carried out by book and home appliance distribution chains, and Omron intends to proactively participate in those studies.

New functions can be added to the V750 reader/writer by updating or supplementing its firmware. Secure RFID Protocol will be separated from the standard functions provided by the current product, and will be offered as an option to be added upon request. The protocol will be ready for the Japanese version of the V750 reader/writer in July 2008; other versions will be provided based on the protocol’s popularity in other countries.

The Secure RFID Protocol-ready V750 reader/writer can be seen at the Hitachi Group and Nissei Limited booths (West 10-53 and West 13-11, respectively) at the 3rd RFID Solutions Expo (RIDEX), being held at Tokyo Big Sight from May 14-16, 2008.

Yo Nakajima, General Manager of Hitachi’s Security Smart ID Solutions Division, offered the following remarks on the V750 reader/writer: “Hitachi welcomes the start of sales of interrogators that support the Secure RFID Protocol. The protocol has been developed with partners aiming to realize functions that fulfill needs for UHF IC tags in Japanese industry. We believe this protocol will expand worldwide and become the optimal UHF IC tag air protocol in the distribution and logistics area. We are expecting full-scale diffusion and market expansion of secured IC tags, triggered by sales of Omron’s V750 reader/writer. Hitachi will also keep making efforts to promote the protocol, and by so doing contribute to realizing a securer, safer and more comfortable society with all of our partners.”

About Secure RFID Protocol

Secure RFID Protocol maintains compatibility with the UHF RFID international standard ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type C while featuring the enhanced security technologies/functions described below. These functions can be realized by using Secure RFID Protocol-compliant tags and reader/writers.

Technology Function Explanation
Privacy protection Communication distance control Restricts communication range of tags, and removes restriction as necessary. In a retail situation, for example, this technology protects customers’ purchase information by making it impossible to read tags from outside the store.
Read lock Makes tag data either readable or unreadable. By limiting access to tags through password authentication, for example, the information that is made available at each step of distribution can be controlled.
User data protection User memory area password lock Divides the user area into blocks, and makes each block readable (or not) and writable (or not) individually with password authentication. This function can hide each user’s information and prevents concealment/falsification even in an open environment extended over a number of users.

 

About the V750 Reader/Writer

Omron’s V750 reader/writer is an EPCglobal Class1 Generation2 (later ratified as ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type C)-compliant, high-powered, fixed-type reader/writer. In addition to high-speed processing, the V750 reader/writer features sophisticated functions that allow deployment in a variety of situations; for example, an auto tuning facility that self-adjusts read parameters according to tag density. The V750 series also has practical functions that can reduce information processing loads and wiring in upstream systems and simplify setup, tuning and operation.

Omron started providing the V750 reader/writer in North America (U.S.A. and Canada) in October 2006, and has since extended sales to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and China.* The V750’s sophisticated functions and performance have made it a favorite among systems integrators and users worldwide. As of April 2008, Omron’s V750 is the only EPCglobal-certified reader/writer made in Japan.

V750 Reader/Writer Main Features

Feature Explanation
Single access High speed reading of individual tags (ideal for item-level tagging).
Multi access and auto tuning Reads all tags in the read range, optimizing the sequence automatically according to the number of tags detected.
External I/O control and self-operation Triggered by external signals, the reader can make simple judgments or control devices without instruction from the host.
Channel monitor Monitors the surrounding radio wave level by channel.
Filtering Enables the reader to communicate exclusively with tags that meet pre-specified conditions.
Power setting by antenna Antenna output can be set individually when multiple antennas are used.
Signal strength measurement Allows the reader to measure the strength of signals received from tags for diagnostic purposes, e.g. to determine if the position or direction of antennas/tags affects readability.

* Product specifications and functions may vary depending on the telecommunications and related laws of the country for which the product is designed.

Reader/Writer

Dimensions: 246(W) x 215(H) x 43.5(D) mm

Antenna

Dimensions: 256(W) x 256(H) x 57(D) mm

About OMRON

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation with US$6.3 billion in annual revenues and more than 33,000 employees in 36 countries. An EPCglobal member, OMRON has been in the RFID business for over 20 years and offers a wide range of RFID products including inlays and readers for HF (13.56 MHz), UHF (860-960MHz) and other frequencies. For more RFID-related information, write to info@omronrfid.com, visit the dedicated website at www.omronrfid.com or contact OMRON’s regional offices.

Media Inquiries
Sarah Hall (sarah_hall@omron.co.jp)
OMRON Corporate Communications Department
Tel.: +81-3-3436-7202
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