austriamicrosystems, IDS Microchip to Develop UHF RFID Reader IC

austriamicrosystems (SWX:AMS), a leading global designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs for communications, industrial, medical and automotive applications, and IDS Microchip, a provider of flexible RFID and sensors silicon system solutions, have partnered to develop an innovative UHF RFID reader IC targeted at the portable reader market. These UHF RFID readers would be used to interrogate Gen 2 RFID tags, the latest generation of RFID tag technology, allowing contactless identification of goods or materials in a broad range of applications.

In the joint development, austriamicrosystems and IDS Microchip have collaborated to achieve the low current consumption and low cost bill of materials (BOM) required for the portable reader market. By incorporating time critical portions of the design, the partners have significantly simplified the end product design, such that this IC, with a simple 8-bit microcontroller, can implement a complete Gen 2 RFID reader.

The new solution also enables a low-cost BOM for a complete reader solution, totaling less than €50 in 1k quantities. The integrated IC is based on a current-optimized design and includes an internal power amplifier. The solution offers customers a simplified implementation reducing the specialized RFID knowledge required to design a state-of-the-art UHF RFID reader.

“The UHF RFID market has been limited in growth potential due to the complex and expensive reader solutions available on the market until now. With this new UHF RFID reader solution from austriamicrosystems and IDS, reader vendors have been excited about the time to market and attractive price targets they can now achieve,” said Franz Faschinger, Senior VP and General Manager Business Unit Industry & Medical at austriamicrosystems.

“We are thrilled to be able to support both portable and embedded reader markets with this solution,” said Oluf Alminde, Director of Sales, IDS Microchip. “Leveraging this joint development, the end user should soon enjoy a significant price drop for their UHF reader solutions which in effect would reduce some of the challenges in deployment.”

The new IC will be offered by both companies; austriamicrosystems will offer the part as AS3990, and IDS Microchip will offer the part as IDS-R900G. Both austriamicrosystems and IDS have been working with design partners on innovative end products based on this new device.

The device will be manufactured at austriamicrosystems’ wafer fab in Unterpremstaetten, Austria, and is expected to be released to production in the first quarter 2008. Samples are available now.

About austriamicrosystems
austriamicrosystems is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs, combining more than 25 years of analog design capabilities and system know-how with its own state-of-the-art manufacturing and test facilities. austriamicrosystems leverages its expertise in low power and high accuracy to provide industry-leading customized and standard analog products. Operating worldwide with more than 1,000 employees, austriamicrosystems focuses on the areas of power management, sensors & sensor interfaces, portable audio and car access in its markets Communications, Industry & Medical and Automotive, complemented by its Full Service Foundry activities. austriamicrosystems is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ticker symbol: AMS).

About IDS Microchip
IDS Microchip is leading the development and integration of RFID-based solutions. As the leading fabless company specialized in wireless and sensor enabled integrated circuits and IPs with particular focus on highly integrated low-power RFID solutions, IDS Microchip is striving ardently to enable clients to get cost effective solutions. Originated in 1996 as an IC design centre, IDS Microchip benefits from its vast creative pool with a large number of IPs and patents and a highly motivated team of creative engineers.