Few weeks back I interviewed for a position as Product Manager for BizTalk RFID team. This Wednesday I accepted the offer and I will be starting my new job on 1st of October. J I am really excited about this opportunity. I could not have asked for better opportunity after my MBA. It is a marketing role focusing on worldwide launch of BizTalk RFID Server. Marketing is going to be a new area for me but I think I am ready for the challenge and it would be lot of fun. J I love traveling and I will get to do a lot of it. J
Now I prepare for my graduation on Saturday 8th September. J
I had been talking to the RFID team in Microsoft about a Product Manager position. Finally the interview loops were arranged on 23rd so I flew in on 22nd and went through the interview loop. J If you want to know the results wait for some more posts because lot more happened between the loop and when I got the results. J
Interviews were amazing. I really like the interview process in Microsoft. The key is to enjoy yourself and be yourself. J
Today Motorola bought Symbol technologies. Symbol is the market leader in RFID hardware market. They specialize in fixed and mobile readers. Traditionally they have been very strong players in handheld bar code readers. This deal is a great news for RFID market. RFID market needs bigger players. Who can take advantage of economies of scale and bring in lot more money for innovationâ€¦.
So I think this is turning point in the RFID industry and there will be more big deals and lot of big companies will enter the marketâ€¦ I am waiting for Intermec, Alien, Sirit to be taken over next.. Lets see how that goesâ€¦
Lets now talk about encoding… For more details on this topic you will have to read the actual standards document I will just try to summarize the information here…
EPC encoding for tag is set of bits with variable header followed by various fields. Header can be 2 bits or 8 bits. Following are details on Header field
01 – reserved scheme
10 – SGTIN 64
1100 1110 – DOD 64
0000 1000 – SSCC 64
0000 1001 – GLN 64
0000 1010 – GRAI 64
0000 1011 – GIAI 64
0010 1111 – DOD 96
0011 0000 – SGTIN 96
0011 0001 – SSCC 96
0011 0010 – GLN 96
0011 0011 – GRAI 96
0011 0100 – GIAI 96
0011 0101 – GID 96
Following are the breakups of various encodings…
GID 96 Details
Header : 8
General Manager number(G): 28 bits
Object class(C): 24 bits
Serial Number(S): 36 bits
Encoding: Concatenate 0011 0101, G, C, S from most significant to least significant
Decoding: First 8 bits are 0011 0101, next G,C,S based on the table above.
Similarly we can perform encoding and decoding for every identity type.. For more details please read EPC Tag data standard version 1.1 document…
Next we will talk about URI representation for each identity type…
DOD has defined 2 identity types which can be used by its suppliers. Following are the 2 identity types defined by DOD…
1. DoD-64 Identity Type
This type has 64 bits of information stored in it. Following is the breakup of the information
Header: 8 bits -> specifies that the tag data is encoded as a DoD 64-bit tag construct, use binary
number 1100 1110.
Filter : 2 bits -> identifies a pallet, case, or UID item associated with tag, represented in binary
number format using the following values: 00 = pallet, 01=case, 10=UID item, 11=reserved
Government managed id: 30 bits -> Cage code
Serial id: 24bits
2. DoD-96 Identity Type
DOD 96 bit tag has following fields
Header: 8 bits -> specifies that the tag data is encoded as a DoD 96-bit tag construct, use binary 0010 1111.
Filter : 4 bits -> identifies a pallet, case, or UID item associated with tag, represented in binary number format using the following values: 0000 = pallet, 0001=case, 0010=UID item, others=reserved
Government managed id: 48 bits -> Cage code
Serial id: 36bits -> Uniquely identifies up to 236 = 68,719,476,736 tagged items
Next we will look at the Encoding layer…
EPC Tag data standard has been defined to standardise how EPC ids will be used by various organizations around the world. Traditionally in non RFID area this has been done by bodies like UPC. If you go to any store pick up a pack of anything u will find a barcode on it along with a number that is UPC code. Similarly EPC wants to standardize codes in RFID space. Indeed a noble cause. This will help a lot in softwar applications.
EPC or Electronic product code will allow users to identify individual objects. i.e. every coke can can get unique EPC code. EPC Tag data standard framework has been defined in 3 layers. Pure identity layer, Encoding layer and Pysical realization layer…
1. Pure Identity layer : This is independent of the environment where the code is implemented. It is the base indentification model. Example could be SSCC format defined by EAN-UCC
2. Encoding layer: This layer is pure identity layer + additional fields like filer values. One identity can have encoding for bar codes, various tag encoding and URI encodings. Eample is have SSCC into EPC-SSCC 96bit format
3. Physical Realization : This is actualy implementation of the encoding on the physical RFID tag. Having 96 bit encoding written on UHF class 1 RF tag.
Following are the pure Identities
1. GID 96: General Identifier is a new type defined by EPC global. This is composed of General Manager number(org identifier), Object class(type of thing) and Serial number(unique).
2. EAN.UCC System Identity types: These are five EPC identity types derived from EAN.UCC System family of product codes
2.a SGTIN(Serialized Global trade item number): This is based on GTIN only serialization has been added to uniquely identify every object. GTIN only identifies the product class. SGTIN consists of Company prefix, Item reference and serial number.
2.b SSCC(Serialized shipping container code. It is used in identifying shipments uniquely. This is already serialized so can be used almost as is only moving some segments of data around. This consists of company prefix and serialize reference.
2.c SGLN(Serialized global location number). GLN is used in identifying a unique location can be a dock door or a warehouse or office space. SGLN adds serialization to GLN. SGLN consists of company prefix, location reference and serial number(not to be used until finalized by EAN.UCC).
2.d GRAI (Global returnable asset identifier). This is used to identify individual assets. Therefore can be used as is. It consists of company prefix, Asset type and serial number.
2.e GIAI(Global individual asset identfier). This is also unique so can be used as is. It consists of company prefix and individual asset reference.
3. DOD Identity types….. To be continued….
For next few weeks I am going to concentrate on EPC global standards for RFID. I will go thru all the ratified standards and provide a brief explanation about them. I will also try to provide some information about new standards EPC Global is working On. So sit back and enjoy…
Here is the announcement from TI.. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/12-14-2005/0004233726&EDATE=
TI is expanding into HF area. This is a cool thing…. This shows it is not just UFH that is catching up but HF is also becoming popular. I think it makes more sense to have HF for item level taging and also HF is big in Health care sector…:)
Bearing pt released there survey results for healthcare sector and thing seem to be very promising…No one is planing to invest in RFID next year. Majority of investment will be done in 2007. Almost 74 % people said they will spend on RFID and 39% plus expect the spedning to be more than 250000$…
Improved patient safety is the key factor for this spending. Cost and standards could be hurdle in the implementation…
Hopefully this market will also pickup..:)
So finally opensource is entering into RFID space too. This is great news. Look out for this solutions. Maybe usefull for lot of small and medium size business who don’t want to spend lot of money on pricey software…