"The UCODE I2C chip brings together our unparalleled expertise in both RFID and I2C. NXP invented the I2C bus over 30 years ago and is now the world's No. 1 supplier of I2C solutions, as well as the No. 1 supplier of RFID solutions," said Chris Feige, general manager, tagging and authentication product line, NXP Semiconductors. "With UCODE I2C, we're making it possible for manufacturers and retailers to offer a seamless customer experience when it comes to configuring, updating and servicing electronic devices -- wirelessly and remotely -- even when the device is powered down. The pervasiveness of the I2C bus across so many different types of peripherals also means that the UCODE I2C IC has the potential to enable and transform a whole new world of multi-applications."
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, music players and game systems can take advantage of UCODE I2C functionality in a number of different ways. As an anti-theft measure, a pallet of electronic devices moving through supply chain can remain disabled until they have been provisioned remotely through the I2C bus, and each device can be tracked through a unique tag ID (TID). When a consumer purchases an electronic device, the UCODE I2C chip enables the retailer to pre-configure and customize it without opening the box, pre-loading customer account information and eliminating the headache that customers typically face when setting up a new device. In addition, UCODE I2C makes it straightforward for manufacturers or retailers to remotely deliver minor upgrades or enable optional features purchased by the customer. In the event of any problems, UCODE I2C makes it possible to quickly identify the serial number as well as the error logs internal to the device without opening it, resulting in a significant reduction in the time it takes to resolve issues and repair the device as needed.
The UCODE I2C IC features a high memory capacity -- 3,328 bits of EEPROM memory -- which can be used to upload updates to the embedded microprocessor upon power up. The high-performance passive UHF interface includes two independent front-ends, each of which can be enabled or disabled independently, as well as an RF or I2C interface which can also be disabled independently.
Other target applications include RFID data loggers and sensors for products such as perishable foods and pharmaceuticals. By passing sensor information through the I2C bus, the UCODE I2C IC can track, monitor and record information such as temperature, humidity, pressure and shock as the products move through the supply chain. UCODE I2C could be used in other wireless sensor applications such as "smart shelves," by making it easy to monitor and manage electronic shelf displays by updating pricing and discounts dynamically through the I2C interface.
Key features of the NXP UCODE I2C IC include:
- I2C interface for quick data transfer
- Large 3,328-bit user memory offering 20-year data retention and 50,000 cycles of write endurance
- Dual UHF front-end architecture, enabling antennas to support different read-range requirements.
- Best-in-class RF sensitivity
- Up to 160-bit EPC
- 96-bit TID, including 48-bit serial number
- EPCglobal 1.2.0 standard
- Ability to use SDA pin of the I2C port as a digital switch
- Switchable RF ports and I2C interface, depending on privacy needs
- RF to I2C bridge mode for optimized data exchange (handshake)
- SOT1193 package (1.6 x 1.6 mm, 0.5 mm thickness)
The UCODE I2C IC is currently sampling, with volume production scheduled later this year. Further information on UCODE I2C will be available at RFID Journal LIVE! next week in Orlando, Florida, and on the NXP UCODE product information page.
About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (
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