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May 24th, 2011
Trimble Expands Functionality of ThingMagic Embedded RFID

Trimble announced today the availability of a number of new capabilities for its ThingMagic Mercury6e (M6e), Mercury5e (M5e), and Mercury5e-Compact (M5e-C) embedded UHF RFID reader modules.  Available through a firmware upgrade, the added functionality gives customers an enhanced set of tools to develop more innovative and customized RFID solutions for worldwide deployment. The company also introduced enhancements to its ThingMagic MercuryAPI, the universal application programming interface (API) for all ThingMagic fixed/finished and embedded RFID reader products.

“As RFID solution development continues to expand, it is important that customers can take advantage of innovation that can yield real business value, said Tom Grant, general manager of Trimble’s ThingMagic Division. “Our embedded reader developments put customers in a position to leverage the latest advancements in RFID reader performance and utility, allowing them to bring products to market faster and at a lower development cost.”

Improved Performance

To support a growing number of applications demanding high-performance under diverse operating conditions, this upgrade optimizes several RFID tag read/write operations resulting in an overall performance improvement. Key enhancements include: continuous read capabilities for moving-tag applications where precise tag reading in dense, fast-paced environments is required; BlockWrite operations that significantly reduce the time to write many bytes of data to a tag with a single operation; and enhanced channel hopping resulting in improved read time.

Support for Advanced Tag Features

Further expanding the company’s broad support of RFID tags and advanced tag capabilities, this upgrade adds custom command support for newer RFID tags developed with NXP and Impinj ICs. These custom commands provide additional anti-eavesdropping security and, as offered by NXP, support for a tamper alarm, switch control, and battery status reporting. Additionally, a powerful, unique ‘Write Tag EPC command’ can now be applied selectively or non-selectively to all tags in the field with a single command, reducing the time needed to encode large tag populations. Support for optional Gen2 functions including eXtended PC field and BlockPermaLock capabilities is also available.

Anti-counterfeiting and Data Retrieval Features

The amount of data returned from every tag in the field has been significantly extended in order to defeat counterfeiting of electronic product code (EPC) values and to allow tags to be uniquely identified without having to create unique EPC values for each tag. Already available on the M6e, these capabilities have now been extended to the ThingMagic M5e and M5e-Compact embedded modules.

New API

A new version of the ThingMagic MercuryAPI adds Java support for M6e application development and C-API support for the M5e. With this upgrade, the MercuryAPI now provides universal Java, .NET and “C” support across the entire ThingMagic embedded RFID product line. Offering a significant advantage for solution developers, the MercuryAPI reduces time-to-market by providing customers with a common platform with which to develop highly complementary RFID-enabled solutions based on the company’s broad portfolio of embedded and fixed/finished RFID reader products.

Compliance with New Korean Regulations

This upgrade addresses new regulations for UHF RFID reader operation in Korea by adding full Korean regulation conformance to the M5e. Already available on the M6e, this upgrade expands regional support available on a single M5e product SKU.

Pricing and Availability

The firmware upgrade is expected to be available beginning May 24, 2011. Existing RFID reader module customers with a current support contract can acquire the upgrade at no additional cost. For more information, please contact ThingMagic sales at: sales@thingmagic.com or +1-866-833-4069. International dialers call +1 617-499-4090.

About Trimble’s ThingMagic Division

Trimble’s ThingMagic Division is a leading provider of UHF RFID reader engines, development platforms and design services for a wide range of applications. ThingMagic develops products for demanding high-volume applications and provides consulting and design services to create solutions for challenging applications. ThingMagic’s customers include some of the world’s largest industrial automation firms, manufacturers, automotive companies, retailers, and consumer companies. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the ThingMagic business was founded in 2000 by a group of visionary PhD graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. ThingMagic is “The Engine in RFID™”.

For more information, visit:  www.thingmagic.com.