Rocky100 major improvements: User memory space
Let’s start this topic by saying that the UHF RFID standard was not thought for anything else than identification. The EPC C1G2 was developed to be able to identify items uniquely. Additionally, RFID chips can include memory space for users to store any kind of information they want. This storage is independent from the EPC number so the identification part of the system is not compromised but allows you to implement any data you would like to associate to the tag (i.e.: processes that specific item has gone through in your manufacturing line).
You can find chips with and without user-dedicated storage in the market. Having extra user memory increases the size of the chip, thus making it more expensive. It’s your decision if you really want or need that memory to be available. Examples of chips are:
- Monza 5 – No user-dedicated storage.
- Monza X-Dura2000 – 2Kb of user-dedicated storage.
- Alien Higgs3 – No user-dedicated storage.
When developing our first RFID chip to create battery free RFID tags with external devices, we simplified the product to the maximum. As discussed in previous lines, the most important thing was to create a chip with an output power that was able to power up external devices while keeping the sensitivity of the chip as high as possible.
The ANDY100 never included user memory. Indeed, it uses user memory addresses to trigger SPI commands but this works just as a bridge from the RFID reader to the SPI for communication with the external devices. There’s no physical memory in those user memory addresses.
The market was impressed by the fact that you can develop battery free sensors and actuators that work up to two meters read range without batteries on the sensors at all. However, the market being demanding as it is – and needs to be, we’re happy to work in new features and products to optimize solutions for end users – soon started requesting access to user memory for low amounts of data.
The new Rocky100 chip includes up to 1,008-bit of non-volatile user data. These are specific addressed in the user memory and accessing these does not require any custom command.
The Rocky100 still includes a bridge to the SPI line and works very similarly to how it worked in the ANDY100: a read or write command to a specific user memory address will trigger a specific command over the SPI line to reach the external device.
Again, no custom commands are required for triggering commands through the SPI line. All commands are EPC C1G2 so that any UHF RFID reader in the market can work with Rocky100 based tags.
The new Rocky100 chip comes with 1,008 bits for user storage completely available for you to store any data you want to associate to that specific chip or tag.