Our Simple Ambition: Becoming a Key Player in NFC and HF Inlays!

Tageos expands its NFC and HF portfolio with technological innovations, supporting its customers’ demand and aiming for market leadership.

As part of its ongoing commitment to 13.56 MHz technology, Tageos greatly expands its NFC/HF portfolio over the next few years and aims to become a global leader in this space in the medium term.

Thus far, the company has built a comprehensive portfolio by introducing a set of the most common NFC and HF inlays to support existing volume markets.

In the next step, Tageos will broaden its portfolio by offering a wider variety of chip options and other inlay innovations. Leveraging its state-of-the-art R&D equipment, high-quality engineering and antenna design expertise, the company will work closely with its customer base and partner ecosystem to develop custom solutions and co-create further innovations.

NFC portfolio - now and in the future

Tageos’ NFC portfolio to date comprises the EOS-920 and EOS-930 inlays and tags, with two different IC variations (NTAG 213 + EM LINQ). To offer maximum flexibility to customers, these products can also host ICs from other manufacturers.

The EOS-920 NFC inlay is a versatile and small (20 mm diameter), yet high-performing and cost-effective inlay that covers multiple NFC applications in various industries. It enables state-of-the-art solutions for consumer engagement and customer experience, product authentication and diversion protection, as well as many other smart product and packaging applications.

The EOS-930 NFC inlay is a similarly versatile and cost-effective but slightly bigger (30 mm diameter) and higher-performing inlay that covers a similar range of NFC applications. EOS-930 enables tagged products or packaging to provide smartphone-accessible digital content to customers and other stakeholders in the value chain, from manufacturing through point of sale to point of use and recycling.

Looking ahead, Tageos plans to expand its NFC portfolio in two more directions initially, by introducing Tamper and Dual Frequency tags.

A Tamper tag offers brand owners and retailers better security against various attacks on the supply chain – from point of manufacture through distribution, retail and into the consumer’s hands. Tamper tags help combat counterfeiting and grey imports and will tamper-proof products to ensure the integrity of branded goods.

Based around STMicroelectronics’ ICs, Tageos’ Tamper inlays and tags will be the ideal solutions for application areas that require anti-counterfeiting and brand authentication functionalities coupled with product tamper-proofing, such as luxury brand authentication and product packaging protection. That includes retail applications as well as wine & spirits, and industry sectors such as OTC (over the counter) drugs and medications.

Thanks to its Augmented NDEF feature (ANDEF), the ST25TV ICs include a contextual automatic NDEF messaging service, which allows the NFC tamper tag to respond with dynamically generated content when triggered by the end user with a simple “tap”. (NDEF - NFC Data Exchange Format - is the lingua franca for NFC devices and tags). The ST25TV ICs also offer best-in-class RF performance.

As for Tageos’ Dual Frequency offering - these inlays feature two antennas, RAIN RFID (UHF) and NFC (HF) connected to one single IC, which means that a variety of readers (including NFC-enabled smartphones) can be used to access the data stored on the chip. Such inlays combine the advantages of both UHF and NFC technologies: long read range and fast recognition for UHF, plus two-way communication, high encryption, and high security for NFC.

New dual-frequency inlays and tags will be developed based around the EM Microelectronics emIecho-V chips. This cutting-edge technology has enabled Tageos to design a brand-new inlay, which represents a major advance over older inlay designs available on the market, that use two chips with two TIDs instead. With one chip, one TID and one shared process, any gap between the UHF and NFC /HF readings is eliminated, and tag encoding is greatly simplified.

The resulting flexibility means that dual frequency inlays and tags can smoothly and reliably be used in multiple applications, from raw materials management through the entire supply chain to consumer engagement and recycling – in other words, a fully comprehensive product lifecycle management. Specific functionalities supported include loyalty programs, media & advertising, product authentication and luxury brand authentication (NFC); as well as inventory management, supply chain management and retail (UHF).

Key NFC applications for brand owners

NFC creates an ‘on-product’ consumer engagement touchpoint, accessible by any NFC-enabled smartphone. Prior to purchase, shoppers can access product information and promotional offers. Post-purchase, brand owners can engage customers with instructional & educational content, access to loyalty programs, exclusive content, simplified registration & warranty processes, and instant re-ordering.

What’s more, brand owners benefit from NFC’s ability to enhance brand protection in terms of product authentication and diversion detection, and to provide product geolocation data to refine market and consumer insights.

Beyond retail, Tageos will be looking to expand into other NFC markets. Given the number of high potential applications for NFC - the prospects for expansion seem almost endless.

Key NFC ap­plic­a­tions for brand own­ers

Expanding into library & media management with HF inlays

RFID technology is an essential tool in library and media management. In fact, many of those inlays and tags look like thin paper labels already, and some libraries even print their library logo directly on the tags, so they function as property labels as well.

Library book tags are designed to be placed inside books, so the antenna is tuned to avoid the book’s material (book cover and paper) degrading or detuning the signal.

RFID inlays designed for CDs and DVDs are also specially tuned to work with the hard plastic that makes up a DVD or CD. Book tags wouldn’t work well if used on a CD or DVD, and media tags wouldn’t work well on a book because of the detuning effect of the material to which they are fixed.

Expanding into library & media management with HF inlays

To date, Tageos has concentrated on building a product portfolio that supports the legacy market, with its EOS-940 SLIX2 and EOS-970 SLIX2 inlays and tags.

The EOS-940 HF inlay combines excellent performance and extended user memory with exceptional versatility for use in a wide range of applications such as, but not limited to, library and media management.

The EOS-970 HF inlay provides a performance edge in a variety of applications related to library and media management, as well as other applications requiring checkout and check-in of stacked items and EAS (electronic article surveillance).

As the designations of both HF inlays imply, they use the newest member of NXP’s SLIX product family, the ICODE SLIX2 IC. Going forward, Tageos will expand its range to cover library & media management with the introduction of its new EOS-931 SLIX2 and EOS-990 SLIX2 inlays and tags. Both products provide easy checkout, and work well in circulation and sorting scenarios.

EOS-931 SLIX2 is a smaller tag, which fits the plastic hub of a CD, DVD-R or DVD for easy self-checkout and security. If maximum security and enhanced theft prevention is required, EOS-990 SLIX2 is a full disc tag that provides greater read range and maximum security through 36–60-inch gates.

Further developments include products tailored for document and file tracking, for use in managing archives of sensitive or critical documents.

For additional information about Tageos’ current and future range of NFC and HF products please see our online product selector. Should you have specific needs, please contact Shaun Stigall, our Sr. Director Sales & Strategic Accounts NFC/HF.