Infineon Enters Fast Growing "Smart Label" Market with my-d, Defines New Paradigm for Cost-Effective Radio Frequency Identification Solutions

Sep 11, 2001 | Market News

Munich, Germany, September 11, 2001 – Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE: IFX), a world leader in integrated circuit identification and security products, today introduced “my-d”, the first chips in the IdentSystem product family. Marking Infineon’s entry into the market for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions compliant with the global standard for Vicinity Cards and Smart Label applications (ISO 15693), the my-d ICs feature flexibility for writing user data to the chip, large memory capacity, and enhanced security features.

The my-d chips have the capability to support a new paradigm in the implementation of RFID systems, which Infineon calls the “Chip Sharing Approach”. The concept uses secure memory sectors on a single chip to enable different stakeholders to handle data that is accessible only in compliance with defined access rules. Because this approach enables manufacturers, logistics service companies and retailers to use my-d for multiple purposes, it dramatically improves the potential economic benefit of the technology.

The Identsystem IC family and the “Chip sharing approach” arises from Infineon’s experience in design and production of high security and large memory capacity smart card ICs. The my-d IC is a 13.56 MHz RF device with a unique ID code and up to 10 Kilobit of secure, writable memory that can be divided into multiple sectors for different users, including sectors protected by cryptographic keys. A my-d chip can be attached to physical goods in a variety of form factors and, when accessed by a standard compliant reader device, the chip memory provides data about that specific object or asset.

In the year 2000, the global market for RFID technology grew to nearly $898 million in supplier revenue, including all hardware, software and services to provide organizations with systems used for asset management, tracking and tracing of goods in logistics supply chains, and security. According to research published in May 2001 by Venture Development Corporation (, RF chips accounted for $76.3 million of this total. Through 2005, total supplier revenue is projected to grow by 24% annually, and revenue for ICs is projected to grow by 34% on a compounded annual basis.

“Infineon’s strategy in entering the RFID market is to provide complete Identsystem solutions, beginning with the chip and extending through the process of system design, supplier coordination and implementation,” said Ingo Susemihl, vice president of the Identsystem IC business unit at Infineon Technologies. “We are confident that we will stand out in the industry both by delivering superior chip level products and by partnering with leading companies in both integration and enterprise software applications.”

Going beyond standards to unlock market potential

The my-d ICs are compliant with ISO/IEC 15693, the international Vicinity Cards and Smart Labels RFID Standard and entirely compatible with the memory and security architecture of Infineon’s contactless proximity products. The standard defines the protocols and interfaces for exchanging data between the identification chip and reader, so that any compliant reader device can be used with a standard chip. This has helped to open the market for vicinity-RFID applications using smart labels, which are a paper-thin, consumable and cost-effective solution for industries that need to quickly and accurately identify, track and manage thousands or even millions of items. Smart labels go beyond the simple bar code identification method by providing all the benefits of RFID technology – including unique identification, more information about a labeled product and the ability to read the information automatically using an RF reader, instead of a visual scanning method.

The my-d extends the power of smart labels by increasing the available memory for user data and by providing methods to set controls and limits on different user’s access to certain data.

Infineon currently offers two chips in the Identsystem IC family to address specific market requirements; a “plain” memory mode (my-d 10P), and an enhanced security “crypto” mode (my-d 10S) with access to memory sectors controlled by up to 14 keys for protected sectors. Each Identsystem IC contains up to 125, 8-byte pages of memory for user data. Authorized system administrators can configure these pages into different size memory sectors, with access controlled by 2 byte access codes. For crypto mode applications, the RF transponder used to read the chip holds sector specific keys. Only an authorized administrator can erase and write data, providing security while allowing user flexibility.

The 10 Kilobit maximum data capacity of my-d is from 5 to 40 times larger than other currently available 13.56 MHz chips. The chip is manufactured using Infineon’s 0.25 micron process technology; so even with the large memory, the chip area is comparable to alternative products. Depending on the label and RF transponder configuration, the operating range of the IC can be up to 70 cm (approximately 2.25 feet) for read and write functions, or up to 120 cm (approximately 4 feet) for, gate configuration systems.

Target Applications, Availability

The my-d adds intelligence about goods to information systems, providing the information required for e-commerce operations and providing all stakeholders in global supply chains with accurate asset visibility data. This makes it particularly well suited for smart label applications in supply chain and logistics management, and in security and control of valuable assets. These applications include RF-based documentation of valuable goods, such as automobiles, and tracking of costly electronics goods from point of manufacture to point of sale. Other applications include electronic article surveillance, such as store security. Because the chips are designed primarily for dedicated use on a single item, the potential market for tracking industrial and consumer goods numbers in many millions of units annually.

The my-d ICs are now available at a unit price starting at U.S. $.30 (30 cents) in low volumes. Production quantities will be available beginning October 2001. The ICs are shipped as thinned wafers (unsawn) and pre-cut inlays on a PET carrier, with aluminum antenna.

Further information on Infineon's Identsystem ICs at

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2000 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.28 billion with about 29,000 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at

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