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New Cloud Tag to utilise ZETA Communication

Socionext, ZiFiSense and Techsor have jointly developed a new IC 'SC1330', designed for ZETag, a next generation Cloud Tag that utilises the ZETA communication protocol.

The SC1330 incorporates a signal processing unit which supports the “Advanced M-FSK” modulation method, next-generation ZETA standard, and digital circuits including RISC-V CPU and various interfaces delivering small size, high functionality, performance and quality. Socionext said that it plans to start volume production of the SC1330 in 2022.

The Advanced M-FSK modulation is a new communication standard developed by ZiFiSense. Its enhanced error tolerance and high radio wave utilisation efficiency, means that it can achieve a communication speed (bps) three times faster than typical LPWA methods at the same sensitivity. At the same communication speed (bps), the sensitivity (dBm) improves up to 5.3dB. It allows communication over a distance of 3km to 5km from an object moving at 120km/h.

ZETag is a new 'Cloud Tag' that utilises this feature for applications that cannot be handled by conventional active RFID tags. One possibility application is to attach the tags to parcel loaded on a transport vehicle and track the parcel by communicating with access points installed at highway interchanges and other locations.

The SC1330 has been developed specifically for ZETag and has achieved the highest level of performance in LPWA communications. The device's sensitivity has been improved by up to 5.3dB at the same transmission rate, when compared with typical LPWA products.

Various external interface functions and signal processing units have been integrated into a single chip solution that measures 4mm x 4mm package. The new IC will not only help to reduce the size and number of components needed for tag products but will also contribute to improve the quality and reliability.

Socionext plans to start volume production of the SC1330 in 2022. ZiFiSense will start to ship ZETag products using SC1330 in the same year.

The company said that it will continue to develop ZETA ICs and is now working on the next IC generation which supports two-way communication.

Neil Tyler

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