Auto-ID technology is a product identification system based on low-cost
smart tags and readers and a unique object identification scheme.
Auto-ID technology will replace the UPC barcode labels in use today
with inexpensive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
With Auto-ID, objects with RFID tags can be identified by computers so
the objects can be tracked and monitored. RFID tags are based on tiny
slivers of silicon and can be embedded into the object (product packaging)
or into the products themselves.
As many products are tracked, the data created will require a new kind
of infrastructure consisting of computing, networking and storage
hardware and software that will help the enterprise make sense of, and
act on the data.
Sun's expertise in developing mission-critical infrastructure software
and its leadership in server, storage and networking hardware makes Sun
ideally suited to deliver the market leading solution to help
enterprises with their Auto-ID deployments. There are four basic
technologies which make up the Auto-ID infrastructure:
- eTags: Electronic Tags, these are very small and inexpensive
multi-frequency RFID tags
- Savant: Savant servers filter and store the EPC data coming from
- ONS: Object Naming System, is a global system for rapidly converting
EPC's into addresses of PML servers
- PML: Physical Mark-up Language, is XML vocabulary for describing the
physical characteristics of manufactured products, used to store
comprehensive data about manufacturers' products
An Auto-ID infrastructure will include products with RFID tags on them,
one or more RFID readers, and one or more Savant servers.
Savants are connected to the RFID readers and act as a data-smoothing
and event-reporting engine which reports only significant product
movement events to either higher level Savants or to other
enterprise applications. A RFID tag is made up of a microchip attached
to an antenna.
When a reader picks up an EPC code, it sends the number to a computer
running a Savant, the distributed software servers that manages data.
The Savant software at the edge of the network -- those attached to
readers -- will smooth data.
Not every tag is read every time, and sometimes a tag is read
incorrectly. By using algorithms, the Savant system is able to correct
these errors. Savant servers filter and store the EPC data coming
from readers. There will be a standard between the Savant and readers,
between Savant and applications that want to access EPC data, and
finally an interface for various filters.
The EPC is matched to the information associated with that item via the
ONS. The system can identify which plant produced the product. This data
can be helpful if a recall of a product were necessary.
Auto-ID technology can be applied to give enterprises an
unprecedented real-time view of their assets and inventories throughout
the supply chain, enabling significant gains in
operational efficiencies. For a list of FAQs on Auto-ID, see:
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