Based on its recent analysis of the European radio frequency identification integrated circuits (RFID ICs) market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes the Swiss EM Microelectronic with the 2020 European New Product Innovation Award. The company’s Augmented RFID product, em|aura-sense, combines capacitive sensing with passive RFID (RAIN RFID) technology to deliver a significant competitive edge to customers.
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“The capacitive sensor in em|aura-sense is external to the chip and can be mounted as a standalone surface mount device (SMD) component or directly integrated into a traditional RFID inlay. The em|aura-sense does not need batteries or wiring for power, it operates autonomously using energy harvested from the electromagnetic field provided by the RAIN RFID reader,” said Ram Ravi Industry Analyst. “Another unique feature of the em|aura-sense is the decoupling of the antenna and sensor. This allows the product’s communication to be independent of the sensing, removing environmental influence on product performance.”
The company also introduced em|echo-V in 2020, a product designed for retail, consumer engagement, and product authentication. It combines ultra-high frequency (UHF) RAIN RFID, high frequency (HF), and near-field communication (NFC) technologies on a single Integrated Circuit. This allows the chip to be used for short-, medium-, and long-range applications. The dual-frequency IC allows customers to track products along the supply chain and combat counterfeiting. The em|echo-V uses a shared memory that allows a wide array of readers to access its data, from professional RAIN RFID infrastructure to NFC smartphones in every consumer’s pocket.
EM Microelectronic maintains an interactive relationship with customers. As part of the Swatch Group, EM Microelectronic gathers precious feedback on retailer pain points from its parent company. Using NFC, consumers can use their smartphones to learn about a product and its authenticity. This emphasis on customer satisfaction and drive to improve existing product lines has helped EM Microelectronic develop a broad base of elite customers.
“As a pure IC participant, EM Microelectronic focuses on building superior ICs rather than expanding its presence in allied RFID product markets,” noted Ravi. “Its comprehensive capabilities and value-added benefits have attracted top brands such as Avery Dennison, Kathrein Solutions, and HID Global and established the company as a name to reckon with in the RFID IC market.”
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased return on investment (ROI) it gives customers, which, in turn, raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
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About EM Microelectronic
EM Microelectronic, a company of the Swatch Group, designs and manufactures Ultra-low power ICs for small portable devices and green IoT. A leading Swiss innovator, EM has been serving the RFID market for 30 years with passive, active and semi-active ICs covering all frequency ranges: LF, HF, UHF, 2.4 GHz.
EM has pioneered the adoption of UHF RFID in retail, with the first mass deployments in the early 2000’s, paving the way for the emergence of RAIN RFID, and continues to drive new applications with its em|echo and em|aura-sense families.
EM’s product portfolio also includes Bluetooth Low Energy ICs and beacons, sensor fusion co-processors, display drivers and capacitive touch controllers, embedded flash microcontrollers, power management ICs, timing circuits, sensor interface and optoelectronic ICs, as well as display modules.