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article imageWorld's smallest and thinnest RFID tag is powder made by Hitachi

By Chris V. Thangham     Oct 31, 2007 in Technology
Hitachi has developed a newer form of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) Tags. Their RFID powder has become the world’s smallest and thinnest RFID tags in the market. The size of this tag measures a measly 0.05 x 0.05 millimeters (0.002 inches)
Previously, Hitachi created the smallest RFID tag in the world made of its special Hitachi mu-chip, a size of 0.4 x 0.4 millimeters (0.016 x 0.016 inches).
Below is an image of the size of the chip in relation to a finger. This enables easy embedding in products and will help anyone with a remote to check inventory and protect against theft because it's so small it's easy to hide in a product.
Hitachi recently miniaturized this chip further by making it a powder that is sixty times smaller than previous RFID chips. Here is how it looks with a hair shown for comparison purposes:
This new RFID powder has 128-bit ROM that can store a unique 38-digit number and include the various stages of the manufacturing process. This is useful for identification of problems and recalls.
Hitachi used semiconductor miniaturization technology and electron beams to write data on chip substrates to achieve the new, smaller sized powder chip.
The previous RFID chips were used to prevent ticket forgery at last year’s Aichi international technology exposition. With the powder version, this can be incorporated into thin paper, like that used in paper currency and gift certificates.
Here is an example used in a gift certificate:
There is another unique version of RFID tag developed by Kodak, a patented digestible RFID tag that is harmless in nature.
The tags are covered by a soft gelatin which takes awhile to digest in the stomach. A patient will then sit next to a radio source and receiver to receive the transmission or reading from the tag. They use this technology to monitor a patient’s digestive tract. The tag stops working when exposed to gastric acid after a specific period of time. Based on the digestion process, doctors can suggest possible medical treatment.
Kodak also has similar radio tags that are embedded in artificial knee or hip joints. When joints began to disintegrate, the radio tags also disintegrate simultaneously, warning the patient and doctors for a replacement.
Some believe RFID tags can be intrusive, but I think, if used wisely like the above examples, it can help immensely.
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