A not-for-profit joint venture that includes a handful of RFID technology vendors and academia representatives has been set up to encourage the worldwide adoption of Electronic Product Code technologies.
Specifically, the group is looking for wider adoption of LLRP, or Low-Level Reader Protocol, a standard to help networked RFID (radio-frequency identification) readers interoperate.
The lack of global standards in several areas—including readers, frequencies, EPC look-up protocols—are seen as an impediment to widespread RFID adoption. EPCglobal hopes to alleviate at least the reader issue with the creation of the LLRP group, which EPC recently ratified.
The group includes tech vendors IBM, Impinj, Intermec, OATSystems, Pramari and Reva Systems. Along with the University of Arkansas, the group is calling for contributions from other organizations and individuals to kick-start adoption by creating tools in C, Java and other programming languages to help companies deploy Gen 2 tags and readers using a standard interface.
To enable EPCglobal UHF (Ultra High Frequency) Gen 2 communications via the LLRP universal reader-to-network interface, the RFID technology vendors and the university have joined forces to support the open-source development of EPCglobal-compliant LLRP software libraries.
The tech companies and the university are putting skin in the game through the development of an LLRP Toolkit that includes a software library for LLRP programmers.
The library itself is modeled after other open-source developments that have worked, according to the group, which pointed to the Berkeley sockets application programming interface as an example of a successful open-source development model.
The LLRP standard takes on the reader-to-network interface layer by providing a mechanism that addresses not only EPCglobals Gen 2 standard for tags and readers, but also the ISO 18000-6C standard that also speaks to the tag-to-read air interface layer.
LLRP is a standard, put forth by EPCglobal, for operating networked RFID readers. The downloadable software libraries will be available from www.llrp.org in the third quarter.
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