Sun Eyes RFID Centers for Taiwan, Japan

Interest in RFID is particularly keen right now in Asia, where users perceive a number of different roles for the emerging wireless technology, according to a top Sun official.

Sun Microsystems Inc. is now looking to launch radio-frequency identification customer centers in Taiwan, Japan and Europe, now that similar centers are already underway for RFID users in Korea, Singapore and the United States.

Sun chose Dallas as the site of its first RFID center in order to be able to work with Tier 1 distributors for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said Sam Liu, director of RFID product management for Sun.

But outside of the United States, Sun is teaming with partners that have "domain and country expertise," Liu said.

In February, for instance, Sun announced plans to open an RFID lab in Singapore together with Neptune Orient Lines Group. Earlier this month, the vendor rolled out an RFID center in Busan, South Korea, to be operated in conjunction with Busan University.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about Suns RFID test centers.

Sun is also eyeing additional centers for Asia—in Taiwan and Japan—as well as for Europe, Liu said.

But interest in RFID is particularly strong in Asia right now, Liu said. Asians are ascribing a number of different roles to RFID.

Some see RFID as a potential technological differentiator for port cities in Asia, according to Liu. Others seek to develop technology products for export in the RFID category. Meanwhile, many Asian-based manufacturing firms—both within and outside the computer industry—need to use RFID in order to meet the mandates of U.S. retailers.

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