October 26, 2007
Hitachi’s RFID Chips (Credit: Hitachi Global)
“The Japanese giant Hitachi has developed the world’s smallest and thinnest Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip. Measuring only 0.15 x 0.15 millimeters in size and 7.5 micrometers thick, the wireless chip is a smaller version of the previous record holder – Hitachi’s 0.4 x 0.4 mm “Micro-Chip”. The company used semiconductor miniaturization and electron beam technology to write data on the chip substrates to achieve this decrease in size. The new chips have a wide range of potential applications from military to transportation, logistics and even consumer electronics.
Nicknamed “Powder” or “Dust”, these chips consist of 128-bit ROM (Read Only Memory) that can store a 38-digit number. …The µ-Chip uses an external antenna to receive radio waves, which can be transformed and wirelessly transmitted as a unique ID number. The data is written during the fabrication process, using ROM, and is therefore non-rewritable, providing a high level of authenticity.
… The company said that the enhanced compactness and thinness of the new chip has further broadened the range of possible applications, including gift certificates that can be authenticated. The new RFID “powder” can also be incorporated into thin paper, such as currency, creating so-called “bugged” money.
Miniature RFID chips may also have advanced military applications such as smartdust. Smartdust is the concept of wireless MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors that can detect anything from light and temperature to vibrations.
…An RFID chip can be used to track the location of unsuspecting individuals who have bought products that include RFID tags in their package. Having miniature cheap RFID chips, such as those developed by Hitachi, implanted inside anything we buy might make many people feel very uncomfortable. However, big businesses believe that consumers’ fears are dwarfed by the benefits of RFID chips, which include reduced theft, digital real time inventory, and better information on consumer shopping habits.
TFOT looked at several RFID related technologies including HP’s Memory Spot Chip, which is some what similar to RFID technology (although there are also some important differences), The RFID Loc8tor that can identify special RFID tags from a distance of up to 183 meters (600 feet), and a new Nanobattery technology developed at the Tel Aviv University, which could power semi-active RFID chips in the future.
…According to the Nikkei website, Hitachi is now planning on developing an even smaller RFID chip using 65-nanometer lithographic technology.”
World’s smallest and thinnest 0.15 x 0.15 mm, 7.5µm thick RFID IC chip
February 6, 2006