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Impinj Buys Intel's RFID Operation

The acquisition adds Intel's R1000 reader chip to Impinj's UHF Gen 2 RFID products.
Intel on Thursday said Impinj, a maker of radio-frequency identification technology, has bought the chipmaker's RFID operation. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition adds Intel's R1000 reader chip to Impinj's UHF Gen 2 RFID products. The chip is integrated into devices that read RFID tags attached to products traveling through a supply chain. The processor provides 90% of the components required for a reader radio.

The chip can be used in a variety of readers, including fixed and mobile, across a variety of vertical markets, including supply chain management, asset tracking, authentication and asset control.

"Adding the R1000 reader chip to Impinj's market-leading portfolio of tag chips and fixed-reader products allows us to deliver exceptional price-performance and enable a new category of customers who are developing their own game-changing products based upon Impinj technology," William T. Colleran, president and chief executive of Impinj, said in a statement.

Intel developed the RFID chip within its New Business Initiatives incubator. "Intel's NBI incubator program is practiced at establishing new businesses in emerging markets, and Impinj's acquisition of the RFID operation demonstrates the incubator's ability to create valued businesses in new technology areas," Rich Wykoff, general manager of NBI, said.

Impinj develops RFID technology for both item-level and supply-chain tagging. The products offered by the company include electronic tags, readers, reader chips, software, and antennas. Impinj also provides systems integration.

While Intel did not give a reason for the sale, the U.S. market for RFID technology in such areas as retail and consumer goods hasn't taken off in a way some hoped it would when Wal-Mart issued its RFID mandate several years ago. European retailers, however, have been much more receptive to RFID.

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