May 5, 2004
Sun Microsystems on Wednesday opened a facility in Dallas where it will work with product vendors to test Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) compliance and deployment.
RFID, which retailer Wal-Mart is mandating its top 100 suppliers to implement by Jan. 1, 2005 for tracking and inventory control, is a major play for Sun, which has been aggressively marketing its Java-based software as a cornerstone of RFID. The Sun RFID Test Center is designed as a controlled environment to simulate a variety of scenarios within an actual distribution center or warehouse, and allows companies eager to move on RFID to perform full-scale compliance testing and model tag deployments, said Sun before the center's grand opening. The Center includes back-end and RFID equipment -- ranging from tags and readers to wireless infrastructure and warehouse management software -- from Sun and its partners. The latter include ADT Security Services, i2, Nortel, ProdexNet, Texas Instruments, and Venture Research. “Our goal is to provide customers with access to the technology and the systems needed to test their RFID implementations, and to reduce the time and overall cost required for customers to meet these mandates,” Larry Singer, a senior vice president at Sun, said in a statement. The Dallas area is a hot-bed for RFID testing. Last week, the discount retailer began accepting RFID-tagged goods from eight manufacturers at its Sanger, Texas regional distribution center, located approximately 50 miles north of Dallas. The tagged products will be used in a test involving seven Wal-Mart stores in the Dallas metro area.
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