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Tiny RFID module from Murata

1st July 2008
ES Admin
Murata has developed a tiny RFID module, MAGICSTRAP, that enables product lifecycle tracking using any global frequency whilst minimising the amount RF expertise required to implement an RFID solution.
The manufacturing industry is being asked to manage product lifecycle more precisely and efficiently, in part due to legislation on the disposal of home electronic equipment. Systems for tracking a product throughout its lifecycle focus on reading and writing information such as production process history from an ID in or on the product. Barcodes are the current standard for individual identification of the products, but since they cannot accept new information, RFIDs have come into the spotlight as a technology that can resolve the shortcomings of barcode-based systems.

Murata’s MAGICSTRAP RFID module combines the latest in ceramic materials with a breakthrough in ceramic module and inductive coupling technology to produce a very easy to mount module. MAGICSTRAP, otherwise known as the LXMS31 series, comprises Murata’s LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) substrate, plus RF IC and packaging. Murata’s strengths in multi-layer ceramic technology have allowed the company to embed all the necessary RF circuitry, including antenna filters, matching circuitry and 10kV ESD protection, within the LTCC substrate of the module. The RF IC is then mounted on top. The overall package dimensions are 3.2 by 1.6 by 0.7mm.

The module’s internal circuitry is connected to the antenna pattern via inductive coupling. There are therefore no connection pads on the base of the module, instead the module is simply mounted using ordinary adhesive. Compared to competing products which require micron accuracy when mounting, for MAGICSTRAP, millimeter accuracy is sufficient. Further, MAGICSTRAP exhibits stable performance even when mounted on materials which have a capacitance, like polypropylene.

The module’s embedded wideband antenna matching circuit, plus a single wideband antenna (for which Murata will provide a reference design), allow MAGICSTRAP to be readable over the band 800-1000MHz at a distance of 5m. This means the same module and antenna pattern can be used worldwide (in Europe, the US and Japan), saving cost and inventory for manufacturers.

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