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FEC MALAYSIA PRESS RELEASE : 2 MARCH 2004

MM Chip Development Progress Towards Founding the Ubiquitous Society Utilizing the MM Chip


Kuala Lumpur, 3rd March 2004 - We would like to brief you on the progress pertaining to the ‘MM Project'. The Malaysian Government last year embarked on the national project named the ‘MM Project' to utilize and realize the potential of the MM Chip. Currently we are doing the evaluation test for the MM Chip, and the Engineering Sample is scheduled to be completed in April. In order to expedite the utilization of the MM Chip, the Malaysian Government has set up the ‘MM Committee' (hereinafter referred to as ‘MMC') in the Prime Minister's Department to ensure smooth execution of this project.

The ‘MM Chip' is the first contactless chip in the world that operates on all frequencies from 13.56MHz to 2.45GHz. The antenna and the chip were designed and developed by a company called FEC, a company that specializes in miniaturized antenna and IC chips. The basic ‘MM Chip' is in the form of a coil-on-chip which operates solely on 2.45GHz. Enhanced communication distance and the ability to respond to other frequencies are made possible by utilizing a booster antenna or an external antenna. The chip can even operate on three different frequencies by using a multi-antenna.

Existing RFID products basically respond to a fixed frequency system, most commonly 13.56MHz or 2.45GHz. Recently several countries are moving towards using UHF band in preparation for ISO18000. Each frequency has its own unique communication features. This affects the environment and management system that uses the frequency and functional gaps can occur. (For example, 13.56MHz is weak in metal and is not suitable for long distance transmission. 2.45GHZ is easily affected by water but is strong in directivity). Therefore, the main challenge in constructing systems utilizing RFID today is the ability to overcome all these problems. The “MM Chip, being multiband, allows the selection of the most suitable frequency on a tag utilized in a particular environment hence ensuring the best outcome.

‘MM Chip' APPLICATION
-Airport Luggage Management System
-Traceability System
-Forgery Protection System
-Mobile phones that utilize the Reader/Writer System, etc.

Example 1: Airport Luggage Tag Experiment

Presently, world-wide experiments are being conducted in Airport Luggage Handling systems using IC Tags. However, different countries use different frequencies for their airports. For example, in Japan it is 13.56MHZ while the United States uses the UHF Band or 2.45GHZ. Placing different readers/writers for each frequency at different locations would cost a tremendous amount of money. The ‘MM Chip', utilizing one antenna for each frequency would allow all types of IC luggage tags readable and rewritable. This would greatly reduce the cost of installation.

Example 2: Traceability

There can be many modes of keeping track of goods along a product chain which include individual products to those packed in cases or palettes. Product chains involve a process that starts from manufacturing to retailing. During the manufacturing process, it is necessary to have a transmission method that can withstand the harsh manufacturing environment (noise, metal effect), while a retail owner needs to manage what is put on the shelves of the store. The owner also needs to manage goods that come by the case or on palettes which has to be done through long distance communication. In order to cope with these situations, a frequency band that goes together with the communication distance and environment must be selected. Utilizing the ‘MM Chip' in these situations will ensure that the tags can function throughout the whole of the process chain.

CHARACTERISTICS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE ‘MM Chip'

1. The first Multiband IC Chip in the world
- Responds to 13.56MHz, 433MHz, UHF Band (868MHz, 915MHz, 950MHz), 2.45GHz
- Capable of responding to frequencies other than those mentioned and presently unregulated by Radio Laws.

2. The first Infrared method of data writing in the world.
- An infrared photo acceptance unit is built-in, to allow reception of infrared rays.

3. The size of the chip is 0.5mm x 0.5mm.
- It is the smallest-class built-in antenna chip in the world, Readable and Writable.

4. Memory capacity: User area is 32 bytes. (Write-once), Fixed ID is 16 bytes.

5. Cost of the chip is below 10 Yen or 10 US cents.

6. Simultaneously developing a Reader/Writer that can fix the gap caused by the medium's resonance point automatically.
- The gap caused by the resonance point is automatically fixed by the Reader/Writer.

The MM Chip sample reader/writer

* Toppan Forms Co., Ltd ( Japan ) who has been cooperating in the MM Project and who has been exploring the RFID business is introducing this chip in their booth at the IC Card World 2004, exposition in Tokyo today.

* We are considering establishing a working relationship with The Auto-ID Labs, Japan , (led by Professor Jun Murai of Keio University , Japan), an organization that has shown considerable interest in the MM Chip. The Auto-ID Labs is one of the international organizations that is laying down the global standardization for RFID.

The Malaysian Government has set up the MMC in the Prime Minister's Department. The MMC is an independent authority to approve and monitor the usage of the internationally competitive MM Chip, locally and abroad comprehensively.

MMC Main Members

Chairman: Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais bin Yatim (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department)

Members: Tan Sri Dr. Zaharudin Hj Idrus (Science Advisor to the Prime Minister) Datuk Dr. Mohamed Arif Nun (CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation) Mr. Abd Rahim Mokti (Principal Secretary, Ministry of Finance) Mr. Kunioki Ichioka (CEO, FEC Inc. Japan, FEC (M) SDN BHD)

MMC will not only support the development of the ‘MM Chip' by constructing the foundation and environment for each application but also move ahead to form the MM Business Development (MBD). The MBD Committee is where public and private sectors discuss and collaborate, at the working level, to prepare the environment and conduct experiments utilizing RFID in the real society.

Terminologies

MM Project:
A project to propel and lead in founding the Ubiquitous Society diffused from Malaysia to the world by utilizing the internationally competitive ‘MM Chip'.

MM Chip: Abbreviation for 'Malaysia Microchip / Multiband Microchip'