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Toppan Printing develops a battery-free display RFID device

Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed an RFID (*1) device that is compliant with the ISO/IEC15693 (*2) communication standard and can display information on an IC chip in text and images without the need for a battery. Sample shipments are scheduled to begin in spring 2013 with use envisaged for applications where text and images such as QR codes on an IC chip need to be displayed for confirmation, such as management of processes or status in factories and hospitals.

This is an RFID device that has a 2.7 inch dot-matrix (*3) electronic paper display and enables the display to be changed without the use of a battery. A battery is not required because information can be read, written and displayed using only the power supply from the reader/writer. Since electronic paper is used for the display section, information displayed remains on the screen without the need for a battery. The method of communication is compliant with ISO/IEC 15693, which is widely used in the field of RFID. Due to the use of a low-power consumption circuit developed by Toppan, it has become possible to operate this device with general reader/writers even though the display is a dot-matrix type, which consumes a lot of power.

This product will be displayed in the Toppan booths at CARTES 2012, which will be held from November 6 to 8, 2012 in Paris, France, and at Messe Nagoya 2012, which will be held from November 7 to 10, 2012 at the Port Messe Nagoya exhibition center in Nagoya, Japan.

Background to development
There are an increasing number of initiatives using smart cards and IC tags to enhance the efficiency of logistics management and improve customer service in the distribution and amusement industries. As an evolution of such applications, there is increasing demand for devices with display functions that allow information on the smart card or IC tag to be confirmed on the spot.
Devices with display functions have existed for some time but most of these products included a battery within the device in order to provide power to change and maintain the information displayed. This presented a challenge because maintenance was needed every time the battery was changed.
In February 2012, Toppan Printing developed a battery-free contactless smart card with a display function that featured a segment type (*4) electronic paper display. This card had similar dimensions and thickness to previous cards but had a system that could display the information in the contactless smart card using only the power supply from the reader/writer.
Toppan has now developed a new battery-free RFID product with a dot-matrix electronic paper display that can display text and images. With this new product, the original electronic paper control and antenna technologies that were created during the development of the battery-free contactless smart card with a segment-type display have been further advanced. With the addition of a newly developed low-power consumption circuit design technology for contactless power supply, it has become possible to drive the display with general reader/writers even though it is a dot-matrix type with high power consumption. This means that use has become possible for numerous reader/writers in a wide range of industries.

Features of the product
- 2.7 inch dot-matrix display
Has a 2.7 inch electronic display. It can display not only text, but also images including QR code.
- Information inside the RFID device can be displayed without using a battery
Because it is driven by the power supply from the contactless reader/writer, there is no need to include a battery in the RFID device and the life of the product does not depend upon the battery life.
- A design with consideration for a high level of compatibility with reader/writers that are widely used
Due to Toppan Printing’s original circuit and antenna design, and firmware development technologies, operation with low-power consumption is possible. Although the display is a dot-matrix type, which consumes a lot of power, it is possible to change the information displayed using most general contactless reader/writers. This means that it is highly compatible with a large number of reader/writers that are used widely.
- Maintenance of display without a battery
The information displayed can be maintained without using a battery because the display section uses dot-matrix electronic paper.

- Product dimensions: Vertical 54.0mm * horizontal 85.6mm * thickness of approximately 5mm
- Display screen: 2.7 inch dot-matrix electronic paper
- Resolution: Vertical 176 dot * horizontal 264 dot
- Display specifications: Text, Images, etc.
- Communication method: Compliant with ISO/IEC 15693
- Power source: Reader/writer power supply

Reference price
Sample shipment price: From 5,000 JPY per unit (will vary depending on quantity)

Future developments
Toppan will push forward with commercialization of this product targeting applications such as process and status management at factories and hospitals and is aiming for sales of approximately 100 million JPY in fiscal 2013.
Toppan Printing will advance development of this ISO/IEC15693 compliant product, such as by improving the efficiency of the contactless power supply and making the device thinner. The company will also enhance the lineup of similar products in anticipation for use in NFC-compatible smartphones, the use of which is expected to increase in the near future. Toppan will market these products as new, general-purpose communication tools.

The collective term for technologies that exchange ID information wirelessly, such as IC tags and smart cards.
*2 ISO/IEC 15693
An international standard for vicinity RFID using the 13.56MHz band.
*3 Dot matrix
A general mode of expression for displaying characters, symbols and images using dots in a 2-dimensional patterned array. It is used in the screens of televisions and mobile phones.
*4 Segment-type
A mode of expression used when displaying numerical values or set patterns. It is used in devices such as digital watches and electronic measuring devices.

* The names of companies, products and services featured in this press release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
* The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.