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Kyocera ceramic package can double RFID tag range

Steve Rogerson
May 9, 2017

Japanese electronics company Kyocera has developed a ceramic package that uses a proprietary structure to double the range of the built-in RFID antenna for IoT applications.
The ceramic package uses a multilayer structure with a built-in RFID antenna that can up to double the read range compared with conventional packages of the same size. Starting mass production this month, the product will be available worldwide in three sizes from 6 by 3 by 1.7mm to 15 by 5 by 1.7mm, with an annual sales target of ¥3bn by 2020.
The hope is that the package will help meet rising demand for RFID tags to support IoT applications. As production of IoT devices continues to expand, RFID technology is expected to proliferate into the automotive and medical industries, factory automation and many other industrial fields, with a market expected to total ¥100bn by 2020.
While organic or resin-based material packages will be used for conventional RFID tags in common retail applications, many other applications will require durable RFID packages with higher resistance to harsh environments such as water, heat and chemicals, while still delivering longer read ranges.
In UHF band testing, this ceramic package with embedded RFID antenna provided a read range between 1.5 and two times that of conventional RFID tags of the same size. Even as package size decreased, the low-profile thin multilayer cavity structure continued to outperform the conventional RFID tags of similar outlines.
These RFID packages use a proprietary low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) formulation and a copper conductor metallisation system. The packages take advantage of the low-loss and high-frequency benefits of LTCC, yet deliver the high flexural strength expected from high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC).
With a cavity designed specifically for an IC chip, this package offers protection against mechanical stress and impact, while facilitating ultra-small, low-profile tag design.
In contrast to traditional tags that tend to block RF signals, Kyocera’s ceramic package is designed to increase read range in proximity to metal. This expands RFID feasibility in applications involving metallic products or objects, opening potential uses in automotive, factory automation, healthcare and other fields.
The packages are available in six base configurations – three sizes for both the UHF and HF for ultra-short-distance communications bands. Kyocera offers built-in IC chip arrangement and device assembly, providing RFID tags as finished products, in addition to providing ceramic packages and custom designs.
Kyocera was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other technologies, the company has become a supplier of electronic components, semiconductor packages, industrial ceramics, printers, copiers, solar power generating systems, mobile phones and cutting tools. During the year ended March 2017, net sales totalled ¥1.42tn.