Cisco tackles RFID in the network

Cisco tackles RFID in the network

Cisco has announced software and vendor partnerships intended to simplify large RFID deployments by embedding code in Cisco switches and routers.

The overall goal is to help enterprises install and run large numbers of RFID tags and readers, and then manage these as part of their corporate nets.

The elements announced today include:

  • New RFID control and management software, as extensions of Cisco's Application Oriented Network (AON) project
  • A set of consulting services to help customers with various phases of a RFID deployment
  • Several partnerships with third-party software vendors, which are supporting the AON RFID extensions

Cisco made the announcements at the EPCglobal U.S. Conference 2005 in Atlanta, a three-day event that includes seminars and demonstrations on the Electronic Product Code (EPC) and RFID.

The AON extensions add RFID middleware capabilities to Cisco hardware. The software can be loaded on anything from edge switches to data center behemoths. The code collects and filters RFID reads at the edge, and at the data center it filters the data, pulls it together, and creates a bridge to backend applications.

The new package of consulting services includes a readiness assessment of a customer's current net infrastructure and an RFID pilot program.

A key partner for Cisco is ConnecTerra, which provides infrastructure software for RFID and client devices. Also announced were partnerships with Intermec and ThingMagic for active RFID tags, and PanGo Networks for a radio tracking application based on 802.11 wireless LANs.

The Cisco AON for RFID Solution has a U.S. list price of US$16,250. It will ship in October.

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