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Cisco Making RFID Play

Cisco Systems Tuesday unveiled plans to offer integrated RFID capabilities for its switches and routers.

Under the umbrella heading of Intelligent Foundation for Radio Frequency Identification, Cisco introduced a series of new products and services designed to push RFID deployments out to enterprise customers as they aim to gain control over their supply chains.

“The promise of networked RFID and distributed intelligence has led us to design the Cisco RFID solution to give customers what they need to maintain a single, integrated and intelligent RFID network built on open standards that allows interoperability with multiple vendor devices,” said Mohsen Moazami, vice president of retail-consumer products at Cisco, San Jose, Calif., in a statement. Cisco made its announcement at the EPCglobal US Conference 2005, a confab for Electronic Product Code (EPC) and RFID technology being held this week in Atlanta.

On the product front, Cisco is rolling out Application Oriented Network (AON) for RFID, a module that embeds RFID middleware functions into Cisco data center switches and branch office routers. Deployed at the network edge, the technology can provide RFID event capture and filtering. In the data center, it offers data authentication, additional filtering and aggregation, as well as application protocol bridging, according to the statement. Cisco’s AON technology, unveiled in June, aims to better integrate applications with the networks they ride on by reading the messages that flow between applications and basing networking decisions on their content.

The vendor has also added RFID services to its lineup, including network readiness assessments, pilot services and production implementation support. Other new offerings include planning and design services around the vendor’s 2700 Wireless Location Appliance, a product line introduced earlier this year that tracks up to 1,500 Wi-Fi-enabled RFID tags over the WLAN.

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