Hitachi, Ltd. claimed it has developed the smallest and thinnest RFID IC chip (0.15 mm x 0.15 mm x 7.5 Âµm). The chip is a smaller version of the 0.4 x 0.4 mm “Âµ-Chip”.
Compared to the 0.3 x 0.3 mm, 60Âµm thick IC chip, announced by Hitachi in February 2003, surface area is reduced to a quarter of the original size. Developments in thin chip fabrication technology have also enabled the chip to be reduced to one-eighth the thickness of the 0.3mm IC chip, at the same time. The distance between each circuit element was reduced by using SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) technology, which has an insulating layer in the substrate, instead of the Si (silicon) only substrate currently being used.
The Âµ-Chip is one of the world’s smallest contactless IC chips which uses an external antenna to receive radio waves (2.45 GHz microwaves) and transforms it to energy to wirelessly transmit a 128 bit unique ID number. As the data is written during the fabrication process using ROM (Read-Only-Memory), it is impossible to rewrite the data and thus provides a high level of authenticity.
The admission ticket system for the 2005 World Exposition, held in Aichi, Japan, which had approximately 22,050,000 visitors, employed the Âµ-Chip, has a performance record of no incidence of confirmed forgery and 0.001% incidence of ticket recognition error. By taking advantage of the merits of compactness, high authenticity and contactless communication, and combining it with Internet technology, the Âµ-Chip may be utilized in a broad range of applications such as security, transportation, traceability and logistics.
“Since we would be able to meet large orders, it could be used in thin paper products that are usually printed in large numbers,” said Tomiko Kinoshita, Hitachi research administrator. “The chip could also be used in the wrapping of parcels so they can be tracked down as they are delivered”, she added.