BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 10, 2002–Blackstone Technology Corporation has announced a revolutionary process for high-speed, reel-to-reel smart label manufacturing that will solve the RFID industry’s critical capacity limitation. The breakthrough process, called SpeedBond(TM), is more than 10 times faster than current methods of attaching RFID chips to antennas. More importantly, it is the first process to allow smart labels to be manufactured in one step, going from silicon chip to unprinted label in the same manufacturing line.
The RFID industry took a major step towards full-scale commercialization when, as reported in the RFID Journal, Gillette announced plans to order 500 million smart tags to mark pallets and cases. As other members of the Auto-ID Center, including Procter and Gamble, International Paper, The Gap, WalMart, Home Depot, Kodak, UPS, and Pfizer, implement RFID systems to create supply-chain efficiencies, the ability to print cost-effective tags and smart labels in large quantities is a critical factor enabling the growth of the industry.
“While other companies have narrowly focused on methods of die taping and die attach, Blackstone’s focus is on reducing cost through the entire RFID smart label manufacturing process,” says Joe Weldon, CEO of Blackstone. “We have applied our experience in high-speed labeling, advanced conductive materials, and electronic interconnect processes to solving the bottleneck in the RFID supply chain caused by slow die population and bonding speeds.”
Blackstone’s SpeedBond(TM) process will replace the slower “pick and place” technology currently utilized by the RFID industry. “No thermal curing is required in the SpeedBond process, virtually eliminating dwell times and allowing utilization of a wide variety of antenna substrates, including papers and synthetics,” according to Dick Estes, Blackstone’s CTO. “It’s much faster and much more flexible.” For purchasers of smart labels, it also eliminates a costly step in the supply chain: the insertion of an RFID tag into an unprinted label.
The new process is not hampered by die size limitations. Die sizes are currently 700 microns by 700 microns, limiting the number of chips on a wafer and increasing costs. The SpeedBond(TM) process can use chip sizes as small as 300 microns by 300 microns. Blackstone’s patent-pending process can use chips from any RFID supplier, including Philips, Matrics, Alien Technology, Infineon and ST Micro.
“Blackstone’s SpeedBond(TM) process is well-suited for a wide variety of antenna configurations and label materials. We designed our process to work with all chips, and comply with all standards,” says Dave Eastin, Blackstone’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We can produce RFID inlets or smart label material with various read ranges, frequencies, and chip capabilities, from encryption to biometrics to read-write. We look forward to serving the needs of system integrators, label printers, contactless smart card manufacturers, and RFID device manufacturers as demand increases.”
Investors also express confidence in both the SpeedBond(TM) process and the explosive growth of the RFID industry. “We see RFID as one of the huge growth areas in technology over the next few years, and the die bonding process is currently a big bottleneck in enabling full-scale commercialization” says Ed Mullen, chairman of Northstar Global Partners, an investment bank with offices in Boston, Munich and Zurich and an early investor in Blackstone. “We like this investment because it solves a major industry problem and stands to win no matter which chip standard is adopted.”
About Blackstone Technology Corporation
Blackstone Technology Corporation is a New England-based start-up company focused on the RFID and Contactless Smart Card industries. Blackstone’s experienced management team includes former executives from Bemis, Fidelity, Digital Equipment Corporation and Polymer Flip Chip who have pioneered advances in bar coding, reel-to-reel die bonding, and antenna technology for the RFID industry. The company has filed a patent for its revolutionary SpeedBond(TM) technology, which increases the manufacturing speed of RFID transponders and smart labels by more than 10 times over current levels.
For additional information, please contact Dave Eastin or Joe Weldon at Blackstone Technology Corporation via phone (508.529.4528) or e-mail ([email protected] ). Or, visit www.blackstone-rfid.com.
CONTACT: Blackstone Technology Corporation
Dave Eastin, 508/529-4528