Seattle-based Impinj has announced the purchase of Intel’s RFID business division, including the rights to sell Intel’s R1000 RFID chips. The chip will be rebranded the Impinj Indy R1000.
The R1000 is used in the handheld RFID readers of a number of manufacturers. Impinj officials have assured these makers that the company does not intend to launch its own handheld device to complement the stationary Impinj Speedway line and compete with other handhelds.
The purchase follows last week’s sale of Impinj’s non-volatile memory intellectual property to Virage for $5.2 million. None of that cash went toward the Intel deal, which was based on Intel receiving an undisclosed equity stake in Impinj.
Currently, Impinj plans to continue the development of RFID projects already on the Intel drawing board, and launch a family of chip products based on the R1000. The new relationship with semiconductor giant Intel will likely provide other opportunities for Impinj based on Intel’s far-ranging contacts.
Some industry experts are hailing the deal as signifying a major market shift.
“As the RFID market matures and new passive UHF applications are enabled, the demand for highly integrated technology like the R1000 is growing,” said Michael Liard, ABI Research RFID and contactless research director, said in a statement. “By choosing Impinj, Intel provides a clear confirmation of Impinj’s leading role in the RFID industry.