A group of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology organizations have announced support for the open-source development of EPCglobal-compliant low-level reader protocol (LLRP) software libraries, which enable EPCglobal UHF Gen 2 communications via the LLRP universal reader-to-network interface.

The initial group comprised of IBM, Impinj, Intermec, OATSystems, Pramari, Reva Systems, and the University of Arkan-sas is calling for contributions from other organizations or individuals to accelerate adoption and create a rich set of tools in C, Java and other popular programming lan-guages. These tools will enable customers to deploy RFID solutions easily and quickly and reduce long-term deployment costs while providing system flexibility to help unlock the business process impact of RFID technology. The group expects that LLRP development will benefit all end-use RFID application segments including transportation, manufacturing and logistics, supply chain management, point-of-sale, security and asset management.

Recently ratified by EPCglobal, the not-for-profit joint venture set up to encourage the worldwide adoption of electronic product code (EPC) technologies, LLRP provides a high-performance, flexible and extensible interface for operating network-connected RFID readers. The use of LLRP allows readers to deliver optimal performance, resulting in rich, accurate, actionable data and events and creates the foundation for technology providers to extend basic capabilities in satisfaction of industry-specific requirements. Businesses wanting to use RFID will benefit from interface standardization because it reduces long-term deployment costs while maintaining system flexibility.

Recognizing the important role that well-defined technology development guidelines and standard interfaces play in widespread RFID adoption, IBM, Impinj, Intermec, OATSystems, Pramari, Reva Systems, and the University of Arkansas have created the LLRP Toolkit, a “one-stop shop” that includes a software library for LLRP programmers. The library is modeled after other successful open-source software developments such as the Berkeley sockets application programming interface (API). The LLRP standard addresses the reader-to-network interface layer, providing a globally available mechanism to fully leverage the Gen 2/ISO 18000-6C standard that has addressed the tag-to-reader air interface layer.

“The support by leading RFID technology providers for LLRP is great news for end users implementing scalable RFID deployments,” said Mike O'Shea, global director of Auto-ID Sensing Technology at Kimberly-Clark. “LLRP facilitates scalable and repeatable RFID supply chain processes and allows end users to take full advantage of advanced RFID reader capabilities while standardizing the common plumbing used to communicate with RFID readers.”

A member of EPCglobal's Reader Operations group, Kimberly-Clark has been active in the development and ratification of LLRP.

For more information, visit www.llrp.org and www.epcglobalinc.org/standards.