Brazil Launches Home-Grown RFID Chip

BRAZIL - A new RFIS livestock identification chip is the first to be designed in Brazil. The product will be launched by Ceitec S.A., a Brazilian company focused on the development and production of application-specific standard products (ASSPs).
calendar icon 14 December 2009
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The completion of chip production marks a significant landmark in expanding the country’s domestic microelectronics industry. The company now plans to produce the chip at its Porto Alegre FAB.

The initial use of the RFID devices is for cattle identification in Brazil’s thriving agribusiness market, and efforts are under way to expand the technology into all areas of livestock tracking and to other industries that require tracking. The announcement is also a significant step for the country’s economic development, because RFID tags will be sold in global markets.

"Company engineers working in CEITEC’s Porto Alegre design center developed all of the intellectual property for this RFID chip design,” said Eduard R. Weichselbaumer, CEO of CEITEC S.A. “Once production of these designs begins at our manufacturing facility, these chips will reduce the country’s dependence on semiconductor imports and establish opportunities for the country’s top engineers.”

The state of Minas Gerais launched the first field trials of the Chip de Boi RFID device, the final step before production. The RFID devices were applied to 500 cows on the Santa Rita Experimental Farm, a unit of the Agricultural Research Corporation of Minas Gerais. The farm is the first to receive the RFID tags. In all, CEITEC S.A. will test 10,000 RFIDs products on other farms in various regions of Brazil.

The product enables electronic tracking and collection of data on the herd, thus eliminating human error. The chip monitors cattle from birth through slaughter, including vaccinations and health records. Prior to the advent of the Chip de Boi, ranchers had two options for traceability: an optical earring with numbers, or bar codes. The two alternatives offer varying degrees of difficulty and reliability in obtaining the necessary information. Optical earrings require manual dictation of the number, and the process has a high potential for error.

According to Mr Weichselbaumer, CEITEC S.A.’s chip has no such inherent flaws. "Our chip can be read with the cattle moving, and the information goes directly to the farm computer using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or cable,” he said. “There are also readers that store data from chips that can be downloaded to a computer, and portals can be installed in places such as corrals.”

Due to the high degree of reliability, meat traced electronically with the De Boi chip has a higher value in the market and is better able to meet strict health regulations such as those in the European Union. Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Rezende, said the progress CEITEC S.A. has made in establishing IC production is important to the country’s industrial development plans.

“The completion of CEITEC’s first chip design offers proof of Brazil’s ability to produce advanced microelectronics within our borders," Mr Rezende said. “After chip production starts to ramp up in the company’s state-of-the-art semiconductor fab, it will help to fulfill our goal of producing technology locally a more prominent part of our country’s economy.”

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