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Reader and Gateway FAQ

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How can I setup readers or gateways to automatically upgrade their firmware?

You can configure readers and gateways to upgrade automatically using an upgrade configuration metafile stored on your network.  Please see Octane Firmware Upgrade Reference Manual for setup.

Do Impinj readers and gateways come pre-loaded with the software that makes them function or do I need to install software after purchase?

Impinj pre-installs all its readers and gateways with a supported version of Impinj firmware called Octane.  Application software based on ItemSense softwareSpeedway Connect, or an Impinj provided library (e.g. Octane SDK) controls the reader or gateway can be developed to automate the user’s application.

Do readers and gateways function differently based on the region or geography for which they are deployed? 

Readers and gateways operate in frequencies and power levels to comply with different regulations from various telecom regions around the globe.  In accordance with the GS1 EPC Gen2 specification, UHF RFID operates within the 860 to 960 MHz band worldwide. Frequency allocations, maximum allowed transmit power, and reader to tag communication techniques vary by country. For information about how readers and gateways operate worldwide, please see Regulatory status for using RFID in the EPC Gen2 (860 to 960 MHz) band of the UHF spectrum.

What regulatory standards and regions have Impinj readers and gateways been certified for?

The latest, up-to-date list can be found on the Supported Regions and Geographies page.

What industry standards do the readers and gateways comply with? (e.g. GS1, ISO, etc.)

All Impinj fixed readers and gateways comply with the GS1 Low Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) standard for application interfaces, and with relevant industry standards including the ISO/IEC 18000-63 standard and the EPC Radio-Frequency Identity Protocols Generation-2 UHF RFID specification.

What are some examples of how readers and gateways are used?

Are your readers and gateways compatible with all generation 2 RFID tags?

Yes, readers and gateways are compatible with all EPC Generation-2 UHF RFID based tags. In addition to standard Gen 2 RFID tag functionality, readers and gateways firmware can take advantage of special Impinj Monza tag features such as Fast ID for high performance TID reads, Tag Focus for high performance portal applications, and Margin Read to insure tag encoding quality.

What are the read ranges for readers and gateways?

Read range is primarily a function of the reader, the antenna, and tag. A broad range of antennas and tags are available from Impinj and other third parties to enable nearly any use case.  Other factors that can influence tag read range include the transmit power, antenna cable, reader mode, and other readers in the area. See RFID Link Budget Whitepaper.

For example, a Speedway reader paired with a MatchBox antenna and a near-field tag yields a read range of 3.5 cm for very short range use cases. A Speedway paired with a Brickyard antenna and a near-field tag yields a 1 m read range for short range use cases including retail point-of-sale terminals. A Speedway paired with a far-field antenna and a large far-field tag can yield a read range exceeding 10 m.

Impinj gateways feature integrated electronic beam steering that expands the coverage area further. The xArray gateway covers up to 1500 ft^2 (140 m^2), the xSpan up to 1000 ft^2 (93 m^2) and the xPortal gateway up to 700 ft^2 (65m^2).

Do reader and gateways provide enhanced read range capabilities?

Impinj readers and gateways offer industry-leading receive sensitivity and custom reader modes that maximize read range. Also, all gateways’ have a phased array antenna that creates linear polarized beams which obtain superior read range and coverage area over tradition fixed reader antennas.

Which programming languages should I use when developing software applications that communicate with readers and gateways?

The programming language depends on the software or library used. See options in the table below:

ItemSense Software

Octane SDK library

Speedway Connect

LTK Library
ETK Library

Standards REST and Rabbit MQ

Wide variety of languages based on standards

C# .NET,

Java

Standard HTTP Post, TCP/IP socket, serial port

Wide variety of languages based on standards

C, C++, C# .NET, Java

C, C++

On-Reader application example

 

How do readers and gateways communicate with a host computer or server?

Individual readers and gateways are networked together via Ethernet connections. Each one incorporates a 10/100 BASE-T jack. The LLRP protocol is sent to the reader or gateway over a TCP/IP connection. Additionally, SSH and HTTP based communication is used for reader management.

Can I use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with readers and gateways? 

Neither Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are included in reader or gateway hardware. However, an external Wi-Fi bridge adapter can provide wireless LAN connectivity if the use case requires it. See Using a Wi-Fi bridge with Speedway readers and xPortal gateways.

Can I use any Power Supply that meets the electrical specifications to power a reader or gateway?

No, readers and gateways are to be powered ONLY with our Impinj listed/certified power supply. Use of an alternative power supply will invalidate any approval given to the device and may be dangerous. Alternatively, readers and gateways can be power by PoE switches that meet the IEEE 802.3af standard.  For more information on Impinj Power supplies and PoE switches, please see the xArray/xSpan Installation and Operations Guide and the Speedway Revolution Operations and Installations Guide.

What measures does Impinj put in place to prevent outside parties from reading information on RFID tags?

Several measures are available to secure Impinj readers and gateways: IEEE 802.1x for port-based network access control (MD5, PEAP, MSCHAPv2), encryption of inbound LLRP connections, and SNMP version 3 for remote management for readers and gateways.

What is the read accuracy of readers and gateways?

Read accuracy is a function of many factors including tag choice, environment, as well as placement and configuration of the readers. Most of our case studies cite greater than 95% - 99% read accuracy.

Do readers or gateways also support barcode reading?

No, readers and gateways do not currently support barcode reading.

Do readers and gateways provide the necessary environmental protection to operate outdoors or in a hazardous environment?

Readers and gateways are designed to operate in dry temperature-controlled environments. Gateways have an IP 50 rating and Speedway has an IP 52 rating.  Also, the Speedway and gateway’s operating temperature range is -20C to 50C.

Operating in a hazardous environment will require an enclosure that does not interfere with the RF signals. Impinj does not provide any recommendation on specific enclosures at this time.

Besides temperature and moisture, what environmental restrictions should I consider when installing a gateway?

The gateway needs to be installed in a space where the RF signals are not blocked by nearby (within a few feet) metal or lighting.  See xArray/xSpan Deployment Guide for more details.

Can readers and gateways send and receive compressed data? 

No, the LLRP protocol based data communication sent between the host application and the reader can not be compressed.

How does Impinj provide security patches for readers and gateways?

Impinj typically provides any security patch with a new release of firmware which can be loaded on any reader or gateway.

How are readers and gateways monitored for security violations and system health?

All detected exceptions including security and system errors are captured to a syslog which the user has access to. 

What software architectures can I implement using Octane SDK?

Over the years a board range of software architectures have been implemented by software and systems integrators ranging from on-reader applications, desktop applications that communicate with the gateway, middleware applications that communicate between the reader/gateway and enterprise systems, and cloud applications that collect data sent from a reader or gateway.

What type of hardware warranty does Impinj provide for readers and gateways?

Each Impinj reader and gateway carries an initial limited hardware warranty. The limited warranty lasts 1 year from the date of shipment to the buyer. You may purchase an Extended Warranty to extend the limited hardware warranty for one (1) two (2) or 3 (three) years after the expiration of the initial limited hardware warranty. The extended warranty must be purchased 90 days prior to the expiration of the initial limited hardware warranty; it applies to the specific reader only and is not transferable to other readers. Details are available for download at https://support.impinj.com/hc/en-us/articles/214095408-Product-Warranty-Options.


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Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID, delivering information about items to the digital world and enabling the Internet of Things.