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Tuesday, October 12, 2004may not be available in needed numbers to meet expected demand in the near future.The lengthy production cycle is probably the biggest culprit in the current shortage. It takes about 12 weeks to make the raw silicon, which is then sent to another company that sticks a tiny RFID antenna to it, adding four weeks to the process.Larger manufacturers such as EM Microelectronic, Philips Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments say they're waiting until EPCglobal Inc., the organization overseeing RFID standards called for in the mandates, finalizes the next-generation RFID chip specification.Shortages could drive tag prices up. Today, a tag costs 20 cents to 45 cents or more--a long way from the 5-cent tag many say is needed before RFID is widely adopted.But most agree the RFID shortage will work itself out.It would be just too embarrassing, after all, for a supply-chain problem to get in the way of a technology touted as transforming supply chains.
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