Sun Microsystems to Open Wal-Mart-Compliant RFID Center

BENTONVILLE, Ark - Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems, Inc. has announced plans to open an RFID test center in Dallas, where Wal-Mart suppliers can test their RFID solutions to guarantee compliance with the Wal-Mart standard.

"The impact of Wal-Mart's Radio Frequency ID mandate to its suppliers is enormous and will change the way manufacturers and suppliers track inventory," said Jonathan Schwartz, e.v.p. of Sun software. "RFID is a game changer for retailers, manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies, to name just a few of the impacted industries. Sun is committed to providing open, standards-based RFID middleware software that leverages our Sun Java Enterprise System."

Wal-Mart?s Jan. 1, 2005 deadline is the initial phase of the retail giant's plan to implement RFID in its inventory management system storewide. The company will use the Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compliant RFID technology for identifying, tracking, and tracing deliveries and inventory. Because the Wal-Mart test center and the RFID test centers will use the same technology, its suppliers can test their RFID solution first with Sun to ensure compliance with Wal-Mart's RFID specifications.

"Sun's target design point has been aimed at reliable, scalable, manageable, secure systems and is a natural fit for supporting RFID-based systems," said Julie Sarbacker, Sun?s director of the Auto-ID Business Unit. "We've been working with customers to determine the most cost-effective way to help with compliance to Wal-Mart requirements and to provide hands-on access to the technology and systems needed. With this new center we aim to reduce the time and expense suppliers will have to undergo to support Wal-Mart's requirements."

The Sun RFID test center will be open to Wal-Mart suppliers by December 2003. The center will be powered by the Solaris Operating System using Sun Java Enterprise Software and the Sun standards-based implementation of Savant, with additional value around self-healing and provisioning of EPC readers.
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