CST Electronics has been re-appointed sole South African distributor for Dallas Semiconductor. Of interest to the South African security industry and end-users of security technology is the fact that Dallas Semiconductor's iButton (see www.iButton.com) is an important building block for automatic information technology-based systems.
Although human-readable labels have been used for ages, it was the advent of computer-readable labels that quickly revolutionised the way grocery stores operate and made possible the overnight delivery of packages. When error-prone - and time consuming - key entry was replaced by bar codes, it became convenient to build large databases to help in making accurate and timely decisions.
In the next step in the evolution of labelling technology, ink-on-paper bar codes have been surpassed by silicon media. With Dallas Semiconductor's automatic information technology, a chip becomes the label that can serve as a standalone data base. Attached to an object or carried by a person, the chip identifies and carries relevant information available instantly with little or no human intervention. People access secure areas with convenience, health care professionals accurately create records, and workers efficiently track items as they travel along the assembly line.
Three distinct limitations of bar codes are overcome by chips:
* Chips hold significantly more information.
* Information on the chip can easily be updated via computer while affixed to their object.
* Cost of access points, that is the communication with computers, is drastically lower because of direct, chip-to-chip digital data transfers.
iButtons, chips housed in a stainless steel MicroCan, are the core of Dallas Semiconductor's Automatic Information product line. The MicroCan serves two purposes: electrical contact and protection of the chip from the environment. Each iButton proves its identity by its unique registration number. The contents of the iButton can be changed while attached to an object. Unlike bar codes, iButtons can be read or written without expensive electro-optical equipment. Packaged in solder-mount packages, Automatic Information products function as Silicon Labels. These devices find applications as rewriteable data carriers in many market segments such as:
* Access control.
* Personal identification.
* Time/attendance control.
* Asset management.
These devices also serve as electronic labels, storing manufacturing history, revision status, and other important information on products to which they are attached.
For details contact Tarsus Technologies on tel: (011) 887 0999 or e-mail: cwolhuter@ cstelectronics.co.za
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