GS1‘s EPC Tag Data Standard (TDS) defines the Electronic Product Code (EPC), including its correspondence to GS1 keys and other codes. The TDS specifies data carried on EPC-encoded UHF (RAIN) RFID tags, including the EPC number, user memory data, control information and tag manufacture data. Finding the right product faster is becoming increasingly important in UHF RFID implementations, which require optimized encoding and supplemental automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) information.
Perishable supply chain partners need to pinpoint products with a specific expiry date so they can remove expired products or ship older goods first, while recall operations need to locate products of a specific lot or batch. Such use cases benefit from improved alignment of EPC RFID encodings with the GS1 element strings encoded on GS1 barcodes, particularly with regard to more data-capable 2D barcodes.
TDS 2.0 is a major update, GS1 reports, that caters to these emerging requirements and provides many new features, including new EPC+ schemes to simplify encoding and decoding, and to improve barcode-RFID interoperability; a new date-prioritized SGTIN scheme, known as DSGTIN+; optional encoding of AIDC data after the EPC within the EPC/UII memory bank; various improvements to PC/XPC and TID; updates to packed objects; and user memory support for ISO/IEC 20248.
TDS 2.0 support for the encoding of AIDC data in EPC/UII memory, as an optional alternative to user memory, enables Gen 2 inventory backscatter of AIDC data, satisfying use-case requirements for optimized capture from UHF RFID tags. At the same time, TDS 2.0 continues to support the use of packed objects (added to TDS 1.5 in 2010) to encode AIDC data in user memory.
EPC schemes defined in TDS 1.13 continue to be supported in TDS 2.0. According to GSI, native interoperability with barcoded GS1 element strings and GS1 digital link uniform resource identifiers (URIs) is boosted by users not needing to know the length of the GS1 company prefix for new EPC+ encodings.