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BRISBANE, Calif., August 7, 2006 - Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) today announced the first network-ready HSS-MUR-300 µ-chip reader tailored to the North American market. The reader is designed to work specifically with the Hitachi µ-chip RFID (radio frequency identification) 2.45 GHz authentication tag.

The new compact reader features Ethernet 10/100 BaseT connectivity supporting static and DHCP IP address assignment, two antenna ports for maximized read coverage and versatility using approved antennas, and digital I/O ports to support triggers. The reader footprint is a small 5.5 by 4.0 by 1.50 inches. The reader has a typical read range of 12 inches with slightly longer read distances in some applications depending on objects being tagged with the Hitachi µ-chip. The product is FCC and Industry of Canada certified for unlicensed operation. The new readers are available directly from the Hitachi America, Security Solutions Group as a key component in its overall RFID solutions offerings.

The µ-chip was designed by Hitachi as an authentication inclusion for high value items susceptible to fraud such as counterfeiting or diversion. The unique security attributes and size of the µ-chip make it ideal for event ticketing or loyalty program cards. Each 0.4mm square µ-chip contains a 128 bit unique identification code that is hard coded into read only memory (ROM) during chip manufacture.

Any attempt to re-code the ID will damage the chip. Hitachi has provisions and systems in place to never release µ-chips with duplicate IDs, thus ensuring each µ-chip’s authenticity.. Additionally, the µ-chip has been adopted in manufacturing as an auto-ID technology for items produced in complex manufacturing environments where bar codes and other RFID technologies employed to improve process automation have proven problematic. The µ-chip inlets (chip attached to external antenna) have proven very durable.

The µ-chip operates at the globally available 2.45GHz radio frequency which is a much higher frequency than typical UHF supply chain RFID applications that use tags which vary in radio frequency depending on individual country radio regulations. The higher µ-chip frequency permits a smaller and simpler tag and antenna design. The chip's external antenna is a straight 52mm x 2mm aluminized plastic strip.

Hitachi America worked with San Jose, Calif.-based WJ Communications to design and produce the finished device.