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CEA-Leti Spinoff Weaves RFID Chips, Raises €15m in Funding

www.eetimes.eu, Nov. 22, 2021 – 

How to create a more transparent textile supply chain? Grenoble, France-based embedded RFID startup Primo1D provides a UHF RFID wire tag in a textile ribbon that is embedded in the garment during the production process. Primo1D has just raised €15 million to move to industrial scale and address high-volume markets.

Primo1D was founded in 2013 as a spinoff of the CEA-Leti research institute. "Connected objects and wearables were already hot topics at this time, and the industry was asking for a smart way to miniaturize and incorporate durable electronic components into textile or plastic materials," Emmanuel Arène, CEO and founder of Primo1D, told EE Times Europe. "CEA-Leti then developed the E-Thread technology, a platform to embed electronics into materials and objects."

The founding team was composed of R&D engineers from CEA-Leti and industrial managers with extensive experience in bringing disruptive technology to market, said Arène.

RFID thread

Primo1D's E-Thread technology is based on the micro-encapsulation of RFID chips.

When asked about its differentiation, Arène said Primo1D is the only company to have a technology to integrate the RFID tag in the form of a yarn, thread or wire tag and to provide a range of customization options.

He added, "The RFID E-Thread yarn is a passive component equipped with a microchip and a micro-antenna, enabling any object, whether an industrial product or consumer good, to be connectable. It is easily embeddable in many kinds of materials, like textile, rubber or plastic, and becomes "invisible", inseparable, and durable. It also has the particularity to be present throughout the life of the host product and is 10x smaller than any other solution. It is a genuine source tagging solution, enabling traceability and authentication of products throughout their entire lifecycle."

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