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Sun Announces Wal-Mart Compliant RFID Test Center

Sun to Open a Wal-Mart Compliant RFID Test Center

New Director of Auto-ID Business Unit Claims New Facility Will Speed Supplier Compliance to Wal-Mart Standards

Bentonville, Arkansas, USA. November 5, 2003.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that it will open an RFID test center 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 (RFID) mandate to its suppliers is enormous and will change the way manufacturers and suppliers track inventory," said Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president 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."

The Wal-Mart imposed January 1, 2005 deadline is the first step in the worlds largest retailer's move to implement RFID in its inventory management system store-wide. Wal-Mart will use the Electronic Product Code (EPC) compliant RFID technology for identifying, tracking and tracing deliveries and inventory. Wal-Mart's hundreds of suppliers must take action now to ensure they will remain on the shelves of the retail giant. Because the Wal-Mart Test Center and the RFID Test Centers are built using 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 needed 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 located in Dallas, Texas, and will be open to Wal-Mart's suppliers by December 2003. The Sun RFID Test 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. Customers will also be able to test RFID technology in conjunction with Sun's Java Enterprise Software to smoothly integrate this technology into their existing technology strategy. Sun Services will team with the suppliers to provide the IT consulting expertise, using best practices to ensure that their solution is architected and implemented to maximize return on investment and minimize total cost of ownership in the most timely and efficient way.

For more information on Sun's early involvement with RFID and the RFID Test Center, visit Suppliers who want to start testing in the Sun RFID Test Center should contact Sun at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Resources and Readings"; (2) "Physical Markup Language (PML) Core Specification Version 1.0 for EPC Objects."

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