Printed Electronics Now Interview: Amir Khoshniyati of Identiv
August 23, 2023
We are syndicating the original article from Printed Electronics Now.
By David Savastano, Editor
Editor’s Note: The use of RFID, NFC and BLE in industrial applications is growing significantly, and Identiv is enjoying continuous growth in this field. Amir Khoshniyati, VP and GM for IoT for Identiv, discusses the drivers for this growth as well as some of the recent innovations at Identiv.
Printed Electronics Now: Identiv is enjoying excellent growth, setting a revenue record in 2Q 2023. What have been the keys to Identiv’s growth?
Amir Khoshniyati: We are strategically positioned apart from the market. The market is very focused on commodity UHF and retail apps. We are focused on industrialized-type applications, and we can design and produce specialized products in a short time. We stay away from the mainstream UHF products where our main competitors are looking for high volumes.
We are getting into a lot of value-add apps including Bluetooth (BLE). On the BLE side, we are the largest provider of Wiliot’s tags, producing passive and active tags. We have capabilities for condition monitoring for cold chain monitoring and infrastructure monitoring. These have given us the right focus under IoT.
We are an end-to-end solution company – labeling, encoding and software- we can do all of the management in the cloud as well with our bitse.io platform. We provide the analytics to allow our customers to get into the details of the data. With bitse.io, any serialization we do goes right to the cloud. It has migrated from Excel spreadsheets – you get all of your information from the cloud. There is a lot of value there. Ultimately, we are a global leader as a full solution provider.
Printed Electronics Now: Do you see continued expansion in RFID and NFC, and which markets are seeing the most growth?
Amir Khoshniyati: We are seeing quite a bit of interest in specialized UHF and ruggedized tags. Our customers provide us with numerous requirements; a lot of our competitors aren’t focused on this market because of the need for protoyping. The types of tags we create and embed in products work really well in NFC. We do a lot of work on our R&D side; we can do small ramps up to 100,000 plus in our labs and then take our knowledge into the factory. We solve our challenges in the lab.
Printed Electronics Now: On the RFID side, Identiv recently opened a new plant in Bangkok, which is producing 5 million units a month. Is that your main manufacturing facility now, or is much of this production going to customers in the region?
Amir Khoshniyati: We have manufacturing operations in Singapore, and just opened up our new plant in Thailand. Many of the products we manufacture in Singapore are designed to meet compliance in Singapore, such as pharmaceuticals. Our new Thailand plant supports our growth, and also allows us to be more competitive on the margin side. In addition, having a second manufacturing plant also allows us to be prepared in case of a natural disaster.
Printed Electronics Now: You are in the midst of a huge supply program with Wiliot. What is Identiv producing, and what are these tags being used for?
Amir Khoshniyati: Wiliot provides supply chain monitoring and also condition monitoring working with one of the largest retailers in the US. We get the chips from Wiliot, manufacture the tags, print the barcode or QR code, and deploy it in the field. We are on the right trajectory with their latest capabilities, and it is opening up quite a bit for us in Europe. We have 28 projects currently under proof of concept.
Printed Electronics Now: Are there any new advances that you would like to note?
Amir Khoshniyati: We are making really good advancements with Asygn, ST, Axon and Impinj, adding new capabilities such as traceability and temperature monitoring. We want to be a diversified specialized supplier of NFC tags. We don’t want to be a single-source supplier. This gives us flexibility to work with a wide range customers and applications.
We are very focused on healthcare and smart packaging and specialize in added capabilities – we go a level deeper that identification. With NXP, we are working with higher encrypted tags, such as capacitive sense, for applications like auto-injectors. With Asygn and Axon, we’re creating on-going monitoring. We want to work more efficiently in the cold chain. We are also cutting costs so the brands can take this on. With BLE, we have multiple chip types and offer monitoring capabilities.
Printed Electronics Now: What has been the most interesting RFID/NFC project you have undertaken?
Amir Khoshniyati: I would say definitely within the health care arena, where what we are doing with auto-injectors is making a true difference. The patient has the assurance that the medication is authentic, and their physician knows they are taking it at the right time, which is also relayed to the insurance company. It is taking healthcare to the next level, and you can apply this horizontally to any segment.
We are well positioned with a cross-functional team of IoT experts. Our customer-centric focus helps us ramp prototype to volume of specialized products faster than anyone in the market.