NEC is to enter the radio frequency identification business this year and is in the final stages of developing its own RFID chip.
The company intends to start offering both the chip and associated software and systems in Japan and overseas sometime between April and September.
NEC's chip, called NetLabel, measures 0.8mm square and includes a built-in antenna, said Yasuhito Jochi, a spokesperson for NEC in Tokyo. NetLabel can store up to 1 kilobit of information.
The first sample from NEC will operate in the Japanese RFID band, which is around 2.5GHz.
The profile of RFID technology has recently been growing in Japan as several companies and organisations announce trials of smart-tag systems. In one in Yokohama, supermarket shoppers can call up data on produce, such as where it was grown and when it was packed, by scanning it on a reader terminal.
The Japanese government is also working with private companies on a number of other trials that include parcel tracking, airport baggage handling and merchandise management.
NEC expects to see group sales of RFID products reach $1.9bn in 2010.
Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service