Philips Research, a unit of Netherlands-based Philips Royal Electronics, announced the development of a 13.56 MHz radio frequency identification chip based entirely on plastic electronics. The company said the ability to print electronics directly onto a plastic substrate along with an antenna eliminates the costly assembly steps associated with conventional silicon-chip RFID tags. The lower costs associated with plastic RFID chips also would make them feasible to replace existing barcodes, the company said, adding that the RFID chips could incorporate item-level identification codes, something that barcodes currently lack.