Companies that want to test their RFID (radio frequency identification) solutions will soon have two new sources to help them out. Technology solutions provider Sun Microsystems Inc. is opening two RFID test centers in the coming months with the aim of assisting firms comply with regulatory standards. RFID offers automatic data capture via microchips. The microchips transmit identification information to a reader that converts radio waves returned from an RFID tag into a form that can be passed on to computers. The Dallas-based RFID test center is expected to open during December. There, manufacturers can test their RFID solutions to ensure compliance with Wal-Mart specifications. (Wal-Mart has embarked on a program that will require its top suppliers to use electronic-product-code (EPC) compliant RFID technology. Jan. 1, 2005, marks the first deadline in that move.) Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun says its test center and Wal-Mart's test center are built using the same technology. Sun's European test center is slated to open in Scotland in February 2004. The test centers will be powered by the Solaris Operating System, using Sun Java Enterprise System software. Manufacturers that want to test at the Sun RFID test centers can contact Sun at [email protected].