DataMatrix is a two-dimensional barcode which can store from
1 to about 2,000 characters. The symbol is square and can range
from 0.001 inch per side up to 14 inches per side. As an example
of density, 500 numeric only characters can be encoded in a 1-inch
square using a 24-pin dot matrix printer. The sample shown above
encodes 20 ASCII characters.
DataMatrix is being used to encode product and serial number
information on electrical rating plates; to mark of surgical instruments
in Japan; to identify lenses, circuit boards, and other items
DataMatrix symbols require a 2-D scanner; they cannot be read
using an ordinary linear barcode scanner. A number of scanners
are on the market using both laser and CCD camera technologies.
DataMatrix symbols can be printed using most professional-grade
thermal transfer label printers on the market. The Barcode Software
Center carries several label design and printing programs that
can create DataMatrix symbols; we also have function libraries
for programmers, programs for creating master artwork, and add-in
hardware modules for Hewlett-Packard printers.