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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves.

Types of RFID tags

There are three types in RIFD tags
Passive Semi-passive Active

Passive RFID tags have no internal power supply and have an unlimited life span. The minute electrical current induced in the antenna by the incoming radio frequency signal provides just enough power for the CMOS integrated circuit (IC) in the tag to power up and transmit a response. Non-silicon tags made from polymer semiconductors are currently being developed by several companies globally. Simple laboratory printed polymer tags operating at 13.56 MHz

Semi-passive RFID tags are very similar to passive tags except for the addition of a small battery This battery allows the tag IC to be constantly powered, which removes the need for the aerial to be designed to collect power from the incoming signal. Semi-passive RFID tags are thus faster in response, though less reliable and powerful than active tags.

Active RFID tags have their own internal power source which is used to power any ICs that generate the outgoing signal. Active tags typically have much longer range (approximately 300 feet) and larger memories than passive tags, as well as the ability to store additional information sent by the transceiver. Active tags are typically much more reliable (e.g. fewer errors) than passive tags


An RFID system may consist of several components: tags, tag readers, edge servers, middleware, and application software. RFID quickly gained attention because of its ability to track moving objects. The tag contains a transponder with a digital memory chip that is given a unique electronic product code. The application software on the host processes the data, often employing Physical Markup Language (PML).

Transport payments:
The New York City Subway is conducting a trial during the second half of 2006, utilizing PayPass by MasterCard as fare payment.

Product Tracking:
UHF RFID tags are commonly used commercially in case, pallet, and shipping container tracking, and truck and trailer tracking in shipping yards.

Microwave RFID tags are used in long range access control for vehicles.


There is no global public body that governs the frequencies used for RFID. The frequency used:
Low-frequency (LF: 125 - 134.2 kHz and 140 - 148.5 kHz) high-frequency (HF: 13.56 MHz) Ultra-high-frequency (UHF: 868 MHz-928 MHz)

Tags which are world-readable pose a risk to both personal location privacy and corporate/military security. 9

More sophisticated devices engage in challengeresponse protocols where the tag interacts with the reader. In these protocols, secret tag information is never sent over the insecure communication channel between tag and reader. Such protocols may be based on symmetric or public key cryptography. Standard cryptographic techniques require more resources than are available in most low cost RFID devices.

The use of RFID technology has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates. The main privacy concerns regarding RFID are:
The purchaser of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of the tag or be able to remove it; The tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual; If a tagged item is paid for by credit card ,it would be possible to tie the unique ID of that item to the identity of the purchaser;


RFID and Carriers

RFID is a technology that will revolutionize the supply chain benefiting all parts of the distribution chain, the manufacturer, supplier, shipper, consumer and finally the carrier. RFID impacts the carrier industry on many levels just to name a few.
Asset Management Loading/ Offloading and Load Optimization Route Optimization Virgin Atlantic Air