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THE RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY

THE BASICS OF RFID TECHNOLOGY


RFID is an ADC (automated data collection) technology that uses radio-frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and a movable item to identify, categorize, track...

RFID is fast, reliable, and does not require physical sight or contact between reader/scanner and the tagged item

THE RFID BASICALLY CONSIST OF


ONE OR MORE RF TAGS ONE OR MORE ANTENNAS ONE OR MORE INTERROGATERS ONE OR MORE HOST COMPUTER AN APPLICATION SOFTWARE

RFID system components

RFID Reader

RFID Tag

RF Antenna

Network

Ethernet

Workstation

RFID OPERATION

STEPS OF COMMUNICATION
THE HOST COMPUTER READS AND GIVES THE COMMANDS. THE READER AND THE TAG COMMUNICATES THROUGH RF SIGNAL. THE READER GENERATES A CARRIER SIGNAL ON APPLICATION OF THE HOST. THE CARRIER SIGNAL IS SENT THROUGH THE ANTENNAS. THE CARRIER SIGNAL HITS THE TAG AND THE SIGNAL IS MODIFIED BY THE TAG. THE SIGNAL IS THEN RECEIVED BY THE ANTENNA AND TO THE READER. READER DECODES THE DATA AND SEND TO THE HOST.

RFID System Components


(block diagram)
Antenna Asset/Tag Asset Firmware Tag
Insert

Reader

TCP/IP

Host Application Software

Power

POWER

Customers MIS

API

RFID tags: Smart labels


A paper label with RFID inside

an antenna, printed, etched or stamped ... and a chip attached to it

on a substrate e.g. a plastic foil ...

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RFID tags
Tags can be attached to almost anything:
Items, cases or pallets of products, high value goods vehicles, assets, livestock or personnel

Passive Tags

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Do not require power Draws from Interrogator Field Lower storage capacities (few bits to 1 KB) Shorter read ranges (4 inches to 15 feet) Usually Write-Once-Read-Many/Read-Only tags Cost around 25 cents to few dollars Battery powered Higher storage capacities (512 KB) Longer read range (300 feet) Typically can be re-written by RF Interrogators Cost around 50 to 250 dollars
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Active Tags

RFID TAGS
Variations:
Memory Size (16 bits - 512 kBytes +) Read-Only, Read/Write or WORM Type: EEProm, Antifuse, FeRam Arbitration (Anti-collision) Ability to read/write one or many tags at a time Frequency 125KHz - 5.8 GHz Physical Dimensions Thumbnail to Brick sizes Price ($0.50 to $250)

Tag block diagram


Antenna Power Supply Control Logic (Finite State machine) Memory Cells

Tx Modulator Rx Demodulator

Tag Integrated Circuit (IC)

RFID tag memory


Read-only tags
Tag ID is assigned at the factory during manufacturing

Can never be changed No additional data can be assigned to the tag Write once, read many (WORM) tags
Data written once, e.g., during packing or manufacturing

Tag is locked once data is written Similar to a compact disc or DVD Read/Write
Tag data can be changed over time

Part or all of the data section can be locked


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RFID readers
Reader functions:
Remotely power tags Establish a bidirectional data link Inventory tags, filter results Communicate with networked server(s) Can read 100-300 tags per second

Readers (interrogators) can be at a fixed point such as


Entrance/exit Point of sale

Readers can also be mobile/hand-held

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Antenna fields: Inductive coupling


IC or microprocessor

Transceiver Tag Reader


antenna

RFID Tag

antenna

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Antenna fields: Propagation coupling


IC or microprocessor

Transceiver Tag Reader


antenna

RFID Tag

antenna

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Operational frequencies
Frequency Ranges Typical Max Read Range (Passive Tags) Tag Power Source Data Rate Ability to read near metal or wet surfaces LF 125 KHz
Shortest 1-12

HF 13.56 MHz
Short 2-24 Generally passive tags only, using inductive or capacitive coupling Moderate

UHF 868 - 915 MHz


Medium 1-10

Microwave 2.45 GHz & 5.8 GHz


Longest 1-15

Generally passive tags only, using inductive coupling Slower

Active tags with integral battery or passive tags using capacitive storage, E-field coupling Fast

Active tags with integral battery or passive tags using capacitive storage, E-field coupling Faster

Better Access Control & Security Identifying widgets through manufacturing processes or in harsh environments Ranch animal identification Employee IDs

Moderate

Poor

Worse

Applications

Library books Laundry identification Access Control Employee IDs

supply chain tracking Highway toll Tags

Highway toll Tags Identification of private vehicle fleets in/out of a yard or facility Asset tracking

RFID Summary
Strengths
Advanced technology Easy to use High memory capacity Small size

Weaknesses
Lack of industry and application standards High cost per unit and high RFID system integration costs Weak market understanding of the benefits of RFID technology

Opportunities
Could replace the bar code End-user demand for RFID systems is increasing Huge market potential in many businesses

Threats
Ethical threats concerning privacy life Highly fragmented competitive environment

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RFID APPLICATIONS
PORTAL APPLICATION-BILL OF LOADING MATERIAL TRACKING CONVEYNER/ASSEMBLY LINE SHIPPING VALIDATION

THE HAZMAT LABEL

INTELLIGENT LABEL