RFID Technology


RFID – What is it?

Acronymn: Radio Frequency Identification Device Holds a small amount of unique data – a serial number or other unique attributes of the item The data can be read from a distance – no contact or even line of sight necessary Enables items to be individually tracked from manufacture to consumption Many uses: Logistics, Military, Pets.


the IFF transponder.RFID History      Technology used in RFID’s was first developed in the 1920’s First used by Soviet’s in 1945 as an espionage tool (passive. was used by the British in WWII to identify airplanes as “friend or foe” A 1948 paper by Harry Stockman first explored the vast potential for RFID technology RFID “systems” did not appear until the 1960’s 3 . covert listening) Similar technology.

RFID System Components  RFID Tag  Transponder  Located on the object  RFID Reader  Transceiver  Can read and write data to Tag  Data Processing Subsystem 4 .

Transponder Consists of microchip (tag) that stores data and antenna  Active transponders have on-tag batteries  Passive transponders obtain all power from the RF interrogation signal of reader  Active and passive only communicate when interrogated by transceiver  5 .

Transceiver Consists of an RF module. and a coupling element to interrogate tags via RF communication  Also have secondary interface to communicate with back-end systems  Reads tags located in an external environment and are obscured from view  6 . a control unit.

Data Processing Subsystem Backend System  Connected via high-speed network  Computers used for business planning (ERP)  Database storage  Can be as simple as a reader attached to a cash register 7 .

Current Uses  RFID’s are currently used for:      Inventory Monitoring  Library book and bookstore tracking  Pallet tracking (Wal-Mart and the Dept.RFID . a feature they call ExpressPay  Exxon Mobile SpeedPassAirline baggage tracking  Cell phones are including RFID tags built in  High-end VIP nightclubs Commercially for truck and trailer tracking in shipping yards Long range access control for vehicles  Entry gates  Electronic toll collection 8 . of Defense) Access Control  Hand Implants  ID badges (Mt. Bachelor ski resort season passes) Payment Systems  The American Express Blue Card.

RFID Implants Before After implant surgery 9 .

(eg. How old is the milk in the fridge?) Sporting events have readers at the start and finish lines Passports 10 .RFID – Potential Future Uses  RFID tags are often envisioned as a replacement for UPC barcodes in the future  Proposed to use RFID for point of sale store checkout to replace the cashier with an automatic system which needs no barcode scanning    Possibility of your refrigerator tracking what groceries you are out of. etc. what has gone bad.

Gallen. tag and reader manufacturers and by MIT. consulting.Auto-ID Center      A non-profit partnership by major software. Keio University and MIT 11 . Cambridge University and Adelaide University All research and solutions publicly available Mission of a global approach to automatic ID of every product Developed standards for tags and readers  Electronic Product Code (EPC) Has since dissolved and transferred work and research to EPCglobal and the Auto-ID Labs at University of St.

RFID’s and EPC Systems Electronic Product Codes (EPC)  A code electronically recorded on an RFID tag   EPC is a 64-bit or 96-bit code  Intended to be an improvement on the UPC barcode system 12 .

13 .

Passive Active RFID Tag Power Source Tag Battery Availability of power Internal to tag Yes Continuous Passive RFID Energy transferred using RF from reader No Only in field of reader Very High Up to 3-5m. usually less Required signal strength Very Low to read tag Range Up to 100 meters Multi-tag reading 1000’s of tags recognized – speeds up to 100 miles/hour.RFID’s .Active vs. Up to 1Mb of read/write with sophisticated search and access Few hundred within 3m of reader 128 bytes of read/write Data Storage 14 .

Active RFID Tags  Battery Powered tags Have much greater range – 100m  Hold much more information – Kbytes  Can integrate sensing technology   Temperature. GPS  Can signal at defined time  Multiple tags can be recorded/read at once  Used for higher value items   Shipping containers Electronic assets   Cost between $20 and $40 per item Life between 2 – 4 years 15 .

Passive RFID Tags  “Traditional” tags used in retail security applications      Tag contains an antenna.80 to $0. and a small chip that stores a small amount of data Tag can be programmed at manufacture or on installation Tag is powered by the high power electromagnetic field generated by the antennas – usually in doorways The field allows the chip/antenna to reflect back an extremely weak signal containing the data Collision Detection – recognition of multiple tags in the read range – is employed to separately read the individual tags  These passive tags form the basis of the AutoID designs. 16 . and.05 in the next 2 years. if manufactured in billions. will come down in price from $0.

vice president at Texas Instruments has stated that “the key to success is finding this right balance between privacy protection and the appropriate use of data. potentially allowing the contents of a home to be scanned at a distance.” 17 .Controversy      Consumer privacy advocates often refer to RFIDs as “spychips” RFIDs can be tracked by anyone with a high-gain antenna. Could be used to track an individual’s movements without their knowledge Information about an individual can be gleaned from an RFID even after its disposal Three main privacy concerns in a retail scenario:    Purchaser of item may not be aware of its presence Tag can be read at a distance without purchaser’s knowledge May be possible to tie RFID ID to purchaser’s credit card and personal information  Julie England.

18  . RFID has the potential to enhance supply-chain efficiency and reduce costs. In general. item-level tagging of consumer goods is unlikely to occur for some years. Although Wal-Mart is currently focusing on case and pallet tagging. real-time inventory data. On the outer packaging of these suppliers placed an EPCglobal sticker next to the RFID tag to notify customers of its existence. there were three products in which the case is also consumer packaging.Case Study: Wal-Mart    By providing accurate.

tags must be removed from packaging before disposal due to recycling disruptions and health regulations  There is limited or no regulation of RFID’s for the most part leading to more controversy  19 .Regulation Currently no global body governing RFID frequency allocation  In Europe.

but problems do still exist  The number of adopters of RFID technology is growing  Regulation and education is necessary to quell some of the fears regarding RFID technology and it’s implications  20 .Conclusion RFID technology is rapidly is becoming more standardized.

rfidjournal.References        http://www.html http://en.com/news/showArticle.jhtml ?articleID=181401622&subSection=Breaking+News http://www.andrew.com/rsalabs/node. do?catg=25&contId=4833 21 .rsasecurity.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.edu/user/cjs/tech.informationweek.asp?id=2115 http://walmartstores.org/wiki/RFID http://www.wikipedia.org/ http://www.com/article/articleview/2178/1/1/ http://www.cmu.rfidanalysis.

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