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RFID Basics

RFID Basics

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Published by: Jcn Swamy on Oct 28, 2011
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04/29/2012

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Overview of RFID Technology

by: J C N SWAMY

Introduction
It is unlikely that any technology in the automatic identification and data capture industry has been hyped more than RFID. So what is the truth? What technologies are best suited for which technologies? How to determine which technology is best for me by asking myself three little questions: "How far?", "How fast?”, and "How many?"

What is RFID?
• RFID is an ADC(Advanced digital Communication) 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

What Constitutes an RFID System?

• One or more RF tags • Two or more antennas

• One or more interrogators
• One or more host computers • Appropriate software

Components of an RFID System Host Computer Host Memory Space Antenna Customer-Specific Application Software Application Application Program Program Interface Interface (API) (API) RFID API Software (Communicates with the RFID Reader) Reader .

RFID System Components (block diagram) Antenna Asset/Tag Asset Reader Firmware Tag Insert TCP/IP Host Customer’s MIS Application Software ~ Power API .

APPLICATION INTERROGATOR Decoder RF TAG Tag Physical Memory AIR Application Program Interface Encoder DEVICE COMMANDS APPLICATION COMMANDS APPLICATION RESPONSES DEVICE RESPONSES Logical Memory Command / Response Unit Tag Driver and Mapping Rules INTERFACE COMMANDS Logical Memory Map RESPONSES DATA PROTOCOL PROCESSOR PHYSICAL INTERROGATOR Note: The Logical Memory Map in the Tag Physical Memory is given by the Tag architecture and the mapping rules in the Tag Driver. All the information in the Logical Memory is represented in the Logical Memory Map .

RFID Operation Sequence of Communication • Host Manages Reader(s) and Issues Commands • Reader and tag communicate via RF signal • Carrier signal generated by the reader (upon request from the host application) • Carrier signal sent out through the antennas • Carrier signal hits tag(s) • Tag receives and modifies carrier signal – “sends back” modulated signal (Passive Backscatter . refer to as “field disturbance device”) • Antennas receive the modulated signal and send them to the Reader • Reader decodes the data – Results returned to the host application .

RFID Operations .

The Tags • Tags can be read-only or read-write • Tag memory can be factory or field programmed.000 times . partition able. and optionally permanently locked • Bytes left unlocked can be rewritten over more than 100.

RFID System Basics • Read Only (Factory Programmed) • Programmable • WORM .Write Once. Database Pointer Read Many times • Mission Critical • Reprogrammable Information (Field Programmable) • Portable Database • Read/Write (In-Use Programmable) • Tag ID Only .

TVs. camcorders . luggage. laundry – people. livestock.The Tags Tags can be attached to almost anything: – pallets or cases of product – vehicles – company assets or personnel – items such as apparel. or pets – high value electronics such as computers.

radio & circuitry • High Read Range (300 feet) Passive • Tag reflects radio signal from reader • Reader powered • Shorter Read Range (4 inches .Are All Tags The Same? Basic Types: Active • Tag transmits radio signal • Battery powered memory.15 feet) .

5. Read/Write or WORM • Type: EEProm.50 to $250) .8 GHz – Physical Dimensions • Thumbnail to Brick sizes – Price ($0. FeRam – Anti-collision • Ability to read/write one or many tags at a time – Frequency • 125KHz .512 kBytes +) • Read-Only.Are All Tags The Same? Variations: – Memory • Size (16 bits .

RFID System Basics • How far? • How fast? • How many? • How much? • Attached to and surround by what? .

hand-held.The Readers • Readers (interrogators) can be at a fixed point such as – Entrance/exit – Point of sale – Warehouse • Readers can also be mobile -. or wireless .tethered.

<150 kHz (125 kHz & 134 kHz ) Advantages • Uses normal CMOS processing — basic and applied to various applications • Relative freedom from regulatory limitations • Well suited for applications requiring reading small amounts of data at slow speeds and minimal distances • Penetrates materials well (water. aluminum) . wood. tissue.

steel) • Handles only small amounts of data • Slow read speeds • Large Antennas -.<150 kHz (125 kHz & 134 kHz ) Disadvantages: • Does not penetrate or transmit around metals (iron.compared to higher frequencies • Minimal Range .

56 MHz) is more expensive (than 13.<150 kHz (125 kHz & 134 kHz ) Disadvantages: • Tag construction: is thicker (than 13.56 MHz) more complex .

13. lower costs to build • Higher data rate (than 125 kHz--but slower than higher MHz systems) • Thinner tag construction (than 125 kHz) • Popular Smart Card frequency .56 MHz Advantages • Uses normal CMOS processing--basic and applied for various applications • Well suited for applications requiring reading small amounts of data and minimal distances • Penetrates water/tissue well • Simpler antenna design (fewer turns of the coil).

7 m .56 MHz Disadvantages • Government regulated frequency • • • • Does not penetrate or transmit around metals Large Antennas (compared to higher frequencies) Larger tag size than higher frequencies Tag construction: requires more than one surface to complete a circuit • Reading Range of ≈ 0.13.

B-11 & GTAG) (433. ISO 18185.8.92 MHz ISO 18185) 1000 MHz .4.RFID Primer…Frequencies RFID: Toll Roads Data Terminal Electromagnetic Field Coupling: Lower Range UHF Cell Phone >300 MHz <3 (<1) GHz (862-928 MHz ANSI MH10.

Large amounts of data • Controlled read zone (through antenna directionality) . • Good non-line-of-sight communication (except for conductive. "lossy" materials) • High data rate.>300 MHz <1GHz Advantages • Effective around metals • Best available frequency for distances of >1m • Tag size smaller than 13. Unlicensed 3-5 m.56 MHz • Smaller antennas • Range: licensed to 20-40' with reasonable sized tag (stamp to eraser size).

956 MHz under study in Japan .>300 MHz <1GHz Disadvantages • Does not penetrate water/tissue • Regulatory issues (differences in frequency. power. channels. and duty cycle) • Regulatory issues in Europe (similar band 869 MHz requires frequency agile chip) 950 .

RFID Primer…Frequencies RFID: Item Management EAS Electromagnetic Field Coupling: 2.45 GHz .45 GHz 2.

2.45 GHz Advantages • Tag size smaller than inductive or lower range UHF (1"x 1/4") • Range: greater range than inductive w/o battery • More bandwidth than lower range UHF (more frequencies to hop) • Smaller antennas than lower range UHF or inductive • High data rate .

"lossy" materials) • Can transmit large amounts of data more quickly than lower frequencies • Effective around metals with tuning/design adaptations .45 GHz Advantages • Good non-line-of-sight communication (except for conductive.2.

• Requires non-interfering. etc. 433 MHz. e.g. TV devices. limited number of vendors • Regulatory approvals required .2. "good neighbor" tactics like FHSS • Competitive requirement: single chip--highly technical. 860-930 MHz • Shared spectrum with other technologies-microwave ovens.45 GHz Disadvantages • More susceptible to electronic noise than lower UHF bands.

9 now in FCC review) • Must orient antennas carefully • Range limited (due to scaling issues/wavelengths) • Chip difficult to build • Expensive .RFID Primer…Frequency >5.8 GHz RFID: European Tolls 300 GHz Advantages: • Less congested band/less interference Disadvantages: • Not available in U.S. or many other countries (5.

Scientific.Regulatory Differences • Usage of channel – Primary service – Secondary service • Cannot interfere with primary service • Cannot claim protection of interference from primary service • Can claim protection of interference from other secondary users – Industrial. & Medical (ISM) Bands • Narrowband or Spread Spectrum • Power level • Duty cycle .

56 MHz 433 MHz 860-930 MHz 2450 MHz ISM band. increasing use in other regions. AIAG B-11 (Tires) IEEE 802.How far.S. differing power levels and duty cycle < 1m Low to moderate Moderate collection systems Popular frequency for I. CT. attached to what? 13. how much.11b.C. Cards (Smart Cards) Asset tracking for U.UCC GTAG. differing power levels and duty cycle ISM band. DoD (Pallets) EAN. MH10. how many. differing power levels and duty cycle Non-specific Short Range Devices (SRD). Bluetooth. how fast. AIAG B-11 1 – 100 m 2–5m Moderate to high 1–2m High .8.4 (RTI). Location Systems ISM band (Region 2).

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Applications .

Portal Applications Bill of Lading Material Tracking .

Portal Applications Limited number items at forklift speeds 8’ X 10’ doorways Electronic receipt & dispatch Wrong destination alert Electronic marking Pallet/container item tracking .

Conveyor / Assembly Line Read / Write Operations Higher Accuracy than Bar Code .

Conveyor / Assembly Line Up to 450 fpm 60+ items per container Inexpensive tunnels Longer tunnel more items Electronic receipt Sorting Electronic marking .

Hand Held Application Categories Batch Wireless Fixed Station .

Application Examples Wireless / Batch Inventory Management Where is it? What is it? What is inside the box? Material Handling By Destination Where is it going? Where has it been? Should it be here? Material Handling Aggregate / De-aggregate What have I assembled or disassembled? How many do I have? Do I have enough? Material Handling Inspecting / Maintaining Has this been repaired? Is this under warrantee? Has this been inspected? Is this complete? What is the asset’s status or state? .

Intelligent Labels .

Smart Label     Low power > long range 1024 bit memory Read/write/lock on 8 bits Advanced protocol  Efficient multi-id  Lock data permanently  12 ms/8 byte read  25ms/byte write  Group select  Broadcast write  40 tags/second  Anti-collision .

Draft RFID policy to be completed by 18 September 2003 .To issue final policy in July of 2004 that will require suppliers to put passive RFID tags on selected case/pallet packaging by January of 2005.Application Requirements © Q. Draft policy calls for passive tags (est. Department of Defense . Systems 2003  Wal-Mart .E.D.May. 2003 specification calls for ≈256 bit read/write tag  U. 256 byte) and active tags .Suppliers will mark inbound cases and pallets with RFID .1 January 2005 .S.

Overview                                                           .

Thank You! .

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