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Submitted By: Saurabh Gupta UE 6557 ECE 7th Semester
List of Images
Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. 1: An RFID System 2: An RFID Tag 3: An RFID Tag 4: An Active Tag 5: A Passive Tag 6: The EPC Code 7: RFID Interrogators 8: The Working of an RFID System 9: Tag on a Cloth 10: Tag used for Animal Identification 11: Tag used as a Human Implant 12: Protest against RFID
List of Tables
Table 1: Active Tag vs. Passive Tag Table 2: RFID vs. Bar Code
List of Abbreviations
RFID CONUS RF DSRC IRID EPC LFID HFID UHFID IC CASPIAN ICAO BEL IEEE Radio Frequency Identification Continental United States Radio Frequency Dedicated Short Range Communication Infra Red Frequency Identification Electronic Product Code Low Frequency Identification High Frequency Identification Ultra High Frequency Identification Integrated Circuits Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering International Civil Aviation Organization Bharat Electronics Limited Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers
History………………………………………………………………………………………I Introduction to RFID…………………………………………………………..II Components of RFID Technology………………………………..……III RFID Tags……………………………………………………………………………….IV Types of RFID Tags…………………………………………………………….…V The EPC Code………………………………………………………………………..VII Interrogators…..…………………………………………………………………VIII Antenna Types……………………………………………………………………..…IX How Does It Work? ……………………………………………………………..XI Advantages……………………………………………………………………………XII RFID vs. Bar Code…………………………………………………………….XIII Applications……………………………………………………………………….…XIV Issues in Implementation of RFID Technology………XVIII Initiatives in India on RFID………………………………………..……XX Future Scope……………………………………………………………………..XXI References……………………………………………………………………….XXII
In 1946 Léon Theremin invented an espionage tool for the Soviet Union which retransmitted incident radio waves with audio information. Even though this device was a covert listening device, not an identification tag, it is considered to be a predecessor of RFID technology. RFID’s earliest application was during World War II, where United Kingdom used RFID devices to distinguish returning English airplanes from inbound German ones. RADAR was only able to signal the presence of a plane, not the kind of plane it was. Transponders are still used by most powered aircraft to this day. Another early work exploring RFID is the landmark 1948 paper by Harry Stockman, titled "Communication by Means of Reflected Power" (Proceedings of the IRE, pp 1196–1204, October 1948). Mario Cardullo's U.S. Patent 3,713,148 in 1973 was the first true ancestor of modern RFID; a passive radio transponder with memory. The initial device was passive, powered by the interrogating signal, and was demonstrated in 1971 to the New York Port. A very early demonstration of reflected power RFID Tags, both passive and active, was performed by Steven Depp, Alfred Koelle, and Robert Freyman at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1973. The portable system operated at 915 MHz and used 12-bit Tags. This technique is used by the majority of today's UHFID and microwave RFID Tags. The largest deployment of RFID is the US Department of Defense use of Savi Active Tags on every one of its more than a million shipping containers that travel outside of the Continental United States (CONUS).
Introduction to RFID
RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) is a technology that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency (RF) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal, or a person. It is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data whenever required using devices called RFID Tags or transponders. It is also called Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC).
Fig. 1: An RFID System IRID technology is almost similar to RFID, the main difference being the frequency of operation. In Electromagnetic spectrum, IR frequencies are far higher than freq used for RFID. At IR, path losses are very high, & they can’t penetrate into solid objects, such as boxes to read the tags. Therefore, IRID is more commonly used in imaging applications such as night vision & motion detection.
Tags (Chip + Antenna):
An RFID Tag is an object that can be stuck on or incorporated into a product, animal or a person for the purpose of identification using radio waves.
Interrogators (Antenna + Reader):
Interrogators are used to read the Tags & in certain cases even write on them.
Middleware is the needed interface between the existing company databases & information management software. Middleware provides a range of functions: • Data Filtering • System Monitoring • Multiple Reader Co-ordination
Business Application Software:
It is used to manage & process the collected data.
An RFID Tag is a transponder which receives a radio signal and in response to it, sends out a radio signal. Tag contains an antenna, and a small chip that stores a small amount of data. Tag memory can be factory or field programmed, partition able, and optionally permanently locked. Fig. 2: An RFID Tag To communicate, Tags respond to queries generating signals that must not create interference with the readers, as arriving signals can be very weak and must be differentiated. Besides backscattering, load modulation techniques can be used to manipulate the reader's field. Typically, backscatter is used in the far field, whereas load modulation applies in the near field, within a few wavelengths from the reader. Tags can be attached to almost anything: • pallets or cases of product • vehicles • company assets or personnel • items such as apparel, luggage, laundry • people, livestock, or pets • high value electronics such as computers, TVs, camcorders Fig. 3: An RFID Tag
Types of RFID Tags
RFID Tags are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Animal tracking Tags, inserted beneath the skin, can be as small as a pencil lead in diameter and one-half inch in length. Tags can be screw-shaped to identify trees or wooden items, or credit-card shaped for use in access applications. The anti-theft hard plastic Tags attached to merchandise in stores are RFID Tags. In addition, heavy-duty 5X4X2inch rectangular transponders used to track intermodal containers or heavy machinery, trucks, and railroad cars for maintenance and tracking applications are RFID Tags. There are two basic types of RFID Tags: 1. Active Tags 2. Passive Tags
Active RFID Tags are powered by an internal battery and are typically read/write, i.e., Tag data can be rewritten and/or modified. An Active Tag's memory size varies according to application requirements; some systems operate with up to 1MB of memory. In a typical read/write RFID work-in-process system, a Tag might give a machine a set of instructions, and the machine would then report its performance to the Tag. This encoded data would then become part of the tagged part's history. The battery-supplied power of an Active Tag generally gives it a longer read range. The trade off is greater size, greater cost, and a limited operational life (which may yield a maximum of 10 years, depending upon operating temperatures and battery type).
Passive RFID Tags operate without a separate external power source and obtain operating power generated from the reader. Passive Tags are consequently much lighter than Active Tags, less expensive, and offer a virtually unlimited operational lifetime. The trade off is that they have shorter read ranges than Active Tags and require a higher-powered reader. Read-only Tags are typically passive and are programmed with a unique set of data (usually 32 to 128 bits) that cannot be modified. Readonly Tags most often operate as a license plate into a database, in the same way as linear barcodes reference a database containing modifiable product-specific information.
Active Tag Tag Power Source Tag Battery Required signal strength to Tag Range Multi-Tag reading Data Storage
Internal to Tag
Energy transferred using RF from reader No Very High
Yes Very Low
Up to 100m 1000’s of Tags recognized – up to 100mph Up to 128 Kb or read/ write & search
Up to 3-5m, usually less Few hundred within 3m of reader 128 bytes of read/write
Table 1: Active Tag vs. Passive Tag
The EPC Code
The objective of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) is to provide unique identification of physical objects. The EPC will be used to address and access individual objects from the computer network, much as the Internet Protocol (IP) Address allows computers to identify, organize and communicate with one another.
Fig. 6: The EPC Code Due to the lack of global standards, there was no standard range of the EPC Code. It could range fro a mere 36 bits to 128 bits. But recently a globally standardized standard, named as the EPC Global, has been devised which suggests the standard length of EPC Code of 96 bits. E.G. 613.23000.123456.123456789 (96 bits) • Header – defines data type (8 bits) • EPC Manager manufacturer) (34 bits) – describes originator of EPC (Product
• Object Class - Could describe the product type (20 Bits) • Serial Number – Unique ID for that product item (34 Bits)
An RFID Interrogator (or Reader) is a device that is used to interrogate an RFID Tag. The reader has an antenna that emits radio waves; the Tag responds by sending back its data The reader has two basic components: • A scanning antenna • A transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data Readers can be at a fixed point such as: • Entrance/exit • Point of sale • Warehouse Readers can also be mobile, tethered, hand-held, or wireless.
Fig. 7: RFID Interrogators
The Antennas used for an RFID Tag are affected by the intended application and the frequency of operation. Low-frequency is 30–300 kHz. LFID or LowFID Passive Tags are normally inductively coupled, and because the voltage induced is proportional to frequency, many coil turns are needed to produce enough voltage to operate an integrated circuit. Compact LowFID Tags, like glass-encapsulated Tags used in animal and human identification, use a multilayer coil (3 layers of 100–150 turns each) wrapped around a ferrite core. High frequency is 3-30 MHz. At 13.56 MHz, a HFID or HighFID Tag, using a planar spiral with 5–7 turns over a credit-card-sized form factor can be used to provide ranges of tens of centimeters. These coils are less costly to produce than LF coils, since they can be made using lithographic techniques rather than by wire winding, but two metal layers and an insulator layer are needed to allow for the crossover connection from the outermost layer to the inside of the spiral where the integrated circuit and resonance capacitor are located. Ultrahigh-frequency or UHF is 300 MHz-3 GHz. UHFID and microwave Passive Tags are usually radiatively-coupled to the reader antenna and can employ conventional dipole-like antennas. Only one metal layer is required, reducing cost of manufacturing. Half-wave dipoles (16 cm at 900 MHz) are too big for many applications; for example, Tags embedded in labels must be less than 10 cm (4 inches) in extent. To reduce the length of the antenna, antennas can be bent or meandered, and capacitive tip-loading or bowtie-like broadband structures are also used.
Patch antennas are used to provide service in close proximity to metal surfaces, but a structure with good bandwidth is 3–6 mm thick, and the need to provide a ground layer and ground connection increases cost relative to simpler single-layer structures. HFID and UHFID Tag antennas are usually fabricated from copper or aluminum. Conductive inks have seen some use in Tag antennas but have encountered problems with IC adhesion and environmental stability.
How Does It Work?
Fig. 8: The Working of an RFID System
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 a modulated signal or reflects back the incoming signal depending upon the type of the Tag. Antennas receive the modulated signal & send them to the Reader. Reader decodes the data & results are returned to the host application.
• • • • • • • The read-only Tag code data is 100% secure and can not be changed or duplicated. Very robust Tags that can stand extreme conditions and temperatures Tags are available in a great range of types, sizes and materials No need for physical contact between the data carrier and the communication device. The Tags can be used repeatedly Relatively low maintenance cost No line-of-sight necessary to read/write data. This makes it possible to use Tags in harsh environments and in closed containers/structures. When using bar codes- scanners have to have line of sight to read them An RFID Tag could identify the item (not just its manufacturer and category). Bar codes only provide a manufacturer and product type. They don’t identify unique items Extremely low error rate RFID technology is a labor-saving technology. This translates to cost savings. Using bar code technology costs, on average, 7 cents in human labor to scan a bar code. In addition, labor is required to put each label correctly on each plastic crate holder or panel. Add a cost for label changes and replacements for "non readable" codes. And add another for administrative costs for labels that aren't read properly, which causes inventory errors and non-compliant returns and penalties
RFID vs. Bar Code
Bar Code Technology is the nearest competitor to the RFID Systems. Therefore, here’s an analysis of the two systems in a tabular form:
Forging is difficult
Forging is easy
Scanner not required. No need to Scanner needs to see the bar code bring the Tag near the reader to read it RFID is comparatively fast Can read multiple Tags Relatively expensive as compared to Bar Codes (Reader 1000$, Tag 20 cents a piece) Can be reusable within factory premises Cannot be reused Can read only one Tag at a time
Table 2: RFID vs. Bar Code
RFID Tags are being used in passports issued by many countries, including Malaysia, New Zealand, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, Germany, Portugal, Poland, The United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. Standards for RFID passports are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and are contained in ICAO Document 9303, Part 1, Volumes 1 and 2 (6th edition, 2006). ICAO refers to the ISO 14443 RFID chips in e-passports as "contactless integrated circuits". ICAO standards provide for e-passports to be identifiable by a standard e-passport logo on the front cover.
High-frequency RFID or HFID/HighFID Tags are used in library book or bookstore tracking, jewelry tracking, pallet tracking, building access control, airline baggage tracking, and apparel and pharmaceutical items tracking. Highfrequency Tags are widely used in identification badges, replacing earlier magnetic stripe cards. These badges need only be held within a certain distance of the reader to authenticate the holder. The American Express Blue credit card now includes a HighFID Tag. In Feb 2008, Emirates airline started a trial of RFID baggage tracing at London and Dubai airports.
Fig. 9: Tag on a Cloth
Transportation & Logistics
Logistics & Transportation is a major area of implementation for RFID technology. For example, Yard Management, Shipping & Freight and Distribution Centers are some areas where RFID tracking technology is used. Transportation companies around the world value RFID technology due to its impact on the business value and efficiency.
Implantable RFID Tags or transponders can be used for animal identification. The transponders are more well-known as Passive RFID technology, or simply "Chips" on animals.
An advanced automatic identification technology such as the Auto-ID system based on the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has significant value for inventory systems. Notably, the technology provides an accurate knowledge of the current inventory. In an academic study performed at Wal-Mart, RFID reduced Out-of-Stocks by 30 percent for products selling between 0.1 and 15 units a day. Other benefits of using RFID include the reduction of labor costs, the simplification of business processes, and the reduction of inventory inaccuracies.
Among the many uses of RFID technologies is its deployment in libraries. This technology has slowly begun to replace the traditional barcodes on library items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.). The RFID Tag can contain identifying information, such as a book's title or material type, without having to be pointed to a separate database (but this is rare in North America). The information is read by an RFID reader, which replaces the standard barcode reader commonly found at a library's circulation desk. The RFID Tag found on library materials typically measures 50 mm X 50 mm in North America and 50 mm x 75 mm in
Europe. It may replace or be added to the barcode, offering a different means of inventory management by the staff and self service by the borrowers. It can also act as a security device, taking the place of the more traditional electromagnetic security strip. And not only the books, but also the membership cards could be fitted with an RFID Tag.
Implantable RFID chips designed for animal tagging are now being used in humans. An early experiment with RFID implants was conducted by British professor of cybernetics Kevin Warwick, who implanted a chip in his arm in 1998. Night clubs in Barcelona, Spain and in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, use an implantable chip to identify their VIP customers, who in turn use it to pay for drinks.
Schools & Universities
School authorities in the Japanese city of Osaka are now chipping children's clothing, back packs, and student IDs in a primary school. A school in Doncaster, England is piloting a monitoring system designed to keep tabs on pupils by tracking radio chips in their uniforms. St Charles Sixth Form College in West London, England, started September, 2008, is using an RFID card system to check in and out of the main gate, to both track attendance and prevent unauthorized entrance.
RFID technologies are now also implemented in end-user applications in museums. An example is the custom-designed application "eXsport" at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, California. A
visitor entering the museum receives an RF Tag that can be carried on a card or necklace. The eXspot system enables the visitor to receive information about the exhibit and take photos to be collected at the giftshop. Later they can visit their personal Web page on which specific information such as visit dates, the visited exhibits and the taken photographs can be viewed.
When customers enter a dressing room, the mirror reflects their image and also images of the apparel item being worn by celebrities on an interactive display. A webcam also projects an image of the consumer wearing the item on the website for everyone to see. This creates an interaction between the consumers inside the store and their social network outside the store. The technology in this system is an RFID interrogator antenna in the dressing room and Electronic Product Code RFID Tags on the apparel item.
Passive and Active RFID systems are used in off-road events such as Enduro and Hare and Hounds racing. Riders have a transponder on their person, normally on their arm. When they complete a lap they swipe or touch the receiver which is connected to a computer and log their lap time. The Casimo Group Ltd sells such a system.
Issues in Implementation of RFID Technology
The frequencies used for RFID in the USA are currently incompatible with those of Europe or Japan. Furthermore, no emerging standard has yet become as universal as the barcode.
A primary RFID security concern is the illicit tracking of RFID Tags. Tags which are worldreadable pose a risk to both personal location privacy and corporate/military security. Such concerns have been raised with respect to the United States Department of Defense's recent adoption of RFID Tags for supply chain management. More generally, privacy organizations have expressed concerns in the context of ongoing efforts to embed electronic product code (EPC) RFID Tags in consumer products.
The use of RFID technology has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, co-founders of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering),are two prominent critics of the technology who refer to RFID Tags as "spychips". The two main privacy concerns regarding RFID are: • Since the owner of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of an RFID Tag and the Tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual, it becomes
possible to gather sensitive data about an individual without consent. • If a tagged item is paid for by credit card or in conjunction with use of a loyalty card, then it would be possible to indirectly deduce the identity of the purchaser by reading the globally unique ID of that item (contained in the RFID Tag). Most concerns revolve around the fact that RFID Tags affixed to products remain functional even after the products have been purchased and taken home and thus can be used for surveillance and other purposes unrelated to their supply chain inventory functions.
The Food and Drug Administration in the US has approved the use of RFID chips in humans. Some business establishments have also started to chip customers, such as the Baja Beach nightclub in Barcelona. This has provoked concerns into privacy of individuals as they can potentially be tracked wherever they go by an identifier unique to them. There are concerns this could lead to abuse by an authoritarian government or lead to removal of freedoms. On July 22, 2006, Reuters reported that two hackers, Newitz and Westhues, at a conference in New York City showed that they could clone the RFID signal from a human implanted RFID chip, showing that the chip is not hack-proof as was previously believed.
Initiatives in India on RFID
Member of the Electronic Product
Code (EPC) 1. Setting up a lab to study RFID 2. Working on pilot projects •
Infosys Technologies: RFID consulting on logistics player in
the RFID space.
TCS: Tied up with Hyderabad
University to produce RFID tagged
mark sheets & degrees to deter use of fake degree. •
Patni Computer Systems Lab:
Pilot project for BEL Bangalore, Tags installed on
employee buses. Buses inside the BEL campus were tracked with the aim of gauging employee punctuality. •
The busiest Suburban Rail Transport in the world,
which transports 3.5 million commuters per day, has implemented the use of RFID ticket cards.
The underground subway or metro system
implements RFID ticket coins.
The world will be very different once readers and RFID Tags are everywhere. In an RFID-enhanced future, the benefits would accrue not just to businesses, but also to consumers. Once various limitations like lack of a global standard, security concerns, the cost factor, etc. are overcome and this technology is fully implemented, it can transform the way we live our lives. It has the potential of revolutionizing the way we travel, the way we open the locks of our homes, the way we purchase goods, the way we do business and much more.
• • • • IEEE Spectrum Magazine http://www.wikipedia.org http://www.rfidjournal.com http://www.howstuffworks.com
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