What You Need to Know About Different RFID Systems. Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor RFID Journal

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2 What You Need to Know About Different RFID Systems Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor RFID Journal

3 There are many types of RFID These fit into three broad categories: Active (tags have a power source) Passive (tags have no power source and get their energy from the reader) Battery assisted (tags have a battery for running a sensor and the chip but communicate like passive tags) 3

4 Differences among tag types Active tags have a long reader range (100 m) Passive tags have a short read range and might be disposable Battery-assisted tags have longer read range than passive tags, but shorter than active tags 4

5 Different types of active RFID tags Active tags fall into two categories: Tags that wake up when in range of a reader (think of toll collection systems) Tags that emit a signal every few seconds or minutes (real time location systems) 5

6 Active tags that don t beacon Active 433 MHz based on ISO Active 433 MHz using proprietary air interface Active 900 MHz using proprietary air interface Active 2.45 GHz based on IEEE Active 2.45 GHz based on IEEE's b (Wi-Fi) 6

7 Active tags that beacon (RTLS) ZigBee (2.45 GHZ) IEEE Active (900 MHz) proprietary Wi-Fi (2.45 GHZ) IEEE's b Ultra-wideband UWB (6-8.5 GHz in the US and EU, and GHz in Korea) proprietary Ultra-wideband UWB ( GHz) proprietary 7

8 Different types of passive tags Low frequency tags (125 Khz or 134 Khz) High frequency (13.56 MHz) UHF ( MHz) Ultra-wideband (UWB) 8

9 Battery-assisted tags MHz UHF ( MHz) Microwave (2.45 GHz) 9

10 Active RFID Tags Have a power source Broadcast a signal to a reader Long read range (300 feet or more) Expensive (20 euros and up) Used to track large assets over long distances Require maintenance 10

11 Passive tags Passive tags Have no power source Reflect energy from a reader Shorter read range (1 mm to 20 feet) Less expensive (10 euro cents and up) Used to track smaller assets over short distances Require no maintenance 11

12 Battery-assisted tags Power source runs chip or onboard sensor Reflect energy from a reader Shorter read range Mid-price Used to track goods in the cold chain and for other applications Require some maintenance 12

13 Three Types of Passive Tags Low-frequency (LF) High-frequency (HF) Ultrahigh frequency (UHF) 13

14 Passive LF Tags 125 khz or 134 khz Short read range (1 mm to 10 mm) Works well around water Can be used near metal Used for live-stock tracking 14

15 Passive HF Tags MHz Short read range (less than 3 feet) Works well around water Can be used near metal Well-defined read field Well-established standards For smart cards, access control, tracking 15

16 UHF RFID Tags 860 MHz to 960 MHz Longer read range (up to 20 feet) Doesn t work well around water, metal No defined read field, null spots Emerging standards Used primarily for tracking pallets and cases in the supply chain 16

17 Standards ISO has been establishing RFID hardware standards for 20 years: ISO for contactless smart cards (13.56 MHz) ISO for access control (13.56 MHz) ISO for use in the supply chain (13.56 MHz) ISO for use in the supply chain (UHF) 17

18 Standards EPCglobal An end user-driven standards body developing standards for a complete system EPC UHF air-interface protocol Tag-data standard Data-sharing standards Network standards 18

19 Hybrid RFID tags 433 MHz active tags combined with Infrared 900 MHz active tags combined with IR 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi tags combined with IR 433 MHz active tags combined with GPS 433 MHz active tags combined with GPRS Satellite RFID tags 19

20 How do you choose the right system? Take a step-by-step approach What do you want to track? Make a list Over what distance do you want to track it? From 100s of feet or within a cabinet? What location accuracy is required? Within a room? Within an area of the room? 20

21 Things to Consider Over what distance do I need to track an object? What location accuracy is required? Group objects into buckets based on location accuracy required and read distance

22 Consider other factors What is the asset made of? How large is the asset? How critical is knowledge of asset s location? Do you need to monitor the item s condition? How important is data security? What is the total cost of ownership? 22

23 Consider your environment Is there a lot of water and metal in the environment? Are there a lot of rooms or open spaces? Are there explosive or flammable materials in the environment? Are there extreme temperatures in the environment? Are there other RF devices in the area? 23

24 Mark Roberti Founder and Editor RFID Journal Questions? 24

25 25

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