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rfid-technology

 
 

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)  is an extremely powerful and cost effective technology that allows a wide range of objects (including people) to be identified, tracked and managed. RFID technology is based on the use of small radio tags or transponders and readers/encoders for connection to an information system. These radio tags, which contain a unique code together with other additional information that may be specified by the user, can be read by the reader/encoder from a distance without contact or line-of-sight.

The radio tag includes a chip and an integrated antenna as shown below. It can be produced in any shape that suits the chosen application and easily integrated into the item to be identified.

12x12mm

The tag is activated by a radio signal with preset frequency and sends a signal in return. The reader/encoder, which acts as a transceiver, can read and write information on the chip. The read/write radio tag is therefore the smallest client of a client/server information system. A basic setup is shown below.

 

Tags are usually categorised as being read only or read/write devices and are generally classified within two frequency ranges, namely 125kHz (low frequency) and 13.56MHz (high frequency). Tags can be either "passive" (no power needed as power is drawn from the radio frequency) or "active" (contain a small battery to increase operating range). They are available in a wide range of package styles and materials to suit different applications. The most popular being:

  • Small cylinders

  • Plastic ear studs (for animals)

  • Circular pill

  • Paper thin bare tags (for integration into paper brochures, cupboard boxes or library books)

  • ISO card (similar to credit cards), with and without a magnetic stripe

  • Polystyrene and epoxy discs, with diameters from several mm to several cm

  • Injection moulded plastic buttons/casings with reinforce metal frames (for mounting on freight containers, gas cylinders or beer kegs)

RFID technology is extremely versatile and can be applied to a diverse range of commercial and industrial sectors. RFID technology may thus be generally applied to:

  • Identification and tracking.

  • Confirming of ownership.

  • Verification of authenticity.

  • Storing and updating information relating to specific objects or persons.

 
 
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