INTRODUCTION TO RFID. October 2007. RFID Introduction to RFID. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a general term that is used to describe a system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object wirelessly, using radio waves .
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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a general term that is used to describe a system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object wirelessly, using radio waves.
RFID is evolving as a major technology enabler for tracking goods, assets, and vehicles around the world.
Radio Frequency Identification ( RFID ) is one member in the family of Automatic Identification and Data Capture ( AIDC ) technologies and is a fast and reliable means of identifying just about any material object.
RFID is not a new technology, in fact it was first used by the US military during WWII.
EPC global ratified a second-generation standard in December 2004, paving the way for broad adoption
34% already using, piloting or investigating RFID applications for their organizations.
Un-aware of RFID
Aware of RFID
Anticipating the potential benefits of RFID, many of the world’s major retailers are trialing RFID tagging for pallets and vehicles. The consequence of this RFID activity in the retail sector is likely to impact on around 200,000 manufacturers and suppliers globally.
Source: Benchmark Research
Primarily, the two main components involved in a Radio Frequency Identification system are the Transponder (or tags that are attached to the object) and the Interrogator (RFID reader and antenna).
Reader / Interrogator with antenna
Product #: ASB33440988
Arr. Date: 01-01-2007
Exp. Date: 31-12-2008
Data Capture and Sync
RFID technologies are grouped under the more generic Automatic Identification (Auto-ID) technologies. RFID is often positioned as next generation bar-coding because of its obvious advantages over barcodes. However, in many environments it is likely to co-exist with the barcode
Readable & accurate
Pool of tags
Middleware and application host
Easy integration with other systems
Properly distributed RFID Readers covering large areas
Tags on vehicles, assets, products, pallets, boxes…
Real time data
Control and Tracking
Applications where passive tagging has been implemented over the last 2 to 3 years:
Source: Deloitte Consulting: Lawrence Huntley, RFID – Why Now?, RFID Forum June 2004, Deloitte
Question: What are the frequencies used by RFID?
RFID tags and readers must be tuned into the same frequency to enable communications.
RFID systems can use a variety of frequencies to communicate, but because radio waves work and act differently at different frequencies, a frequency for a specific RFID system is often dependant on its application. High frequency RFID systems (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) offer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet (28m).
Question: How do I know which frequency is right for my application?
Different frequencies have different characteristics that make them more useful for different applications.
For instance, low-frequency tags use less power and are better able to penetrate non-metallic substances. They are ideal for scanning objects with high-water content, such as fruit, but their read range is limited to less than a foot (0.33 meter).
High-frequency tags work better on objects made of metal and can work around goods with high water content. They have a maximum read range of about three feet (1 meter).
UHF frequencies typically offer better range and can transfer data faster than low- and high-frequencies. But they use more power and are less likely to pass through materials.
Question: How much data can a Tag store?
It depends on the vendor and the application, but typically a tag carries no more than 2KB of data, enough to store some basic information about the item it is on.
Companies are now looking at using a simple "license plate" tag that contains only a 96-bit serial number. The simple tags are cheaper to manufacture and are more useful for applications where the tag will be disposed of with the product packaging.
Question: Can an RFID Tag get infected by a virus?
The virus is information stored on the chip which when fed into a vulnerable backend system caused a problem. If the vulnerable system had been patched and/or the backend properly designed whatever is stored on the tag would not negatively impact the system as a whole.
Additionally Information stored on the TAG can be encrypted and password protected thus limiting reading and writing capabilities for potential hackers