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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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rfid introduction to rfid
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.

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 development of rfid
RFID Development of RFID

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

rfid spread of rfid
RFID Spread of RFID

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

rfid how does rfid work
RFID How does RFID work?

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

Radio Waves

Application Server


Product #: ASB33440988

Arr. Date: 01-01-2007

Exp. Date: 31-12-2008

Data Capture and Sync

rfid automatic identification
RFID Automatic Identification

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

rfid characteristics of rfid
RFID Characteristics of RFID
  • RFID does not require line-of-sight to read and write the tag data
  • RFID systems offer simultaneous identification – capturing data from multiple tags within range of the antenna at the same time.
  • RFID tags read at very rapid rates - RFID can read tag identification codes at a rate of up to 1,000 tags per second.
  • RFID tags can be encapsulated in hardened plastic making them durable and ideal for harsh environments involving elements such as grease, dirt or paint.
  • Active RFID tags can support read/write operations, enabling real-time information updates as a tagged item moves through the supply chain.
rfid rfid tags
  • Radio Frequency Identification tags are small pieces of semiconductors that have information stored on them. There are three types of tags:
  • Passive Tags
    • possess no active transmitter to broadcast the information they store. However, when exposed to a radio signal, they convert the received radio signal into current and the current powers a transmitter which transmits the information the tag has stored.
  • Semi-passive Tags
    • have a battery-powered transmitter, but only transmit their data in response to a received signal.
  • Active Tags
    • transmit their data for the life of their batteries. Battery life of active tags can be up to ten years and their range and memory capacity are typically larger than the other types of tags
rfid rfid readers
RFID RFID Readers
  • An RFID reader contains a module (transmitter and receiver), a control unit and an antenna.
  • The reader has three main functions: energizing, demodulating and decoding.
  • Readers can be fitted with an additional interface that converts the radio waves returned from the RFID tag into a form that can then be passed on to a computer.
  • Anti-Collision algorithms permit the simultaneous reading of large numbers of tagged objects, while ensuring that each tag is read only once.

Readable & accurate


Pool of tags

rfid rfid systems the big picture
RFID RFID Systems (The big picture)

Middleware and application host

Standalone application

Easy integration with other systems

Properly distributed RFID Readers covering large areas

Tags on vehicles, assets, products, pallets, boxes…

Secure Access

Multiple users

Real time data

Control and Tracking

rfid application for rfid
RFID Application for RFID

Applications where passive tagging has been implemented over the last 2 to 3 years:

  • Oil Pipe Identification
  • Machine Tool Management
  • Gas Bottle Inventory Control
  • Duty Evasion
  • Asset Management
  • Stolen Vehicle Identification
  • Production Line Monitoring
  • Car Body Production
  • Parts Identification
  • Access Control
  • Security Guard Monitoring
  • Person Identification
  • Food Production Control
  • Blood Analysis Identification
  • Water Analysis
  • Refuse Collection Identification
  • Timber Grade Monitoring
  • Road Construction Material
  • Identification
  • Toxic Waste Monitoring
  • Vehicle Parking Monitoring
  • Pigeon Flight Monitoring
  • Valuable Objects Insurance
  • Identification
rfid benefits of rfid
RFID Benefits of RFID
  • Cost reductions through improved inventory and asset management
  • Increased revenues by reducing shrinkage and improving inventory turns
  • Theft prevention by identifying diversion points within the supply chain
  • Increased competitive advantage through improved productivity.
rfid why rfid now

Source: Deloitte Consulting: Lawrence Huntley, RFID – Why Now?, RFID Forum June 2004, Deloitte

rfid frequently asked questions
RFID Frequently Asked Questions

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).

rfid frequently asked questions1
RFID Frequently Asked Questions

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.

rfid frequently asked questions2
RFID Frequently Asked Questions

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.

rfid frequently asked questions3
RFID Frequently Asked Questions

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