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Response to Active RFID PAR and 5C Comments November 2008 Session
The 802.15.4 RFID PAR & 5C are incomplete and should not be approved because: • The 5C & PAR incorrectly claim there is no existing international standard • The 5C & PAR need to include evidence that there is user demand for yet another RFID standard • The 5C & PAR need explain what technical deficiencies of existing systems the proposed standard will address • The 5C & PAR needs to provide a better justification of technical feasibility for a unified standard that addresses the requirements of all market segments • The 5C & PAR need to acknowledge the use of 802.11 in this space today and explain why a 802.15.4 based solution will be significantly better
The 5C & PAR incorrectly claim there is no existing international standard It is asserted in the 5C that there is a need for an international standard for active RFID, and it is asserted in the PAR that is there in no international standard. However, it appears that this is not true, with the 5C even quoting the number of an ISO standard. There are also other quasi international standards in this space that need to be acknowledged The 5C and PAR need to be modified to correct this error. I suspect what is meant is that there no suitable international standard, but such a statement needs justification.
Draft Response If the commenter is referring to the following international standards; 1) ISO/IEC 18000-7:2008 Information technology -- Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 7: Parameters for active air interface communications at 433 MHz. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=43892 2) ISO/IEC 24730-2:2006 Information technology -- Real-time locating systems (RTLS) -- Part 2: 2,4 GHz air interface protocol. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=40508 3) ISO/IEC CD 24730-5 (in development) Information technology -- real time locating systems (RTLS) -- Part 5: Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) at 2.4 GHz. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=46534 4) ISO/IEC 8802-11 Information technology -- Telecommunications and information exchange between systems -- Local and metropolitan area networks -- Specific requirements -- Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) specifications http://www.iso.org/iso/search.htm?qt=ISO+8802-11&sort=rel&type=simple&published=on There are several problems with the ISO/IEC standards indicated above : ISO/IEC 18000-7 has high license fees and relatively little adoption (DOD only and they are looking for alternatives) ISO/IEC 18000-7 active RF tags are interrogated by RFID readers, 18000-7 active RF tags do not transmit autonomously. ISO/IEC 18000-7 has limited distance between RFID readers and tags. ISO/IEC 18000-7 433 MHz band is not globally available. ISO 18000-7 does not meet IEEE 802.15 Active RFID PAR scope and 5C criteria requirements as stated below.
Draft Response continued " The PHY and MAC scheme parameters must be flexible and configurable to provide optimized use in a variety of active RFID tag operations including simplex and duplex transmission (reader-to-tags and tag-to-readers), multicast (reader to a select group of tags) uni-cast (reader to a single tag), tag-to-tag communication, and multi-hop capability. " The ISO/IEC 24730 series of standards are 'simplex' tag beaconing-to-reader Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) and do not meet the IEEE 802.15 Active RFID PAR scope and 5C criteria requirements as stated above. The ISO/IEC 8802-11 (IEEE 802.11) series of standards do not meet the IEEE 802.15 Active RFID PAR Scope and 5C criteria requirements for low energy consumption (low-duty-cycle) and multi-hop (tag-to-tag-to-tag) communications. "This project will define the PHY and MAC for Active RFID (readers and tags) in a way that allows for efficient communications with active RFID tags and sensor applications in an autonomous manner in a promiscuous network, using very low energy consumption (low-duty-cycle)..." "The PHY and MAC scheme parameters must be flexible and configurable to provide optimized use in a variety of active RFID tag operations including simplex and duplex transmission (reader-to-tags and tag-to-readers), multicast (reader to a select group of tags) uni-cast (reader to a single tag), tag-to-tag communication, and multi-hop capability."
The 5C & PAR need to include evidence that there is user demand for yet another RFID standard The 5C and PAR asserts that active RFID tags have not been successful so far because there are too many options available, which has reduced interoperability and economies of scale. This may be true However, it is not explained how the development of yet another standard will actually assist solve this problem, particularly in a context where 802.15.4 does not have much scale today, certainly in comparison with, say, 802.11. The 5C and PAR need to be modified to include evidence that there is user demand for yet another standard. Draft Response: There are a few things I would mention here. First, EPCglobal is looking for existing standards which may be ammended to meet EPCglobal Active Tag requirments rather than reinventing the wheel. IEEE 15.4 is the only AIP that meets the requirements of all active tags defined by the EPCglobal Active Tag Joint Requirements Group. Also, what is critical to active tags is power independence. It’s critical to remember that active tags must act as autonomous units that cannot be recharged for ‘years’. 802.15.4 is most suitable for this type of tag
The 5C & PAR need explain what technical deficiencies of existing systems the proposed standard will address One reason that would justify a new standard is that all the existing mechanisms are missing functionality from a technical perspective If this is not the case, why not just submit one of the existing mechanisms to EPCGlobal, IEEE or ISO. However, the PAR & 5C does not even address the issue of whether existing systems are technically deficient The PAR & 5C need to be modified to explain what technical deficiencies of existing systems the proposed standard will address Draft Response: The current IEEE 802.15.4 standard cannot provide for communications between tags and between tags and readers in an autonoumous manner, meaning without becoming a member of a PAN. " This project will define the PHY and MAC for Active RFID (readers and tags) in a way that allows for efficient communications with active RFID tags and sensor applications in an autonomous manner in a promiscuous network
The 5C & PAR needs to provide a better justification of feasibility for a unified standard that addresses the requirements of all market segments One reason that the active RFID market is segmented today is that each market segment has different requirements However, the 5C and PAR assume that a unified standard can achieve the goals of every market segment Even worse, it bases technical feasibility for the unified standard on an argument that the existing standards are technically feasible The 5C and PAR need to demonstrate technical feasibility for the unified standard, not just a subset Draft Response: The emphasis needs to be changed to show that active tags would take off if there was a single AIP that in essence acts as ‘device neutral’. What is critical is that an AIP be established globally that meets requirements for multiple commercial uses. Examples: sensor integration includes security devices, chemical (environmental) sensors, operational management, location. Companies are looking for one AIP that can be used for multiple purposes without draining the tag power
The 5C & PAR need to acknowledge the use of 802.11 in this space today and explain why a 802.15.4 based solution will be significantly better It is asserted in the 5C that the proposed active RFID functionality is not addressed in any existing 802 standard. However, there is a growing opinion among many in the industry that 802.11 based systems could dominate this space There are already several start-ups that are showing WiFi based sensor chips with very low power and cost and of course with WiFi you dont require a separate infrastructure. The PAR & 5C need to be modified to recognise the existing use of 802.11 in the active tag space, and explain why 802.15.4 offers significant benefits over 802.11. The answer should account for the fact that 802.11 based solutions exist today, whereas 802.15.4 based solutions will not exist for some years (5 years?) Draft Response: IEEE 802.11 does not meet the requirements of an Active RFID tag for tag-to-tag and tag-to reader communications without switching between explicit ad-hoc station-to-station and station-to-AP modes, and low energy consumption which are features of the IEEE 802.15.4 and .4a standards. Current Wi-Fi RTLS tags on the market from AeroScout, Ekahau, G2 Microsystems, Pango Networks, WhereNet, etc. do not provide for tag-to-tag communications (beacon only from tag-to-AP) and commonly utilize the IEEE 802.11b 1 Mb/s standard which interferes with more recent 802.11 standard releases such as 802.11g (lowest 802.11g OFDM bit rate is 6 Mb/s), and 802.11n. If Wi-Fi RTLS tags were to utilize the lowest 802.11g OFDM bitrate of 6 Mb/s the energy level of the tag would decrease greatly when compared to 802.11b and the 802.11g RTLS RSSI range would be shorter than 802.11b. Lastly, there are no 802.11 vendors offering any type of tag for global standardization or acceptance in either ISO or EPCglobal.
I'm aware of P1902.1, an RFID project nearing Sponsor ballot. It isn't addressed in PAR 7.1, and it seems to me to have significant overlap in multiple functional areas: low data rate, high density of RFID tags, etc. it would be appropriate to address the differences (which I'm sure there are) when requesting another RFID project. The IEEE P1902.1 standard, commonly known as RuBee, is in the sponsor ballot stage and expectation is that it will become an IEEE standard in March of 2009. IEEE P1902.1 utilizes the frequency band below 450 KHz, commonly 131 Khz. One of the things not specifically listed in the RFID Study Group's PAR and 5C, but required as part of the EPCglobal active tag specification, is the ability to provide active RTLS which I assume this P1902.1 standard cannot do due to the frequency in which it is operating. From the P1902.1 PAR • 5.4 Purpose: The purpose of this project is to produce a protocol standard for use in applications where bandwidth is not an issue; but low cost, high tag (client) count, long battery life and use in harsh environments (near steel and water) are key performance criteria.