Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Separating the Hype from the Reality Anthony Furness Technical Director, AIM UK
RFID - Brief History (After Landt, J 2001)* * Landt, J (2001) Shrouds of Time – The history of RFID, An AIM Publication
RFID - the nature of hype – mainly focused on tags • Devices the size of a grain of rice – chip, but not the device • Can be read at any distance – no, and range depends upon a number • of factors • Consume no energy – no, energy consumption dependent on the type • of device, passive devices consume energy from interrogation source • Cost next to nothing – no cost dependent upon type – passive devices still cost more than the target 5 cents • Can communicate with one another – not so unless they are active • devices with two-way communication capability • Any number can be read at time – not so and certainly not • simultaneously – readability depends upon a number of factors • No standards – no, well over 100 standards, including international • standards
RFID - the nature of misunderstanding – mainly focused on tags • Tags cannot operate near metal or water – performance in respect of • proximity to any materials requires some understanding of • electromagnetic theory and practice and of tag and systems design • Tags can be read without line of sight – depending upon the nature of • materials and conditions between reader and tag – again requires some • understanding of electromagnetic theory and practice and of tag and • systems design • RFID Systems to costly – depends upon how appropriate RFID is to the • application and well an application for RFID has been designed, bearing • in mind the need to justify on economic as well as technical grounds • of device, passive devices consume energy from interrogation source
The RFID Data Carriers and Systems benefits key features: • Fast, automatic or semi-automatic data entry • Accurate data entry • Immediacy of information • Additional, process related benefits when effectively applied • Identification linkage, options and dividends • Radical process improvements, when effectively applied. • Fast returns on investment for well defined and implemented applications • Opportunities for object-linked innovation
RFID is important for a number of reasons: • Versatile identification and data carrier technology • Electronic data capture technology, complementary to other • automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies • Radical, beneficially disruptive technology when effectively applied • Revolutionary in its relevance to sectors of industry, commerce and services – wide ranging applications • Significant standards development at international level • On-going developments – Internet of Things – the reality!
RFID Essential System Elements Tag Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… Radio frequency carrier + coding for communication management purposes Application Commands Host Information Management System – Applications software Antennas RFID Middleware Interrogator (Reader / Encoder) Communication Channel Application Responses Wide range of products: Tags Reader / interrogators Software and Services Modulated radio frequency carrier - data carried on signal, in this case amplitude modulated Tags representing two different categories of chip-based RFID
Tag Tag Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …air interface Host Information Management System – Applications software Antennas RFID Middleware Interrogator (Reader / Encoder) Effectively applying RFID is about better understanding what happens between these antennas and the nature of this depends upon many factors – frequency, power, modulation, encoding, materials and conditions between antennas – practicalities!
Tag Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… ..encoding/decoding Host Information Management System – Applications software Antennas RFID Middleware Interrogator (Reader / Encoder) Establishing the best approach to source and channel encoding, and subsequent modulation, followed by appropriate decoding
Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… … frequencies& Air Interface Standards ISO/IEC 18000 Part 1 – Reference architecture & definition of parameters All these have been published National and international agencies specify and govern spectrum usage
Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …RFID Spectrum usage Significantly influenced by SS-based developments – products and infrastructure Dominated by EPC ISO 18000-6CGen 2 -based developments – products and infrastructure Significantly influenced by NFC and communication -based developments – products and infrastructure
…Tag and System design Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… Antenna Design Rectifier & Detector circuitry Tag Circuitry Reader Circuitry Clock – Logic – Decode – Memory - I/O circuitry Matching circuitry Tags require between 10-40 µW to read – receiving 100-120 µW Attention that follows will be confined to antenna considerations
Modulation Circuitry Rectifier /AC clamp (Passive device) Clock Generator Power-On reset Elements within the chip Memory Control logic (incl Anticollision) Security logic Memory select/data transfer control Internal logic/microprocessor Increased cost Increased complexity Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …developments in tag technology • Increased complexity generally means: • Greater circuit complexity • Greater data transfer requirements • Greater power requirements (active • vs passive powering) • Greater cost Energy harvesting associated with passive (battery-less) RFID devices generally insufficient to meet higher complexity needs
Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …systems development and and Integration: • Near Field Communication • Phone acts as tag emulator • Phone is also a tag reader • Phone is also a tag writer • Re-writable paper and variants • Physical (PR) and chemical (CR) rewrite mechanisms • Integral RFID • RFID Sensors and wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) • Machine-to-machine (M2M) capability Sensed data Sensor networks Monitoring and management DB Server Source: NIA, Korea, 2006.
Transport Unit Item Item Item Item Item …levels of Identification and data carrier requirements Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… Transportation Large Containers Unit Load “Pallet” RFID having an increasingly significant role to play Package Package Item
Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… Standards, other than air interface • GRIFS an EU funded project to identify RFID standards • First deliverable identified 125 standards • http://grifs-project.eu/db/
Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …processes and RFID attributes that can enhance performance Process Information / data update Information / data Knowledge and decision support IIDs PaID Focused Process Output Process Focus SSPIDs Process support Personnel Knowledge and support Equipment / asset support Utilities Materials ASIDs UTIDs Exploiting identifiers in other processes for information gathering, statistics, management, control and decision support MIDs LIDs EIDs IIDs – Information identifiers, PeID – Process entity IDs, SSPIDs – Process Support Personnel IDs, ASIDs – Asset IDs, UTIDs – Utility IDs, MIDs – Materials IDs, LIDs – Location IDs, EIDs – Event IDs (time stamps)
Further layers of Data Capture Technology ID + Additional Item-attendant data Interrogator / Gate way device Host Information Management System Wider area communications and Networks Actuators Actuators Actuators Sensory data carriers Interrogator / Gate way device Host Information Management System Networked data carriers Internet + Interrogator / Gate way device Host Information Management System Physical interface zone Applying RFID Effectively requires understanding of… …how it relates to new concepts – such as… Internet Connected …The Internet of Things Application Layer : Web Emails Messaging Specific Domains for IoT? Specific application structure for the IoT? The Internet – Endpoint computers Object-connected entities without embedded computers CASAGRAS Inclusive Model – Internet connected
Is all this understanding really necessary to apply RFID effectively? • YES – and more! • Especially for: • Systems Integrators • Systems suppliers • Advisors and Consultants • Users who want to have full control over their projects • For those new to RFID an awareness briefing that explains in simple terms much of the technical underpinning can go a long way to approaching RFID effectively and asking appropriate questions of vendors, systems integrators
To apply RFID effectively requires awareness, education, training in RFID practicalities and business assist for those that are new to RFID …RACE Network RFID can help Thank you for your attention Questions? www.race-networkrfid.org