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RFID

Whatis RFID ?
What is (RFID) Radio Frequency Identification?
Radio Frequency Identification is a technology that uses Radio Frequency waves to interrogate or read objects known as transponders or tags.  Each tag always has a Unique Identification Number (UID) stored in bits in the tag memory that is transmitted to the reader when the Tag is Read.  In addition to the UID there may be other information stored in the tag memory. The technology allows for reading of tags from physical contact to beyond the line of sight of the reader. A simple  RFID system consists of a  reader with a cable attached to an antenna and a tag that is read(interrogated) by the reader.  
Radio Frequency (RF) Basic Terminology
Radio Frequency signals are a form of electromagnetic wave consisting of the same radiation as light, ultra-violet, and infra-red rays.  Radio Frequency waves/signals radiate outward from an antenna and have both an electric and a magnetic wave component.

The frequency that a radio frequency identification (RFID) system operates is called a “carrier wave” or "carrier frequency".
RFID systems operate on a number of frequencies.  Some of the common RFID Frequencies are

• 125 kHz. Also known as Low Frequency (LF)
• 134.2 kHz. Also known as Low Frequency (LF)
• 13.56  MHz. or High Frequency (HF)
• 433 MHz. Ultra High Frequency
• 868 MHz. – European – Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
• 915 MHz. – Ultra High Frequency (UHF)  - North America and other countries
• 2.45 GHz. Microwave Frequency (SHF)
• 5.8 GHz. Microwave Frequency (SHF)
433 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz are active technologies with long range capabilities of between 50 meters and 500 meters or more.  Due to the nature of these technologies we will not really discuss them in these courses.
Many of these belong to the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) radio bands which were originally reserved internationally for the use of RF energy for industrial, scientific and medical purposes other than communication.  The ISM bands typically do not require any licensing to operate in these bands.  Note: some countries will not allow some ISM bands at all.
Antennas are tuned to resonate only to a narrow range of carrier frequencies that are centred on the designated RFID system frequency.  This means that a system with a carrier wave of 915 MHz.(centre of 902 ~ 928 MHz.)  will not read a tag at 13.56 MHz., 125 kHz. Frequencies or 2.45 GHz.
However it may be able to read an 868 MHz. tag if the tag is EPC Gen 2.

What is RFID Tag ?
What is RFID Tag?
The term “RFID Tags” is often used as a general term to describe not only RFID Tags but RFID Labels and RFID Cards. It is important to know which frequency your RFID solution operates at and what type of product the tag be affixed to before searching for a RFID tag. If your application is to track a metal tote you would want a RFID tag that is designed to be mounted on a metal surface (Metal RFID Tags). If you need additional information on a particular product please click on the “Request Info” link next to the product.

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards operate at a frequency of 915 MHz. These types of tags are considered “Passive” – no onboard power source. The supply chain related mandates from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Metro require that UHF Passive RFID tags be used. These tags must comply with the international recognized standard set by EPCglobal (UHF Gen 2). UHF frequencies typically offer better range (20-30 ft) and can transfer data faster than LF and HF tags, but they use more power and are less likely to pass through materials.

HF (High Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards operate at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. These types of tags are also “Passive” – no onboard power source. RFID applications that use HF RFID tags are typically the applications that require read distances of less than three feet. HF tags work better on objects made of metal (RFID Metal Tag) and can work around goods with high water content.

LF (Low Frequency) Tags, Labels and Cards are low-frequency tags (125khz) use less power and are better able to penetrate non-metallic substances. These types of tags are also “Passive” – no onboard power source. They are ideal for scanning objects with high-water content, such as fruit, but their read range is limited to less than a foot.
Types Of Radio Frequency (RF)
Types Of Radio Frequency (RF)
There are 3 basic types of tags:
Passive
Semi - Passive (sometimes called "semi - active")
Active

ISO 18000 covers 5 RFID air interface frequencies:
<135 kHz
13.56 MHz
433 MHz
860 ~ 960 MHz
2.45 GHz.

Passive tags have no batteries and rely on the electromagnetic wave from the reader to build up enough power in the tag’s integrated circuit to send back the UID response to the reader.
Passive RFID tags and readers communicate by coupling the transmitter to the receiver using:
Load Modulation in the near field (close range) is used in LF, HF and some UHF
Backscatter is used in the far field (longer range) for UHF and Microwave
In near field communication the tag communicates with the reader by electromagnetic inductance. The coiled antennas of the tag and reader form a transformer. The reader uses the carrier wave and changes the amplitude (displacement/size), phase or frequency. The tag detects this as a change in modulation and responds appropriately.

Aerospace RFID Tags  
RFID tags for applications in the aerospace industry such as inventory management, DoD compliance and asset tracking applications

Agriculture RFID Tags
Perishable food tractability and asset tracking rfid tags

Apparel RFID Tags
RFID tags for the apparel industry for applications such as asset tracking and inventory management

Automotive RFID Tags
RFID tags for applications in the auto industry such as asset tracking, inventory management and asset management

Baggage RFID Tags
RFID tags for baggage tracking in airports and other similar industries

Car Wash RFID Tags
RFID tags for car wash applications

Chemical RFID Tags
Chemical industry RFID tags for improving inventory accuracy or asset tracking

Chip Timing RFID Tags
RFID tags for chip timing races and various chip timing applications

Cold Chain RFID Tags
Passive and active RFID tags for cold chain logistics, supply chain management and packaging

Construction RFID Tags
RFID tags for applications in the aerospace industry such as inventory management, DoD compliance and asset tracking applications

Data Center RFID Tags
Asset tracking, asset management, and inventory management rfid tags

Food RFID Tags
Food industry RFID tags for improving inventory accuracy or tracking product in the food supply chain

Footwear RFID Tags
Footwear industry rfid tags for applications such as in-store inventory accuracy and on-shelf availability

Healthcare RFID Tags
Healthcare industry rfid tags for applications such as inventory management, asset tracking, and patient tracking

Laundry RFID Tags
RFID tags for applications in the hospitality industry such as laundry inventory tracking and management

Liquor RFID Tags
Liquor asset tracking, asset management, and inventory management rfid tags

Logistics RFID Tags
Logistics

Medical RFID Tags
Medical

Mining RFID Tags
Passive and active RFID tags for miner safety and general mine operation applications

Oil & Gas RFID Tags
RFID tags for applications in the oil and gas industry

Pharma RFID Tags
RFID pharmaceutical tags for applications such as inventory management and asset tracking

Race Timing RFID Tags
RFID race timing tags for applications such as marathon, triathlon, bike and motor sport races

Supply Chain RFID Tags
RFID tags for supply chain management and operation applications

Transportation RFID Tags
Passive and active RFID tags for transportation and logistical RFID applications

Truck Wash RFID Tags
Truck wash RFID tags for improving vehicle tracking, truck wash solutions and vehicle identification


RFID Applications
RFID Applications
Access Control
An access control system is a system which enables an authority to control access to areas and resources in a given physical facility or computer-based information system.

Asset Tracking
Asset tracking refers to tracking the movement of physical assets. RFID enhances this tracking by automating this process by having RFID smart tags broadcast their signal.

Car Tracking
RFID tagging of cars enables inventory and security applications.

Container Tracking
Location tracking of containers can be enhanced by utilizing RFID tags to improve inventory and visibility.

Data Center Management
A data center or datacenter (or datacentre), also called a server farm, is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. RFID helps organizations meet IT asset-related reporting, legal and regulatory requirements.

Electronics Inventory Tracking
RFID enabling of electronic products allows for just-in-time (JIT) inventory improvements not previously available with bar coding solutions.

Employee Tracking
Employers have many options at their disposal when it comes to monitoring their employees, but the effectiveness can be improved using RFID.

Equipment Tracking
The ability for RFID to provide visibility of equipment is unmatched. An effective RFID equipment tracking solution can significantly improve equipment utilization.

Fleet Maintenance
Proper fleet identification is a cornerstone for any proper fleet maintenance program. RFID provides the ability to accurately identify any asset.

General Asset Tracking
RFID can improve any asset tracking program. The ability for RFID to determine the location of an asset without human intervention can provide significant productivity improvements.

Inventory Control
An effective inventory control system is designed to promote efficiency and inventory accuracy. RFID technology represents a paradigm shift in inventory control solutions.

IT Asset Tracking
In today's information centric age securing IT assets such as notebooks, hardrives and servers is critical to many types of organizations. RFID tagging of these IT assets provides the ability to ensure that sensitive information is properly secured.

Jewelry Inventory Management
The ability to manage any inventory is important to the overall success of a company but for jewelry companies it is vital. RFID provides the tool to track small and expensive items with minimal effort and in real time.

Library tracking
A library computer system is the software used to catalog, track circulation and inventory a library's assets. RFID simplifies this process by automating the ability to accurately inventory the libraries books.

Livestock tracking
The ability to automate the feeding and healthcare of livestock will only become more critical in the future. RFID is a foundation technology that the livestock industry will rely upon to meet tracking requirements and to reduce operating costs.

Pallet Tracking
Improving utilization and eliminating non-value added steps is important to any pallet tracking solution. RFID is the technology that improves any pallet tracking solution.

Patient Tracking
Finally there is a technology, RFID, that allows hospitals and other healthcare organization to efficiently track patients through complicated treatment workflows.

People tracking
When it comes to tracking people RFID can provide a cost effective and feature rich solution.

Retail Inventory Management
Overhead reduction, improving inventory turn times, and less shrinkage are just some of the benefits retailers are seeing after implementing a RFID based retail management solution.

Reusable Container Tracking
RFID based closed loop systems such as reusable container tracking typically have a high rate of return (return on investment - ROI)

Supply Chain Management
Major retailers of the world are leveraging RFID to improve warehouse management operations and out of stocks

Trade shows
Positive identification, streamlining the exchange of attendee's contact information and flow analysis are just a few of the benefits of using RFID to track trade show attendees.

Trailer Tracking
The ability to positively identify trailers can improve a distribution center's yard management system.

Truck Tracking
Streamlining gate house operations by reducing truck entry and exit times is improved by implementing a RFID base truck tracking system.

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