What is RFID

RFID is the English acronym (Radio Frequency Identification) that specifies a technology to identify objects on which it can be found a radio frequency TAG.

Necessary elements to manage an RFID systems are basically three:

  1. TAG or Transponder
  2. Reading and/or writing devices
  3. Data management system 

TAG or transponder                                                            

TAGs or transponders are electronic instruments made by a microchip, one or more antennas, an inlay that takes this two elements together and in some cases a battery.

TAGs are the physical instrument through which is possible to identify with radio frequencies, and have some special characteristics that made possible their propagation in many different fields.

Their principal feature is to have, inside the microchip, a unique identifying code, that makes each TAG different from the others. This permits to identify the object, or the group of objects that are associated, without any possible mistake.

Consequently RFID TAGs are the best possible tool to realize traceability projects thanks to this feature.

There are different type of TAGs depending if they have batteries or not, or depending on the frequency that they use to transmit information.

Active TAGs have a battery on board (with a lifetime that is different depending on the use that you want to make with the TAG itself) that transmits continuously the information written inside.

Passive TAGs, instead, use electromagnetic or electric field given by a reader to answer a call to give power to the microchip.

Depending on the frequency that they use, TAGs are classified in different ways (LF, HF, UHF, SHF, UWB) and are used in different application depending on needed performances.

 

Writing/reading devices

Writing/reading devices can be both fixed or mobile. In case of fixed devices, they can be positioned inside reading gates, such as, for example, in retail applications, or inside special tunnels in case we are operating in particularly difficult or aggressive environment.

When we speak about mobile devices, there have been developed special terminals with encoding/decoding RFID modules that are extremely easy to use. When we are dealing with particular type of TAGs (NFC, Near Field Communication) readers can be integrated also in common use devices such as smart phones or tablets.

Performances of these devices are strictly linked to use that we want to make with them, usually depending on the distance where we want to read or write on a TAG.

Data management system

All information written or recorded by an RFID system must be manage to reach the desired scope. As memory, and consequently the quantity of information written inside a TAG, are limited, is common to use an external data base where these information are registered. Such information are then associated to a specific TAG, due to the fact that every TAG as a unique identifying code. Traxa developed her own proprietary platform in order to manage properly all the information that are used in various applications.