RFID: definition, operation, link with NFC

RFID: definition, operation, link with NFC

RFID, used for “Radio Frequency Identification”, is a technology that can store, store and record data on media and perform remote retrieval. It has been around since the 1940s and was used to identify fighters entering British airspace at the time to tell them apart. Since the 1980s, RFID was first used by the military and has spread across various industries, from the food industry to healthcare to transportation.

How does RFID work?

The RFID tag can also be in the form of a tag or label, which is composed of an RFID chip and an antenna, and is stuck on the product. They record the data then use an electromagnetic reader to read the radio waves present on the RFID chip. The Grenoble INP systems design and integration laboratory is studying new RFID solutions to increase possibilities.

Which chips should I use for RFID?

Chips vary greatly depending on the frequency used and the reading distance. The higher the frequency, the wider the reading distance. RFID chips are also divided into three types: The active chip itself transmits signals within 100 meters and has its own power supply Semi-active chip that sends signals after receiving signals Passive chips only communicate their read-only information and draw energy from it only when the reader requests an action within a radius of only 25 meters. The unit price of the simplest RFID chip is only a few cents.

An example: how Decathlon uses RFID?

Since the summer of 2014, Decathlon has used RFID for various purposes: tracking goods leaving the factory, inventory in warehouses, and in stores where the technology can also be used as anti-theft. It will take four years from the first pilot to the popularization of RFID. 80% of the products sold by sports brands are from their own brands, which facilitates the installation of RFID chips in the production process. At the end of 2020, technology enabled Decathlon to implement a cashless system in its Decathlon DX stores, allowing payment via the brand’s membership card. An experiment is also underway in the United States.

What are the differences between RFID and NFC?

The main difference with RFID is that its signal is more secure because its range is very short (10 cm). NFC works by magnetic induction. The communication rate ranges from 106 to 848 kbps/s, and it varies at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. When the chip works, the NFC reader (called the initiator) sends an electric current to connect the communication device (called the target) through the magnetic field. Devices connected in this way convert this magnetic field into electrical pulses, which in turn are converted into data bits. Besides the transmission distance and mode of operation, the last difference of RFID is that the NFC device can be either the initiator or the target.

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