RFID systems come in three varieties, low frequency, ultra-high frequency as well as high-frequency RFID systems. They are classified depending on the frequency band they operate in. They can also be categorized as active and passive RFID.
What Is The Difference Between The Categories?
Typically, there are two major categories in which RFID CARD falls. We have active and passive RFID. The difference in each category depends on the frequency used. Frequency thus refers to how big or small the wave that the RFID system uses is. A low-frequency RFID system transmits less data because it is limited in capacity. But the high-frequency RFID can transmit more data for longer distances and much faster because it is sensitive. Therefore, we have the low, the high, and the hyper-high frequency to choose from. However, Radio waves RFID could be the best option but is limited because of the interference caused by metals and liquids.
Luckily, technology allows for the use of Ultra-high frequency even in an environment with metals and liquids.
The band covers a distance of between 30 KHz -300 Khz. This frequency allows the reader to detect objects in a range of 10 cm.
The range varies from 2 to 30MHZ. But most of them will work in a range of 13.56 Mhz. It will read objects that are in the range of 10cm to 1 m. The HF RFID CARD experiences moderate interference that affects the system.
Ultra-High Frequency RFID
It is also referred to as a UHF system and may cover a wider range of between 300Mhz to 3 GHz. However, RFID CARD SUPPLIERS manufacture systems that operate in the range of 900 -915 Mhz. The good thing about the RFID reading system is that it can reach as much as 12 meters. They have excellent data transmission and are sensitive to interference. Luckily, most manufacturers of RFID products have discovered ways of designing the antenna and readers so that they perform superbly well even in a complex environment. Also, they are effective and can reach as far as 12 meters. They are fast in transmission and quite sensitive to interference. Also, manufacturing the UHF tags is even easier than manufacturing HF and LF tags.
Notice that UHF systems are deployed in many fields. They can be deployed in medicine and other fields with thousands of inventories since they have a large capacity. So, they make inventory work easier even in large stores with numerous products.
Application of RFID cards
LF RFIDs do not come from a single RFID CARD MANUFACTURER. So, they have some slight differences in frequency and power level. As a result, it is not easy to find a standard RFID CARD. However, they are all deployed in tracking items, including animals.
The High-Frequency RFID can be used in ticketing, data transfer, and payment applications.
The UHF frequency, which features a 3 GHz band and covers up to 100 m, are best suited for scanning containers and their content.
Active RFID Systems
Active RFID systems transmit the information they have stored on the chip because they feature their own source of power(batteries). They operate at ultra-high frequencies and can read even when in the range of 100 meters. The active RFID is suitable for large objects such as containers and wagons. They can also be used to control large spaces.
They feature tags with their own power source and transmitter. The power source is mainly the battery which broadcasts signals and transmits data stored on microchips. They operate in the UHF band and can read up to 100m. That is why they are ideal for use in rail cars, reusable containers, and assets that need tracking over very long distances.
The two main active RFID data include beacons and transponders. Typically, the transponders get woken whenever they receive signals from readers. They respond by transmitting back the signal since the transponders will only radiate the waves after receiving the signal. This way, they can conserve the battery.
Beacons are found in systems that locate items in real time. So, they could be used to track the location of an asset. The units are not powered by the reader signal and emit signals at a predetermined interval. As such, you can set them to emit signals once a day or after a few seconds, minutes, and even hours. The reader antennas then receive the signal anywhere around the area to be monitored. It then sends back the position and the tag’s ID information.
Note that both wireless and active RFID can be deployed simultaneously in sensor and asset management.
Passive RFID System
Both the reader and antenna send radio signals to the RFID tag, which then transmits the signals. It then reflects the energy to the reader. But the range is limited by the signal’s power reflected the reader, which is normally less than 10 m. Luckily, the RFD system can operate in either ultra-frequency, high frequency, and low frequency modes. Also, the passive tags do not need a transmitter or a source of power. It only requires an antenna and a tag chip. Thus, they are smaller, cheaper, and of course, easier to manufacture.
Note that Passive tags may be packed in many ways depending on specific application requirements. Also, you can mount them on a substrate or sandwich it between a paper label and an adhesive layer. A good example of a passive RFID solution is RAIN which is mostly deployed to track inventory products and supply chain. Also, it can be embedded in packages so that it resists harsh chemicals and temperature. It can also be used to authenticate products in pharmaceuticals and could be embedded in various devices.
We have three main parts that make up the passive RFID system: interrogator, RFID tags, and RFID antenna. The tags feature the microchip and the antenna. In some cases, it may only feature an integrated circuit (IC).
Typically, the tags wait for the signal from the reader, which is sent to the antenna. It is then converted into an RF wave which is further sent to the red zone. Once in the zone, the internal antenna draws energy from the waves. Such energy is then moved to the IC and the tag’s antenna. It then energizes the chip and generates signals which it sends to the RF system. The antenna interprets the information for appropriate action.
Passive RFID tags consist of the internal antenna and IC. It is a basic structure which is known as RFID inlay. Other tags are referred to as hard tags. The hard tags are made of ceramic, metal, and rubber. They are durable and come in different shapes and sizes. The tags are designed for a specific function and application and may be grouped as:
High-temperature tags- are made in such a way that they can withstand high temperatures. Therefore, they can be used in industries that track the cycle that an instrument undergoes.
Rugged is used in tough applications and can withstand harsh environments that experience debris, snow, dust, and even ice. Also, they can be used in areas such as a tractor wheel which are subjected to crushing forces.
Size- it is an important aspect that determines where the RFID tag can be used.
Material – when an application needs a tracking metal asset, you may choose the UHF RFID tags.
Embeddable is needed for a specific application and can fit in crevices to reduce wear and tear. It may further be protected by covering it with epoxy.
Batter Assisted Systems
They are Passive RFID tag which incorporates active tag features and use an integrated power source that powers the chip. They are referred to as BAP tags and do not feature a transmitter. Also, they do not rely on the power of the reader to activate the chip.