We are constantly amazed at the questions that prospective users ask when they visit our web site. While RFID has been around for more than 5 decades it seems many people still have the opinion that RFID is a single technology that uses multiple Radio Frequencies. Supposedly these different frequencies are used based on the needed read distance between the reader and tag and the material that the RFID tag is attached to.
Wow – would that be a lovely world to be in – easy, fast, simple.
RFID technology is far more complex that just multiple Radio Frequencies. There are the standard ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band frequencies that were reserved internationally for purposes other than communications. Generally these ISM frequencies do not require licensing but are usually locally regulated in the bandwidth and power that can be used and any devices used in these frequencies must accept any interference generated in this ISM band. Outside of the ISM band there are a number of frequencies that may or may not require local licenses to operate.
If we just concentrate only on the ISM band and only on the larger well known RFID frequencies we have the following wavebands – 125~150 kHz ( usually broken down to 125 kHz and 134.2 kHz), 13.56 MHz, 433 MHz, 860~960 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and finally 5.8 GHz. So we have at least 7 wave bands that can and are being used for RFID applications. Reality is there are 14 bands used – http://www.skyrfid.com/RFID_Frequencies.php – in this blog we are just looking at the commonly known bands.
In addition to the commonly used 7 wave bands; we have Passive and Active technologies that govern how the tag and readers inter-operate:
Passive Technology – where the non powered equipped RFID tag is dormant until excited by an RFID Interrogator (RFID Reader);
Semi Passive/Semi Active Technology where the tag contains a battery or some other power boosting device so that when excited by a Reader the tag contents can be read;
Active Tag and Reader Technology where the Tag has a power source and can talk/beacon without a Reader exciting it and the Reader can talk to the Tag and change its contents or communication methods;
And finally Active Tag and Passive Reader Technology where the Tag has a power source and can talk/beacon without a Reader exciting it and the Reader only listens for tags.
So now we see we have 7 wave bands and 4 different technologies that can be utilized within the wave band.
Within each of these technologies we also have the following Tag Read and Write Characteristics:
125 kHz – Low Frequency – Usually read only, but can be read and write – usually limited to 10 hexadecimal characters, usually short range almost touch – but with the right Reader and Tag combination can read over 1.5 meters!
134.2 kHz – Low Frequency – Also usually read only and 15 hexadecimal characters, but many of the tags can be read and write and like the 125 kHz was usually short read range – under 50 cm, but with the right tag and reader combination can easily go over 2 meters.
13.56 MHz – High Frequency – the biggest usage of all bands – and the most complex, no security, some security, DES security, EAS security, all kinds of flavors, mostly read write, several ISO standards, varying read distances, varying user memory sizes, and constantly evolving. For user memory we can go from 64 bits to over 4K on standard I/C’s. The new Smart Technology can have hundreds of kilobytes of storage and even its own operating system on the tag!
433 MHz – Ultra High Frequency – older band, was primarily Military but is now providing the longest read range of all bands – commonly read only and limited memory.
860 ~ 960 MHz – Ultra High Frequency – newest band – now known as the EPC Gen 2 band – never fully used in any country but parts of the band are used in different countries so that the same tag can be read all over the world – originally designed for end to end supply chain management, now being used for a huge number of passive tag applications. This EPC Gen 2 has a large number of flavors and variations built in to accommodate global acceptance –http://www.skyrfid.com/RFID_Gen_2_What_is_it.php
Within the 860 ~ 960 MHz band there is another band 916 MHz – not well known yet but growing in application usage. Commonly this band is Active tag Passive Reader with a shorter read distance than the huge 433 MHz read distance but far larger than the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz ranges.
2.4 GHz – Super High Frequency – also known as the WiFi band – can be WiFi enabled or can be proprietary, but is usually active tag and active reader with a range of up to 100 meters, sometimes more.
5.8 GHz – Super High Frequency very similar band to our new wireless phones! shorter read distance than the 2,4 GHz band but we can amplify the read range with more power and larger antennas.
For more information on the passive tag Read Write and Memory capabilities – http://www.skyrfid.com/RFID_Tag__IC_Chips.php
So now we know there are at least 7 frequencies and 4 reader/tag technologies that can be used for RFID applications. Next blog we will look at each of the 7 ISM bands and try to understand their basic characteristics.
About SkyRFID Inc.
SkyRFID is a privately held Canadian company specializing in Automated Data Collection (ADC) solutions that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. SkyRFID has over 20 years of experience in ADC and provides customers with everything from a single consulting engagement to a complete turnkey global solution. SkyRFID personnel have implemented solutions in all of the Americas and many other countries with great success. SkyRFID provides solutions in Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Microwave (SHF) RFID technologies and has considerable expertise in Animal Management,Asset Management, Access Control, Document Management, Library Systems, Field Service, Manufacturing, Parking Management, Supply Chain, Warehousing and Distribution, Event Management, Fleet Maintenance, and Custom Tags.
SkyRFID excels at Weapons Management and Tracking and Electronic Vehicle Identification and Management.
For more information contact SkyRFID Inc. at +1 647-476-3265
Web Site: www.skyrfid.com
In past few months SkyRFID has seen a dramatic rise in the requests for and implementations of access control systems for offices, residences, nursing homes, private homes, universities, and other facilities.
We are also finding that the reasoning for these systems is not just for access control but also for safety reasons. Access control systems not only allow or prevent access to a facility, department, room, waste bin, washrooms, and other access controllable objects; they also provide real time information on who is in the building in case of emergencies such as fire or explosions.
Years ago these systems were expensive complex to install and difficult to maintain. Today you can now implement a single door access system and then add to it whenever you want and not worry about interchanging access cards or door locks or access readers.
You can built an easy to use access control system with a few components and have a single access reader contain the tag information – with a built in battery back up – in case of power failure, and then you can add more access readers, more doors, remote building accesses, a PC to control all of the access rights and privileges and of course software. All of these modern components are fairly inexpensive to purchase. DIY (Do it Yourself) software, ready to implement software and source codes for modifying software to your exact requirements are readily available from SkyRFID.
Now for access control you can use 125 kHz or 13.56 MHz RFID technology and have a variety of inexpensive tags that can be killed quickly from the system should you lose an access card or tag. You don’t have to rekey the locks or even issue keys for the access locks! Simply just make the lost key or tag inactive and that’s all there is to it! And it is real time so the inactive tag can not be used anywhere. If you do recover the tag you can easily make it active again. This saves time and money plus you have an automatic audit trail of every access should you ever need it.
Since there is such a demand for these systems, SkyRFID has built several new web pages to educate potential buyers and also display some of the very wide variety of tags, readers, and other accessories that are readily available so you can have your own solution the way you want quickly and easily.
For a better understanding of potential access control solutions simply click on THIS link.
To add Time and Attendance to your Access solution – Click This Link
For a variety of Access Cards and Tags Click Here
And to see our wide variety of Keyfob, keychain, keyholder options click this link!
SkyRFID is a privately held Canadian company specializing in Automated Data Collection (ADC) solutions that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. SkyRFID has over 20 years of experience in ADC and supplies everything from a single consulting engagement to a complete turnkey global solution. SkyRFID maintains its global presence through its skilled strategic partners that provide local RFID implementations, assistance and support. SkyRFID provides RFID solutions in all passive RFID frequencies and in 433Mhz and 2.4 GHz active technologies. Their specialties are Asset Management, Access Control, Document Management, Library Systems, Field Service, Manufacturing, Parking Management, Supply Chain, Warehousing and Distribution, Weapons Management, Event Management, Fleet Maintenance, and Custom Designer Tags.
For more information contact SkyRFID Inc. at +1 647-476-3265
Web Site: www.skyrfid.com
Since we posted the Blog on our 13.56 MHz. (HF) and 900 MHz. (UHF) reader we have had a number of queries asking “Can the reader read both HF and UHF at the same time?”
Unfortunately the two technologies to read/interrogate the tags are completely different.
HF uses Near Field technology known as electromagnetic induction. The reader and tag literally make a transformer for communication and because of this transforming effect the read distance is very short, hence the term Near Field. Once there is a a coupling between the reader and the tag communication is established by the reader changing the amplitude (size) phase or frequency of the carrier wave to get a response from the tag. Since there can be multiple ways to read HF tags a single HF reader does not have the capability to read all HF tags. This is also one of the reasons HF tags are slower to read than UHF tags. HF also has many different encryption/decryption methods and ISO standards which also adds to the read time and makes a single reader possibility for all HF tags almost impossible to manufacture and if you could make one it would be so expensive most companies could not afford to purchase one.
UHF uses Far Field technology known as passive backscatter which is very similar to the radar gun used by law enforcement officials to check vehicle speeds. The UHF electromagnetic wave is partially absorbed by the UHF tag to power the chip and some reflects back to the reader depending on how well the tag resonates to the UHF frequency. While several years ago UHF was Gen 1 class 0 and Class 1 most of this has been replaced by Gen 2 which is a global standard for reader to tag communications. UHF Gen 2 has only two methods or ways to read a tag and that is totally dependent on the surrounding environment at the time of the read request. If the environment is RF noisy then the reader changes its read method to a slower read algorithm that eliminates the surrounding noise. This is done automatically by the reader and since either read speed is very fast users will not even know that the reader changed its interrogation method While UHF normally is Far Field technology, recent developments of small tags for item level deployment have produced the need for the UHF
to also use Near Field technology. Since the frequency is still UHF a change in antenna type is all that is needed to read NF UHF tags. Note that while you can have UHF tags that read 35 feet or more away from a reader Near Field is usually a foot or less depending on the reader power. The biggest reason for the Near Field tag is so that you can use all of the same hardware to read both Far Field and Near Field in the GEN 2 UHF frequencies.
Unless a reader has two different antennas it can not read multiple frequencies (or different read technologies); and unless the reader has 2 separate operating systems, etc. in essence two readers contained in one enclosure you can not read an HF tag and a UHF tag at the same time.
SkyRFID has just started a new special feature on RFID readers.
This new item is an Industrial PDA that is not only a cell phone and a GPS device, it also reads and writes 13.56 MHz and UHF 900 Gen 2.
With an IP rating of 65 and both desk and car charging docks, this little portable is one mean and versatile machine. You can also get a CMOS digital Camera, 1 and 2 D bar code scanners and a Gun stock for heavy duty application requirements. It comes with 128 MB RAM and 128 MB ROM which is expandable to 256 MB.
Pricing is super good and starts at just over $ 1000 for a basic unit.
Check it out at
If you want a better deal, mention the promotion SKYTAG and get a variety of 13.56 MHz. and 900 MHz. tags (50 $ Value) included in your configurations price for free. The promo code is only good for the first 20 people that use it so look at the special pricing on our web site and move quickly.
Ξ September 10th, 2007 | → Comments Off on RFID Jewellery Tags | ∇ HF High Frequency, RFID News |
Jewelery, watches and other small high value items can be a problem controlling in many stores. Often stores are forced to limit the number of people in the store at one time just to deter theft.
Instead of having to constantly look around to see if your jewelery and other high priced items are still on the shelves or how many people are in the store and where are they, use our new RFID jewelery tags. These tags not only add brand recognition to your already prestigious product line, it also visibly deters theft!
If just seeing the RFID tag is not enough to deter a thief, just let someone pick up one of your tagged items and watch the door lock automatically as the alarm goes off!
Never again will someone try to steal from your store! Everyone in the area will know you use a state of the art RFID Theft Deterrent System and only buying customers will be visiting you!
Since these RFID tags are a great deterrent you can spend more time selling and less time looking and watching – sales increase and loses simply don’t happen.
Check out our Weekly Special on these custom tags today!