RFID - from dream to reality

To imagine the possibilities and advantages of wireless communication technologies, let's recall an ordinary radio or mobile phone. We will now extend these benefits to the process of transmitting and collecting data using small portable devices, and we will come very close to understanding the nature and assessing the potential of radio frequency identification. RFID as an area of automatic identification, is now seen as a radical means of improving the data management process, which has several significant advantages over a bar code. The range of RFID devices and systems allows us to meet the needs of consumers in a much wider range. At the same time, absolutely fantastic opportunities arise for the integration of business processes in various areas, which previously could only be dreamed of. At the same time, using RFID technology is a simpler and more understandable process than using a mobile phone, and does not require that we know our technical details. Tens of thousands of Muscovites, passing every day on the subway using a contactless monthly travel card, do not even suspect that this is one of the RFID technologies. The same can be said about the use of anti-theft systems that are now on each car. They are controlled by RFID.

The task of the RFID system is to store information in a convenient media tag and transfer it using special devices at a convenient time and place to perform certain processes. The data in the label can provide identification of the object in production, goods in the store, in the warehouse and during transportation, location and identification of mobile assets, identification of animals, people, property, documents, etc. The antenna emits electromagnetic waves that activate the RFID tag and allow for recording and reading data from this tag. The antenna is a kind of channel between the tag and the transceiver, it controls the entire process of receiving and transmitting data. Antennas vary in size and shape. They can be built into special scanners, as well as gates, turnstiles, door jambs, etc. for information from objects or people passing through the antenna. In the case of continuous reading of a large number of tags, the electromagnetic field is radiated by the antenna constantly. If constant polling is not required, the field can be activated by the operator’s command. Structurally, the antenna and transceiver with a decoder can be in the same package. The functions of the transceiver and decoder are similar to those of similar units in a radio receiver and scanner. The signal from the antenna is demodulated, decoded and transmitted via a standard interface to a computer for further processing. Radio frequency tag or transponder. The name transponder itself, i.e. short for TRANSmitter / resPONDER (transmitter-receiver), explains the functions of this device. An RFID tag typically includes a receiver, transmitter, antenna, and a storage unit for storing information. Receiving energy from a radio signal emitted by a permanently fixed reader or hand-held scanner, the transponder responds with its own signal containing useful information. RFID tags are rightly called “smart labels.” The receiver, transmitter, and transponder memory are structurally made as a separate chip (chip), so outwardly it seems that the RF tag consists of two parts: a multi-turn antenna and a chip (see a photo). Sometimes their power supply is switched on (for example, a lithium battery). Tags with a power source are called active, without power - passive. By way of writing information, RFID tags are divided into R / W tags (Read / Write, multiple read / write), WORM tags (Write Once Read Many, write once and multiple reads) and Read-only tags (read only).