What Is RFID Chip? Understanding The Importance of RFID Chips
Radio frequency identification, or RFID technology, is one of the most transformative technology at the moment. Recently, it has changed different industries around the world in improving how well people can run their businesses and improve customer experience.
To make the RFID technology successful, there is a need for the right components. In this case, we have the RFID chip and antenna. The RFID chip is a tiny electronic device that has the necessary circuitry to process commands as issued by the RFID reader.
The RFID chip is also paired with an antenna whose job is to receive and transmit information from the RFID tag.
RFID technology works at different frequency bands. The main bands include low frequency, high frequency, and ultra-high frequency.
The low frequency chips have a frequency range 125KHz to 134KHz. Because it is low frequency, it is not expected to have the best read range, but it works quite well for harsh environments. Because of the short read range, you can get it ideal for animal tracking and access control.
These chips offer an operating frequency range of 13.56MHz.
An improvement in the frequency range means better read range also. Most of them have a reading range of one meter. Expect to have faster transfer rates compared to LF RFID. This makes it suitable for applications requiring transferring more data at ago.
We see them highly liked for applications such as electronic ticketing, asset tracking, contactless payment, and more.
Expect the frequency range to be 860MHz to 960MHz. This is quite high compared to the other frequency ranges mentioned above.
The UHF RFID chips offer the best-read range of up to ten meters. So, depending on the tag and reader setup, you can easily scan an object at a distance. Also, you will get high-speed data transfer and ease of reading multiple tags.
With such an impressive reading range, you can expect it to be ideal for demanding retail, logistics, and inventory tracking applications.
The standards are essential for guiding the manufacturers to make highly compatible RFID chips with the readers and other existing systems. Below are the main standards you should know about.
The International Organization for Standardization or ISO and the Internal Electrotechnical Communication (IEC) jointly develop standards important for the interoperability and compliance of RFID devices. The most notable is the ISO/IEC 18000 series which covers the various aspects of RFID technology.
Proper compliance with these standards means that the RFID systems from various manufacturers can communicate seamlessly; thus, there is better global adoption.
EP2 Gen2 stands for Electronic Product Code Generation 2, and is a widely known UHF RFID technology. It is a standard developed by EPCglobal to enable better tracking and identification of various products in a supply chain.
EP2 Gen2 offers the best global interoperability, better data storage capacity, and high read rates. This standard is good for modern supply chain management and efficient inventory control.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC is a subset of HF RFID technology working at 13.56MHz. The best part is how it works with different devices so long as they are NFC-enabled. Examples include contactless cards and smartphones.
NFC can facilitate secure transactions, access control, and data exchange. That is why you might see it as a solution for pairing devices, mobile ticketing, and making contactless payments.
Other RFID Tag Components and Structure
We have already seen that can RFID tag contains the RFID chip or integrated circuit. This is what serves as the brain of the RFID tag as it receives and processes the commands from the RFID reader. It also needs other components to work effectively as an RFID tag. The other components include the antenna and substrate. It can have other components depending on the specialty.
Antennas are vital for transmitting and receiving radio frequency signals. The interaction between the reader’s RF field and the antenna leads to energy vital for powering the chip’s operation. As such, the RFID chip can now easily respond to commands from the reader.
The most common type of antenna is the coil antenna. This one is loved because it offers better efficiency for capturing RF signals.
The antenna design and size often impact the RFID tag’s read range and overall performance. The antennas are easily optimized for specific applications. A good example is having short-range proximity or offering long-range identification.
A substrate is another part of the RFID tag that provides a base where the antenna and RFID chip can be mounted. With such a base, you get better support, protection, and better electrical connections.
The substrate can be made of different materials, including plastic, silicon, and other specialized material, such as flexible RFID tags.
The Future of RFID Chips
We can easily see RFID chips can get a lot of applications in different industries. It is great technology with so many uses. Below, we see possible future applications of RFID chips in different markets.
- Increased adoption in the retail and e-commerce sectors. This would largely improve supply chain management and reduce cases of stockouts.
- RFID chips can also be integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT) so that different physical objects can easily communicate and stay interconnected.
- Better security and authentication are also possible with RFID chips. More manufacturers are ensuring their chips have better encryption and authentication protocols. So, expect RFID chips to be used in payment systems for a long time.
- Advancements in healthcare could also use quality RFID chips. We already see that RFID chips are used in healthcare systems. We can expect this to keep on happening and improve as time goes by.
An RFID chip plays an important role in ensuring that the RFID tag actually works. Because of such, the RFID chip needs to come from a reputable manufacturer who also understands the importance of standardization. You will like the tag’s performance with a good chip and easily adapt it for other applications, as mentioned above.