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 News Details

A radio frequency identification (RFID)

2021-06-30

A radio frequency identification (RFID)


 Wisam khalid Jumar     

 

 

 

 

     A radio frequency identification (RFID) system is a wireless communication system in which the radio link between the base station and the transponders are furnished by the modulated backscattered waves.

    Rapid identification technologies have led to a better handling of raw materials and finished products in the food industry. Traditionally, universal product code (UPC) barcodes have been used to automate and standardize the identification process. Even though the barcodes are less expensive, they require a clear line of sight between the reader and tag. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an alternative technology that has been recently used to speed the handling of manufactured goods and materials. RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio frequency waves to identify an object. RFID enables identification of an object from a distance without requiring a line of sight. RFID tags can incorporate additional data such as details of product and manufacturer and can transmit measured environmental factors such as temperature and relative humidity. Additionally, RFID readers can distinguish between many different tags located in the same area without any human assistance. However, RFID technology is more expensive than the traditional barcode technology.

 

    Typical applications of RFID technology include payment of highway tolls, labeling of products for rapid checkout, tracking of inventory, tagging of animals, securing of automobile keys, and so on. In the past few years, RFID technology has been increasingly applied in the food industry. Some of the applications of RFID technology in the food industry include those for supply chain management, temperature monitoring of foods, and ensuring food safety.[1]

    RFID hardware RFID hardware are consisting of [2]:

1. RFID tag: A tiny silicon chip attached to a small antenna.

2. Reader antenna: Used to radiate energy and then capture the energy sent back from the tag. It can be integrated with the reader or connected to the

reader by cable.

3. Reader: The device that talks with tags. A reader may support one or more

antennae.

     Many types of RFID exist, but at the highest level, we can divide RFID devices into two classes: active and passive.

Active RFID tags also contain unique identifiers and may contain other devices, such as sensors. Active RFID tags comprise the second largest group (after passive tags) in use today. Active RFID tags have a powered or active transmitter and receiver that allow them to communicate over a greater distance and through more interference than passive tags.[2]

Active tags require a power source they’re either connected to a powered infrastructure or use energy stored in an integrated battery. In the latter case, a tag’s lifetime is limited by the stored energy, balanced against the number of read operations the device must undergo. One example of an active tag is the transponder attached to an aircraft that identifies its national origin. Another example is a LoJack device attached to a car, which incorporates cellular technology and a GPS to locate the car if stolen. However, batteries make the cost, size, and lifetime of active tags impractical for the retail trade. [3]

   Passive RFID is of interest because the tags don’t require batteries or maintenance. The tags also have an indefinite operational life and are small enough to fit into a practical adhesive label. A passive tag consists of three parts: an antenna, a semiconductor chip attached to the antenna, and some form of encapsulation.

    The tag reader is responsible for powering and communicating with a tag. The tag antenna captures energy and transfers the tag’s ID (the tag’s chip coordinates this process). The encapsulation maintains the tag’s integrity and protects the antenna and chip from environmental conditions or reagents.[3]

  A passive RFID tag contains an antenna that is used for two purposes[2]:

1- the antenna is used to harvest energy from the interrogator continuous wave (CW) RF signal.

2- the antenna is used by the tag to communicate to the interrogator by modifying reflections. The amount of energy that the tag can harvest depends on many factors, but the distance between the interrogator and tag, the interrogator transmitter power, and the efficiency of the tag antenna are the major factors.

  Passive RFID systems are those systems that use passive transponders. Passive transponders do not have an internal power source. They harvest the energy needed by their internal circuits from the electromagnetic field generated by the interrogator. For this reason, they have a short range, limited to a few feet and often, more realistically, to a few inches. Because they don’t have an internal source of energy, the user does not need to worry about the status of the battery. Furthermore, their manufacturing and production costs are very low.

  Active RFID systems, on the other hand, use active transponders. Active transponders have an internal power source, typically a battery that allows broadcasting the signal to the interrogator. Because of not being limited to the power harvested by the antenna, they have an extended read range, typically several hundred feet. However, the inclusion of the power source increases their cost in two ways: the cost of the battery itself as well as the maintenance costs required to check the status of the internal power source and replace it when it has reached an unacceptably low level. The cost of an active transponder is approximately 100 times higher than the cost of a passive transponder.[4]

    Classification of RFID tags is also possible with respect to their capabilities such as read only, re-write and further data recoding. Further data recording examples are temperature, motion and pressure etc.  Compiled tags classification into five classes previously.[5]

    RFID used In tracking inventory in a warehouse or maintaining a fleet of vehicles, there is a clear need for a fully automated data capture and analysis system that will help one keep track of his valuable assets and equipment. RFID provides unique solutions to difficult logistical tracking of inventory or equipment. It is particularly useful in applications where optically based systems fail and when read/write capabilities are required. The technology is stable and evolving, with open architectures becoming increasingly available.

   The basic unit of RFID system is tags and tags have its own unique identification number system by which it recognizes uniquely. These unique identification numbers save in tags’ internal memory and it is not changeable (read-only). However, tags can have other memory which can be either read-only or rewrite able. Tag memory may also contain other read-only information about that tag such manufactured date.

   RFID reader generates magnetic fields through antennas for getting acknowledgement from tags. The reader generates query (trigger) through electromagnetic high-frequency signals (this frequency could be up to 50 times/second) to establish communication for tags . This signal field might get large number of tags data which is a significant problem for handling bulk of data together. However, this problem can be overcome through filtering these data.

Actually software performs this filtering and information system is used to supply this data to data repository or use any other software procedures to control data according to the need and system capability .

This piece of software works as a middle layer between user application and reader because the reader normally does not have the capability to handle bulk data at once; it has the job to supply reading data to user application for further process. This buffering capability may supply data from reader to information system interface (user interface) directly or may provide and use some routine to save into database for later exploit, it is depend on user requirement.

Reader and tags communication can be maintained through several protocols. When the reader is switched on then these protocols start the identification process for reading the tags, these important protocols are ISO 15693, ISO 18000-3, ISO 18000-6 and EPC.

   The reader handles multiple tags reading at once through signal collision detection technique . This signal collision detection technique uses anti-collision algorithm, the use of this algorithm enables multiple tag handling. However, multiple tags handling depend on frequency range and protocol use in conjunction with tag. Reader protocol is not only use for reading the tag but also perform writing on to tags.[5]

   Active tags have its own power but passive tags get the power from antenna based on readers’ signal to antenna. Passive tags response or communication signal is based on the power it gets from antenna[5].

   The use of RFID solutions have been recognize by many industry. However, the appropriate level of RFID components combination and selection of these components according the suitability of organizational situation and environment can make it beneficial. Otherwise, RFID system with the inappropriate combination and selection of RFID components may generates error or does not work effectively which could be increase organizational operational cost and may affect customers’ good will.

References

[1]      P. Kumar, H. W. Reinitz, J. Simunovic, K. P. Sandeep, and P. D. Franzon, “Overview of RFID technology and its applications in the food industry,” J. Food Sci., vol. 74, no. 8, pp. R101--R106, 2009.

[2]      L. Yan, Y. Zhang, L. T. Yang, and H. Ning, The Internet of things: from RFID to the next-generation pervasive networked systems. CRC Press, 2008.

[3]      R. Want, “An introduction to RFID technology,” IEEE pervasive Comput., vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 25–33, 2006.

[4]      L. N. Albert, “RFID design fundamentals and applications.” Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press, 2011.

[5]      K. Ahsan, RFID components, applications and system integration with healthcare perspective. INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2011.

 

 

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