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RFIDSupplyChain

RFID Tags

How much information can a tag store?

That depends on the vendor and the application of the tag.  Most tags will use a 96-bit serial number.  These are the simple tags that will be used in most throw away packaging.  The tags though can have up to 2KB of data, but these are not to be used just once and thrown away.

What’s the difference between read-only and read-write RFID tags?

The read-only tags have all the information the manufacturer placed on them, but no more information can be stored on the tag.  Read-write tags can be used to place additional information on the tag or the tag can be completely erase and used again in another product.

What are the differences between active and passive RFID tags?

Active tags have a power source linked to them like a battery.  The power is used to broadcast the signal to the reader.  Passive tags draw their power from the reader.  The passive tags use the electromagnetic waves from the reader to induce the antenna on the tag to send out the information.  Active tags are much more expensive, but have a much farther read range.

What is the read range for a typical RFID tag?

There is no simple answer for this question.  Low frequency tags have a range of about 1-2 feet.  UHF tags have a range of 20-30 feet and active tags can boost the signal to 300 feet.

What is tag collision?

This is when many tags or transponders send a signal back to the reader at the same time.  The reader then becomes confused.  Different vendors have come up with different ways to help singulated the tags.

RFID doesn’t work on metal or water products right?

Wrong. Certain frequencies have a hard time with metal and water.  Low end and high end frequencies work well around metal and water.  Some low end frequencies have actually been imbedded into some metal car parts without any RFID problems. UHF have developed products specifically designed to work on and around metal and water products.