What is RFID?
RFID is the acronym for Radio Frequency Identification and as the name suggests it is a small electronic device that is embedded with a chip and an antenna. The RFID is known for its capability to carry about 2000 bytes or less. The RFID device has a similar function to that of a credit or debit card, where it has a bar code or magnetic strip, which brings in the unique identifier for any particular object. The RFID device is mainly scanned, just like the debit or credit card, to retrieve the unique identification of an object. However unlike bar code readers and ATM cards, the RFID device need not be placed directly in position of the scanner or be precisely swiped in the machine, which essentially has an advantage when it comes to extracting the required ID of the object. Another advantage that RFID devices have over other devices is its ability to scan for an ID even if the object is placed a few feet away from the scanner.
RFID cards are plastic made devices that are used for transmitting a set of information to a reader or scanner by making used of an RFID chip embedded with a unique identification inlay. Users do not have to swipe the card through a swiping machine like an ATM card or even place the device precisely in position with the scanner like a barcode machine. All that you require to do is simply pass this RFID card within a reasonable range of a radio frequency reader.
How does RFID work?
The basic principle of the working on an RFID device is something what we refer to as AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture). RFID devices simply use the mechanism of radio waves to make use of retrieving data from a particular object. Basically, every RFID device contains 3 main components that need to make it work: an RFID tag, a reader that can scan the RFID and an antenna. The RFID tag consists of an integrated circuit and antenna that can be used to send across data on to the next component, the RFID reader, which is also commonly known as RFID interrogator. The reader in turn converts the radio waves that are received to a more usable format of data. This is then transmitted to through a particularly designed communication interface towards a host computer, at which the data received is stored in a dedicated database and analyzed when needed.
What is in the RFID chip?
The RFID chip has a built-in antenna and also an integrated circuit (IC) where the former can transmit and receive radio waves, while the latter modulates and demodulates radio signals and also processes and stores required data. There is more than one kind of RFID chips, where some, known as active chips, require the usage of batteries to work while others don’t need any and they are mostly known as passive chips. Some RFID chips are particularly manufactured to be used for indoor purposes while some are for more rugged terrains and other similar outdoor applications. The common purposes of RFID chips are to transmit data in order to retrieve data, track objects and ID them. The RFID chips communicate with an RFID reader through radio waves, unlike the barcode technology that makes use of infrared waves. An RFID chip also has the capability of sending across data to more than a single RFID reader at once, which is not likely in barcode technology.
The RFID tag is the smaller component within an RFID card that has the properties of a radio frequency identification system associated with a particular object. RFID tags come into existence as active, which means battery powered or passive, which does not require batteries to be powered up. The RFID tag consists of essentially 3 parts, namely the IC or integrated circuit, a method of accumulating DC power from a reader signal and also an antenna. The IC is mainly employed to modulate and demodulate radio frequency signals while the antenna serves the purpose of sending and receiving the signals. The data within an RFID tag is stored within what we call a volatile memory and it includes either a fixed or programmable logic that is used to process the data collected over submission and sensor. Two-way radio transmitter-receivers called interrogators or readers send a signal to the tag and read its response.