Radio Frequency Identification

1.What is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It is an auto ID technology based on radio waves. In its basic form, it is comprised of a tag and a tag reader. The tag contains data. It emits the data using radio waves which are captured by the reader. Some tags support the capability for the reader to both read and write the tags. RFID is sometimes seen as the successor of bar codes. "RFID is a technology that allows a small radio device attached to an item to carry an identity for that item." (Glover, 19)

2. History of RFID

3. RFID Tags and its types

RFID Tag Features:

1. Attachment: Every tag has to have the ability to be attached to the object. Whether it be in the form of a label or as an implant under the skin.

2. Reading the tag: RFID tags use radio waves to transmit information. Every tag must have some means to send radio signals.

3. Kill/Disable: Recently, RFID's have come under the radar as the new threat to personal privacy. Like with any other technology, there is a security concern with using RFID's too. For these reasons, some RFID's can be embedded with the disable feature. When the tag receives the correct kill code, it permanently ceases to function.

4. Write once: Tags come in many varieties. Some tags come pre programmed from the manufacturer. In some cases, the tags can be allowed to be written once by the end user. These tags are generally used by the military to track inventory and by large retail corporations.

5. Write many: These kind of tags can be written to an unlimited number of times. These tags are usually more expensive than write once tags. This makes them unsuitable for use in supply chains for inventory management.

6. Secure and encrypted tags: RFID technology is criticized for security issues posed at most wireless technologies. Some tags can store encrypted information that would be harder to decode without the encryption key, thus making them more secure.

Physical Characteristics of Tags:

1. Button tags: These tags are similar in shape to buttons and can be smaller than some coins. They are also durable and reusable.

2. Contactless smart cards: These RFID tags are shaped like credit cards. They do not require to come in contact with any surface. A good example of these form of tags is Visa PayWave. The cards can be used to pay for merchandise by simply waving the card in front of the detector. The cards have an RFID tag built into them and the detectors have an RFID reader.

3. RFID labels: These tags are printed using conductive inks onto flexible label stock. This type of tags are generally used by the pharmaceutical industry.

4. Small tags: These tags are extremely small and can be embedded in clothing, watches, bracelets, etc.

Power Source:

Operating Frequency:

4. RFID Readers

6. Production of RFID

1. Create the die.
2. Produce the tag antenna.
3. Create the inlet.
4. Convert the inlet.

1. The microchips are produced on the silicon wafer. To do this, chemical etching processes are used (photolithographic processes).

2. The individual microchips are tested to check if they are fully functional. Once the test is done, the test function is disabled by blowing specific fuses on the chip. Dysfunctional chips are color coded so they can be discarded later in the process.

3. Tags are embedded with unique serial numbers at this stage. This is usually done with the testing. Read only tags are embedded with these serial numbers by blowing certain fuses using focused laser beams. Writeable tags are embedded by using software methods.

4. Individual micro chips are separated from the silicone wafers at this stage. A diamond saw is used for this process. This process also damages the top layer of the silicon wafer. This prevents the wafer from being used for other microchips.

7. Applications of RFID

1. RFID in Supply Chains and Walmart

2. RFID in the Military

3. Security Applications

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