Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enables a device to read information from a distinct tag without requiring any physical contact or line of site between the two.
The system consists of three major components: the tag, the reader and the middleware.
An RFID tag, also referred to as a transponder, is comprised of a simple silicon microchip combined with an antenna in a compact package. The tag is a fixed to the object that needs to be tracked. RFID tags can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a book. There are three main categories of RFID tags used to classify the tags according to their energy source and functionalities. These are active tags, passive tags, or semi-passive tags.
Active tags have a battery included in the tag and transmit actively on longer distances that can reach several kilometers. These tags are larger, more expensive and more durable. They are used for tracking trailers in yards and containers on loading docks.
Passive tags extract their power from the electromagnetic waves that the reader's antenna emits. You are already using passive RFID if you use your ID badge at work or automatic access, use the Speedpass to purchase gasoline or own a car that has an antitheft immobilizer.
Semi-passive tags are similar to passive tags in the way that they extract their power from a remote device for communication purposes. However, they also have a built-in battery that allows them to store data on the microchip.
The reader is used to create an interrogation zone in which the RFID tag will be read, and in the case of a passive tag will serve to power it up. The reader will also manage the different antennas it is connected to in order to achieve a maximum read rate.
The RFID middleware is the brain behind the system. It will manage the different readers and instruct them on how to interact with the RFID tags. It is also the component that is responsible for communicating filtered events back to the enterprise system.
Published articles by Academia's faculty
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