RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, or more simply radio-identification in French. This technology makes it possible to read, save and collect remote data stored on RFID tags, also called RFID tags. Each RFID tag includes a silicon electronic chip, an antenna, and an encapsulation or substrate. The chip stores data that is transmitted through the antenna to a reader transmitting at a certain frequency. RFID was first used in the 1930s by the British Army and then a few years later by the Soviet Union. RFID developed over the following decades (object traceability, security, defense), but it is only since 2005 that it has been used globally around the world. Popular, it is found in many everyday uses today.
How does RFID work?
The principle of operation of RFID is simple: the reader remotely reads the RFID tag containing the data by emitting a radio frequency signal.
The RFID reader can feed passive tags, read and write data on tags, convert received information and transmit to terminal by transmitting radio frequency. The frequency varies depending on the application. The low frequency transmission speed is slow and the distance is short, but regardless of the environment, the readability is high. The higher the frequency, the faster the transmission speed and the longer the range, the more difficult the reading. For example, the low frequency is used for tracking animals and objects, while the higher frequency is used for electronic toll collection. There are several types of readers, always depending on the purpose. They can have different sizes, fixed or portable.
Passive RFID tags
Passive RFID tags are powered by the RFID reader by transmitting electromagnetic energy when in use. Their advantage is prudence. They are easy and inexpensive to make. Passive RFID tags are the most commonly used.
Active RFID tags
Active RFID tags can transmit signals over long distances and store more data using built-in batteries. Compared to passive RFID tags, they have higher manufacturing costs and shorter lifespan. Their use is more specific and their field of use is also more restricted.
Semi-active RFID tags
There are semi-active RFID tags. They work the same as passive beacons, but have a small battery to store data.
What is RFID for?
Practical, discreet and easy to set up, RFID technology is now widespread around the world. It is mainly used to trace and identify objects or people. It is found in particular in:
access to public transport;
the identification and traceability of objects (inventory of department stores for example);
household waste management;
the marking of living beings (plants, farm animals, humans).