RFID, Radio Frequency Identification and Detection

RFID is a monitoring technology used to identify and authenticate tags which are applied to almost any product, animal or individual. Radio frequency Identification and Detection is a general term used for technologies that make use of radio waves in order to recognize people and objects.

Goal of Radio frequency Identification and Detection process is to facilitate data transmission through the portable device called label that is read with the help of RFID reader; and process it according to the needs of a program. Information transmitted with the assistance of label features location or identification along with different particulars of product labeled – buy date, color, and price. Normal RFID tag comprises microchip with wireless antenna, mounted on substrate.

The RFID tags are all configured to respond and receive signals from an RFID transceiver. This allows tags to be read in the distance, unlike other forms of authentication technology. The RFID system has gained wide acceptance in companies, and is slowly replacing the barcode system.


Basic RFID is composed of an antenna, transceiver and transponder.
Antenna emits the radio signals to trigger to read as well as write information to it. Reader emits the radio waves, ranging from one to 100 inches, on the grounds of radio frequency machine for home use and power output. While passing through digital magnetic zone, RFID tag finds detection signs of subscribers.

Powered by its own internal battery or from the reader signals, the label sends radio waves back into the reader. Reader receives these waves and explains the frequency to produce a unique ID. Reader then decodes data encoded in integrated circuit of tags and transmits it to the computers for use.

Kinds of RFID

Active and passive RFID are unique technologies but are often evaluated together. Although the two of them use the radio frequency for communicating between reader and tag, means of providing power to tags differs. Active RFID makes use of battery inside tag for supplying constant capability to tag and radio frequency power circuitry.

Passive RFID needs strong signals from reader but indicate strength bounced from tag is at reduced levels. Active RFID receives low level signals by tag but it can create higher level signals to readers. This type of RFID is continually powered, whether in or out of the reader’s field. Active tags consist of external detectors for assessing humidity, temperature, motion in addition to some other conditions.

RFID frequencies

Just like you can tune a radio in various frequencies for listening to various stations, RFID tags and readers need to be tuned into some same frequency for communication. RFID system utilizes various frequencies but most ordinary and popularly used frequency is low, high and ultra high frequency. Low frequency is around 125 KHz, high is around 13.56 MHz and ultra high fluctuates between 860-960 MHz. Some applications also make use of microwave frequency of 2.45 GHz. It is imperative to choose right frequency to get a program as radio waves operate different at various frequencies.

History and key developments

RFID has existed since II World War but was seen as too limited and pricey in performance for many of commercial usage. With advancement in technology, price of system elements has reduced and capabilities have improved, making RFID more popular.

Léon Theremin invented a surveillance tool for Soviet Union from the year 1945. This tool retransmitted the incident radio waves together with audio details. Sound waves vibrated diaphragm which altered the form of resonator, modulating reflected sound frequencies. This tool wasn’t identification label however a secret listening device. But it’s still regarded as predecessor of this RFID technology because of it being energized, passive and aroused by outside electromagnetic waves. The transponders are used for by powered aircrafts till date.