Radio Frequency Identification System is a technology based identification system which helps identifying objects just through the tags attached to them, without requiring any light of sight between the tags and the tag reader. All that is needed is radio communication between the tag and the reader
Main Components of a RFID System
- A RFID tag: It consists of a silicon microchip attached to a small antenna and mounted on a substrate and encapsulated in different materials like plastic or glass veil and with an adhesive on the back side to be attached to objects.
- A reader: It consists of a scanner with antennas to transmit and receive signals and is responsible for communication with the tag and receives the information from the tag.
- A Processor or a Controller: It can be a host computer with a Microprocessor or a microcontroller which receives the reader input and process the data.
Types of RFID Systems:
- Active RFID system: These are systems where the tag has its own power source like any external power supply unit or a battery. The only constraint being the life time of the power devices. These systems can be used for larger distances and to track high value goods like vehicles.
In the active RFID system, the reader sends signal to the tag using an antenna. The tag receives this information and resends this information along with the information in its memory. The reader receives this signal and transmits to the processor for further processing.
- Passive RFID system: These are systems where the tag gets power through the transfer of power from a reader antenna to the tag antenna. They are used for short range transmission.
The tag can be powered either using inducting coupling method or through EM wave capture method.
- A Passive RFID system using Induction coupling method: In this approach the RFID tag gets power from the reader through inductive coupling method. The reader consists of a coil connected to an AC supply such that a magnetic field is formed around it. The tag coil is placed in the vicinity of the reader coil and an electromotive force is induced it by the virtue of Faraday’s law of induction. The EMF causes a flow of current in the coil, thus producing a magnetic field around it. By the virtue of Lenz law, the magnetic field of the tag coil opposes the reader’s magnetic field and there will be a subsequent increase in the current through the reader coil. The reader intercepts this as the load information. This system is suitable for very short distance communication. The AC voltage appearing across the tag coil is converted to DC using rectifier and filter arrangement.
- A Passive RFID system using EM wave propagation method: The antenna present in the reader transmits electromagnetic waves which are received by the antenna present in the tag as potential difference across the dipole. This voltage is rectified and filtered to get the DC power. The receiver antenna is kept at different impedance which causes it to reflect a part of the received signal. This reflected signal is received by the reader and monitored accordingly.
Electronics and Communication Engineering