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Images credits: Turck USA; Embedds

 

RFID transceivers are products which establish RFID reception and transmission on the same integrated circuit. This allows them to reprogram RFID tags.

 

RFID Transceiver Operation

RFID transceivers function similarly to RFID readers. These devices emit a particular radio frequency signal which is perceived by an RFID tag. If the tag is programmed to a compliant frequency, it will emit a return RF signal which includes the tag's protocol, managing organization, asset description, and serial number. Transceivers are typically cabled to a programmable logic controller (PLC) or computer via an IO module. If the module is programmable, it can be used to provide more comprehensive data to the PLC or computer; the PLC or computer then instructs the RFID transceiver to recode or rewrite the tag if necessary.

 

Many tags are programmed with protocol, encryption, or a read/write mode which cannot be changed. This prevents the tag from corruption and unauthorized interrogating. Some tags allow these specifications to be changed, in which case the RFID transceiver is capable of rewriting the tag's functionality. Since the frequency of the tag is directly related to the geometry of the antenna, the frequency which it uses cannot be changed, but the depth of its modulation is adjustable. One of the central advantages to an RFID transceiver is the time saved; a module is able to read and rewrite a tag with only one input from the operator.

Operation of RFID transceivers

Image credit: Priority 1 Design

 

RFID transceivers are common in instances where the RFID tag code needs to be frequently changed. If used in conjunction with encoded software, customized and secure RFID tags can be made. Since the transceiver is capable of reception and transmission, RFID connections which utilize transceivers are better encrypted than those which use RFID readers and tags. The applicable range of the transceiver is often limited to within several inches as an applicative feature, not a design constraint.

 

Frequencies

The accompanying table represents the most common frequencies used by RFID equipment.

Band Range Data speed Common uses
120—159 kHz (low frequency) 10 cm Low Animal identification; factory data collection; auto keys
13.56 MHz (high frequency) 10 cm—1 m Low to moderate Smart cards; shelf inventories; transactions
433 MHz (ultra-high frequency) 1—100 m Moderate Defense applications; tracking pallets

Eurasia: 865—868 MHz (ultra-high frequency)

North America: 902—928 MHz (ultra-high frequency) 

1—12 m Moderate to high Inventory; hard-to-read RFID applications
2450—6800 MHz (microwave) 1—2 m High 802.11 WLAN, Bluetooth standards
3.1—10 GHz (microwave) >200 m High Road toll accounts

 

RFID Transceiver Standards

RFID systems are often regulated by industry standards as a whole, and not by individual components. There is an extensive list of RFID standards available through the IHS Global Standards Store. Some of the more notable standards include:

 

-ISO 14443 RFID use in passports and ID cards

-BS ISO 29143 Automatic identification an data capture

-ISO 17366 RFID use for produce packaging

 

RFID Transceiver Applications

Applications in which the flexibility of RFID transceivers is useful include:

  • Access control
  • User identifications
  • Robotic navigations
  • Inventory and product tracking
  • Payment systems
  • Automobile immobilization

  • Various types of automated manufacturing

Resources

 

Radio Shack - What is a Transceiver in RIFD?

 

iStart - What is is RFID?

 

RFID basics by Priority 1 Design

 

Parallax RFID Read/Write Module Serial 28440, datasheet (.pdf)