Understanding RFID in 10 point

With the massive development of RFID products, it is important to understand how the technology works and how to use it in the most efficient way. How does the technology work? What is the most effective support in terms of how it is used? What chip to choose? To best find your way among the wide range of media and chips, here are a few simple points to which SBE responds:

1.RFID Definition


Every day we use RFID products without knowing: via transport cards, anti-theft labels in stores, security badges or more recently contactless keys for our car.

This technology has the advantage of saving users time and allowing quick reading of data. But do you really know what RFID is?


RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is a method to remember and recover remote data. The system is activated by a transfer of electromagnetic energy between a radio label and an RFID transmitter. The radio label, also called RFID tag, is made up of an electronic chip and an antenna which receives the radio signal emitted by the reader also equipped with RFID technology. The components allow both reading and responding to the signals.  



2. The various media


Today RFID is developing in different media:


Types of surface


Cards and badges


Identification of people

Contactless payment

Control of access to business premises


Loyalty cards

Labels and stickers


Identification of assets

Stock and inventory

Fight against forgery

Traceability of products

Promotion at events



Identification of people

Contactless payment

Promotion at events

Key rings and RFID tags


Access to residences, premises and car parks

Company access badges


Subcutaneous chips





For each different surface, the chip may be for single use (reading only) or rewritable (reading and writing with memory). To choose the chip type, you must first choose the frequency according to the desired use.


3. Communication by the chip.


Frequency is the feature that allows communication between the chip and the antenna. But all chips on the market do not have the same functionality.

The chips differ largely in their operating frequency and the reading distance. The higher the frequency, the greater the reading distance. Depending on these elements, the chip will be more or less powerful and more or less expensive.

Three types of frequencies are used for RFID chips:

Low frequency (125 Khz),

High frequency (13.56 Mhz)

Very high frequency (UHF).


Type of frequency

Frequncy of function

Reading distance (m)

Transfer rate


Bass frequency

< 135 kHz



ISO 14223/1, 

ISO 18000-2

High frequency

13.56 Mhz



ISO 14443, 

ISO 15693, 

ISO 18000-3

Very high frequency

863 to 915 Mhz

3 to 6


ISO 18000-6


A number of manufacturers share the market, offering chips with increasingly high performance . This technology is now standardized and present in many everyday objects.


4. The capabilities of the RFID chip.

This technology has three versions:

  • Passive RFID
  • Semi-Passive RFID
  • Active RFID


Passive RFID works in read only since the chip does not have a battery and must be moved towards the reader to be read. A powerful electromagnetic signal is sent to it, enabling the RFID chip to be activated and the information contained in it to be read.


On the other hand, active RFID works with an energy source such as a battery or mini battery, which allows the card to be read over longer distances. This technique is mainly used for the traceability of people, vehicles or logistical traceability.


Like active RFID, semi-passive RFID is powered by an energy source. However, the battery feeds the RFID chip at regular time intervals. It does not send out a signal. This technology is useful for food traceability, especially to record changes in temperature during transport.

Posted By Deborah Dos Santos, On

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