UHF or RAIN RFID is an emerging IoT technology that is gaining adoption across numerous industries as its combination of low-cost identification tags and several-meter read range. Asset tracking, inventory management, and authentication solutions are RFID tag use cases enabled in the retail, supply chain, logistics, healthcare, airline baggage, automotive and industrial. Many solutions require an optimized identification tag to help long read range for tagging a specific material and form factor. Due to these factors, UHF RFID tag manufacturer leads tags’ large variety from tiny near-field button tags to large far-field dipoles. There are various frequency, tag types, and inlays available on the market today.

RFID Technology Types

Radiofrequency identification technology has become more common across several industries, but various RFID technology and readers are uniquely suitable for different applications.

The RFID tag manufacturer classifies the varieties by the radio frequency range they use to identifies as low, high, and ultra-high. The following list is the different RFID technology types, their capabilities and limitations, and the kinds of applications they are the best fit for.

What is the tag Frequency?

The manufacturers grouped RFID tags into three categories based on the tag’s range frequencies to communicate data: LF-low frequency, HF- high frequency, and ULF- ultra-high frequency. Generally, the lower the RFID tag system’s frequency, the shorter the tag read range and slower the tag data read rate.

Frequency Types

Low Frequency (LF) RFID:

The RFID tag systems operate between the 30 kHz to 300 kHz frequency range. They have a read range of about 10 cm. however, they have a shorter reading range and slower data read rate than other tag technologies; they perform better in the metal or liquids presence, affecting different RFID transmissions. You can find LF tags commonly in access control, livestock tracking, and various applications where a short tag read range is acceptable.

High Frequency (HF) RFID

HF RFID systems operate between 3 MHz to 30 MHz range and offer tag reading distances from 10 cm to 1 m. Typical applications of HF RIFID include electronic ticketing and reimbursement, and data transfer. Near Field Communication technology is based on HF RFID tag and is used for payment cards and hotel card applications. Other types of smart cards, proximity payment, and security card systems also use HF technology.

Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID

These UHF RFID systems have a frequency range in the 300 MHz and 3 GHz, offer read degrees of approximately 12 m, and have faster tag data transfer rates. They are very sensitive to interference from liquids, metals, and electromagnetic signals, but modern design innovations help mitigate these issues.

UHF RFID tag manufacturer provides inexpensive RFID tags, as people commonly use UFID in retail inventory tracking, pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting, and numerous applications where large tag volumes are suitable.

How do RFID tags work?

  • The reader sends RF energy to the tag in the form of black waves.
  • Tag harvests Radiofrequency energy and wakes up the digital controller (-20dBm is sufficient for the latest tags)
  • The reader continues to send radio frequency tag energy plus query (hi) command.
  • Tag recognizes inquiry command and backscatters information in the form of red waves. Backscatter energy reflects waves off the RF tag while the label modulates data either 0s or 1s by changing its impedance to the antenna.
  • Tag reader receives the backscatter waves and demodulates the RFID tag information.

Key factors to consider when opting for the right RFID tag:

The following are some key factors for the selection of the right RFID tag, you should consider:

Performance: RF tag read distance is usually the primary performance parameter. Tag chip sensitivity and antenna design are the key factors determining read performance.

Size : generally, larger tags more read distance, but it often compromises the performance to meet size constraints.

Type of material: materials have various dielectric properties which need different antenna designs; for instance: hard plastic vs. cardboard can have other dielectric properties, which affects the antenna performance. Metal and liquid-filled bottles also require different RFID tag designs.

Environment: temperature and humidity both play a role in performance and reliability. It is where durable tags can provide more value.

Lifecycle: RFID tag technology has a similar lifespan to other electronics, but tag construction has a limiting factor.

Some facts about RFID:

Here are a few facts about RFID.

  • RFID technology does not need a direct line of sight
  • RFID tags can be rewritten and reused
  • RFID tags are extremely durable against environmental factors
  • RFID tag readers can read thousands of labels within seconds
  • RFID data can encode and can lock for extra safety.
  • RFID tags can hold more tag data than other types of tags or labels.
  • RFID tags can have data printed on them, such as instructions, barcodes, or brand names.
  • RFID systems integrate with other internal systems or processes.