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The Myths of LF vs. HF
Depending upon application requirements, low-frequency passive RFID tags and readers often outperform their high-frequency counterparts—so why do people believe otherwise?
Dec 21, 2009—Being on the sales front of RFID hardware for many years, and as a hands-on owner of an RFID hardware development and manufacturing firm to which I have dedicated my life and soul for nearly 20 years, I have voraciously read just about any available matter on the subject, while scoffing at some writings and deeply appreciating others. In so doing, I have begun to notice a trend—a myth, really: that being the assumption that low-frequency (LF) RFID is a technology of old, a variant that may have been at the dawn of the RFID field but is now largely written off as a solution of yesteryear. Part of that myth is the belief that high-frequency (HF) passive RFID tags and readers outperform LF passive RFID tags and interrogators in every respect.
It's not true, folks, and I intend to show you why.
In the past year, however, I have also begun to take note of articles published by RFID-focused magazines, journals and trade organizations, so I began to inquire as to why. A recent reply from an editor floored me: "This is all that I have read and been told in press releases, interviews, trade shows, other forms of RFID medium—be they blogs, articles, white papers or application stories." This seems to be the general answer.
My company sells both HF and LF RFID products, which I hope will earn me some impartiality points.
I intend to address two main issues in this writing: first, a fair and documented comparison of LF and HF, and second, a history of the RFID market's development, outlining why HF is more predominantly available than LF today. Let's touch on the second issue to begin with, then move back to the first in comparing LF and HF performance, and then wrap up by finishing with the second issue.
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