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How Can I Maximize the Read Distance of an NFC System?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.03.2016

Is it a better approach to use a larger reader antenna or a larger tag antenna—or is it not that simple?




Near Field Communication (NFC) is designed to be a short-range form of RFID. Originally, NFC built on the ISO 14443 standard for transactions. This standard limited the read range to a few inches in order to prevent eavesdropping on tag-to-reader communication. More recently, NFC has incorporated the ISO 15693 standard, which offers a maximum read range of about 3 feet. So it would make sense to use ISO 15693 tags, rather than NFC tags based on ISO 14443.

It is possible to increase the read range by creating a much larger loop in the reader antenna. A larger tag antenna would increase the read range only slightly. Of course, if you want a read range of longer than 3 feet, you should consider using passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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