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How Do Smart and Dumb Readers Store Data About Tag Reads?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.22.2009
I have a question regarding how RFID interrogators store tag reads. As far as I know, some intelligent RFID readers can store information on tags they read in their internal storage before the information is sent to back-end applications, but simple or "dumb" interrogators can not do this. Does that mean the tag information read by simple readers will be lost if not delivered to applications in time? And for intelligent readers, will the tag information also be lost if the storage queue is full? And what can we do to avoid such problems?

—Name withheld

Since we're not experts on the internal workings of RFID readers, I reached out to the folks at Impinj, a leading provider of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) readers. Here is the response:

"The majority of RFID readers are not intended to store data for a long period of time. Typically, they are designed to gather and disseminate data to application software as quickly as possible. Most interrogators can provide automatic buffering if a network connection is lost, and later (automatically) send the data when a connection is re-established. In order to store data, readers require additional processor power and memory, which can dramatically increase reader cost.

"Some interrogators offer users the option to write application software on the device, which would then allow the data to be stored. However, there is a finite amount of storage. The use of application software on an off-reader server is recommended as it can process, sort and identify the gathered data providing users with the information they desire."

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