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How Much Do RFID Tags Cost?

Posted By RFID Journal, 05.07.2009
What is the current price of a radio frequency identification tag?

—Name withheld

That's a bit like asking for the price of a car, or of a digital camera. It depends on the tag, its features and the quantity purchased. Invengo has been offering ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) inlays based on the EPC Gen 2 standard for 5.8 cents apiece (see Invengo Debuts in the U.S. Market With 5.8-Cent Inlay). The inlay can be used to track assets, or it can be placed within a box. If it is converted into a label, that will increase the tag cost—probably by 100 percent.

High-frequency (HF) inlays tend to be more expensive, because many HF tags have advance features and a more complicated antenna structure. Active tags have a battery and require a plastic housing to hold the circuit board and battery, so they are more expensive—$5 each or more.

With all tags, packaging will increase the price. If you want an active tag that can withstand time in an oven during a manufacturing process, or harsh cleaning detergents, the special housing needed to protect the electronics and battery will increase the cost. With active tags, the required battery life also raises the price of the tag.

—Mark Roberti, Editor
, RFID Journal

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