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How Much Data Can Be Stored on an RFID Tag?

Posted By Mark Roberti, 01.17.2011
We plan to conduct a project based on RFID technology. Before we begin, please tell us how much information a tag can store.

—Name withheld

———
The answer depends on the type of tag used.

Passive RFID tags typically store anywhere from 64 bits to 1 kilobyte of non-volatile memory. Originally, tags contained sufficient memory to store only a unique serial number or "license plate," and perhaps some additional information. The idea was that data associated with the unique serial number could be stored in a database accessible via the Internet.

Over the past few years, however, companies have begun asking tag suppliers for more memory in order to store additional information, and tag manufacturers have responded. Currently, some passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags contain as much as 8 kilobytes of memory.

Some active (battery-powered) tags store as much as 128 kilobytes. Active tags have a longer read range, but are more expensive. They are typically used for tracking larger assets over longer distances.

I hope this information proves useful for your project.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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