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What Is UWB?

Posted By RFID Journal, 07.19.2012
Please define this term. Thanks.

—Name withheld

UWB was a British pop-reggae band in the 1980s that scored a big hit in the United States with their cover of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine."

Oh, wait. That was UB40.

The acronym UWB is short for ultra-wideband, and is defined by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as any radio technology having a bandwidth exceeding the lesser of 500 MHz or 20 percent of the arithmetic center frequency. RFID systems that spread communication between a tag and a reader over a wide band are typically active RFID systems, though at least one company has attempted to market a passive UWB system.

The big advantage of UWB for real-time location applications is that such systems are not affected by multipathing—when waves bounce off the floor or other metal objects, making it difficult to determine a tag's precise location. Because of this, UWB solutions can locate a tagged object to a more precise degree than RFID-based real-time location systems (RTLS).

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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