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ETSI Group Plans Dense-Reader Trial

The standards agency will test two methods for improving the performance of dense RFID interrogator deployments in Europe.
By Jonathan Collins
Jun 07, 2006This summer, a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) task group plans to carry out a major trial of two methods for improving the performance of dense RFID interrogator (reader) deployments in Europe.

The trial will include at least 20 interrogators operating within close range of each other. The goal is to help determine the feasibility of reader synchronization and channel spectrum management in real-world European deployments.

The trial will be carried out as part of the work of ETSI's Electromagnetic Compatibility and Radio Spectrum Matters Task Group 34 (ERM TG34). The task group is charged with representing the interests of the RFID industry within ETSI for all RFID products and devices.

At a TG34 meeting held last month in Mainz, Germany (see ETSI Group Explores RFID Spectral Needs), representatives from RFID vendors and end user companies saw demonstrations of two synchronization techniques designed to enable many interrogators, operating close to each other, to share the same frequency simultaneously.

One demonstration used a single centralized reader controller developed by Reva Systems, a company dedicated to hardware offerings for managing networks of RFID readers. This device controls when readers are allowed to operate. Fitted with an RF receiver, it listens for RF transmissions and permits the operation of readers connected to it by an Ethernet cable.

The second technique was developed by German reader and antenna manufacturer Feig Electronic. Using Feig's method, the reader synchronization instructs the first interrogator to emit a unique pre-pulse RF signal immediately prior to its interrogation routine. This pre-pulse tells all other readers within range that the channel is available and, if required, they may transmit on it.

"Both demonstrations were very effective," says John Falck, chairman of TG34.

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