Can Active RFID Tags Be Read by Standard Passive UHF RFID Readers?


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Ask The ExpertsCategory: QuestionsCan Active RFID Tags Be Read by Standard Passive UHF RFID Readers?
Phillip Diekmann asked 2 years ago

I recently conducted some research on measuring the distance to a UHF RFID tag and I found an interesting article on your website referring to a technology in development by the Auto-ID Lab at Fudan University in Shanghai. That was more than 10 years ago. Looking further, I could not find anything more related to it. Are there any products on the market with this technology by now?


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I believe you are referring to our 2008 article "Increasing Read Ranges," in which Hao Min, the lab's director, discussed research into creating an active RFID tag that could be read by a standard passive UHF RFID reader. There are no such tags on the market, however. I don't know if the research was abandoned (funding for the labs was cut), or if there was simply no company willing to produce such tags. That being said, there are battery-assisted passive (BAP) UHF tags that work much as Min describes in this piece. The battery provides power to the chip and some energy to reflect back a signal to the reader. These tags can be read from a distance of 50 meters (164 feet) or more.

Mark Roberti
Founder and Editor
RFID Journal

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