If so, in what frequency bands can it operate?
Texas Instruments' CC1101 transceiver is designed to work in various frequency bands, including 315 MHz, 433 MHZ, 868 MHz and 915 MHz. Because it covers the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) spectrum used by passive UHF RFID systems, it probably could serve as the radio front end for an RFID reader. However, I'm not sure it makes sense to use the CC1101 for this purpose. The EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol is fairly complex and uses two different encoding schemes. There are a variety of commands, and so forth. I am not an RF engineer, but I would imagine that configuring the CC1101 to operate using the EPC Gen 2 protocol would be fairly laborious, whereas there are other chips on the market that contain the reader elements necessary to build a passive UHF reader. ThingMagic, for example, makes a variety of RFID reader modules designed to operate in accordance with the EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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