How Do RFID Readers and Tags Communicate?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Do RFID Readers and Tags Communicate?
RFID Journal Staff asked 6 years ago

What do I need to know to make sure such communication takes place?




RFID tags and readers operate at different frequencies and use different air-interface protocol standards. The first thing you would need to do is make sure the tag and reader operate at the same frequency. Passive UHF RFID readers can only read passive UHF RFID tags. They cannot read passive high-frequency, passive low-frequency or active tags. Trying to read a tag with a different frequency is akin to trying to listen to an FM radio station on an AM radio. It can't be done.

Next, you would need to make sure the tags and readers use the same air-interface protocol standard. This is essentially the language that tags and readers use to communicate. A passive HF reader utilizing the ISO 14443 air-interface standard cannot talk to a passive HF tag using the ISO 15693 standard, any more than a person who speaks French can communicate with someone who speaks Chinese.

If the tag and reader use the same frequency and air-interface protocol. then you should be able to use the reader's user interface to read any tags in the read field.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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