Can you please explain what has changed?
That’s a great question. To answer it, I reached out to Josef Preishuber-Pflügl, the CTO of CISC Semiconductor, an Austrian company that manufactures RFID test equipment and other products. Josef is the project editor of the ISO/IEC 18000-63 standard and a co-chair of GS1‘s EPCglobal UHF AI group, so he is more knowledgeable about the Gen2V2 standard than almost anyone.
To provide context to Josef’s response, I’ll first explain that the Gen2V2 standard was released at the end of 2013 (see GS1 Ratifies EPC Gen2v2, Adds Security Features, More Memory). Since last month, it has been an international standard—specifically, ISO/IEC 18000-63:2015. Although the Gen2V2 specification has been available for a while, there has been some confusion regarding the differences between Gen 2 V1.2.0 and Gen2V2.
Here is Josef’s response:
“Gen2V2 contains lots of new things that were important reasons to develop a revision to the standard. The most important ones are:
• Crypto solution for even more applications (for example, toll collection)
• European privacy concerns (V2 includes an un-traceability command that allows temporary hiding of parts of the memory, including EPC)
• File management that makes it possible to store data owned by different parties on the same tag.
“Furthermore, there are many new features that come with the maturity of the technology. The most important one is a higher sensitivity that results in a longer read range. Today, 20 meters (60 feet) can be exceeded and an area of 1,000 meters squared (9,000 square feet) can be covered using a standard reader.
“However, it is important to understand that the mandatory parts of Gen2V2 and Gen 2 V1.2.0—the parts that all equipment must support to comply with the standard—are the same. The method for reading the EPC or tag ID has not changed at all.
“There was one change that did impact the standard: the optional recommissioning feature of Gen 2 V1.2.0. However, to the best of my knowledge, this was never supported by a product, and as there was no market need for it, the feature is no longer supported.
“Gen2V2 puts a higher emphasis on user memory than the previous version. For that reason, the presence of the user memory is indicated more efficiently and now supports file management.
You will need to use Gen 2 V2.0.1 tags when you need crypto, un-traceability or file management for user memory.”
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal