Is NFC Better Than HF RFID?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs NFC Better Than HF RFID?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago
Would Near-Field Communication be considered a superior technology to high-frequency radio frequency identification?

—Name withheld

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Actually, NFC is HF RFID.

Near-Field Communication was developed by Sony and Philips Electronics in 2002, to enable communication between home electronics, cell phones and other devices at close-range (see Sony, Philips Creating RFID Link). NFC operates at 13.56 MHz, and uses the HF RFID protocols, including ISO 14443 A and ISO 14443 B. The NFC community also plans to enable NFC readers to utilize the ISO 15693 protocol, so that cell phones could enable entry to buildings, rather than using an access-control card.

One big difference between NFC and conventional HF RFID is that an NFC reader can emulate an RFID tag, so if you have an NFC phone, you could wave it by a point-of-sale terminal to pay for goods, for instance. Whether NFC is better than a conventional HF system really depends on the particular application. NFC is being incorporated into a growing number of cell phones, so it is likely that the technology will dominate the mobile-payments market and consumer applications, while conventional HF is used for access control, inventory management and other applications.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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