What are the differences between the two types of tags? What makes one read-only and the other read-write?
The main advantage of a read-only tag is that it should be less expensive than a read-write tag. The difference between the two types of tags is that a read-only tag comes with a preprogrammed serial number written to it, which cannot be changed. Read-only tags also have no memory bank to write to.
Read-write tags have a serial number field, user memory or both that can be written to. The advantage of being able to write a serial number is that you can assign unique ID numbers to items as they come off a production line. This is easier than having a long list of serial numbers and trying to associate items to the numbers in a database.
User memory is also valuable because you can store relevant information about an item on its tag. In a cross-docking operation, for example, you could write that one item should go to store #12 while another should go to store #15. When the two tags are read at the cross-docking facility, you can easily determine where each item should go. Airplane maintenance crews can write information about work performed on a part to its tag, so that the next time the part is worked on, a technician can obtain that information simply by reading the tag.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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