What Are the Smallest HF RFID Readers on the Market?

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Ask The ExpertsCategory: QuestionsWhat Are the Smallest HF RFID Readers on the Market?
Patrick Kienle asked 2 months ago

We have an application for which we have little room for the integration of an RFID reader. Would it be possible to have smaller readers when using a reader IC? I saw that semiconductor companies have reader ICs sized at 5 millimeters by 5 millimeters (0.2 inch by 0.2 inch). What is the estimated development effort to get a working reader from such an IC?

—Patrick

Patrick,

Reader ICs are indeed getting smaller, though the IC is only one part of a reader, and other factors can affect size as well. One of the main components is the antenna, which can be separated from the reader electronics (it would just need a wire connection). HID Global's Richard Aufreiter says that in most use cases, an antenna can be mounted in a space-restricted area, while electronics would be nearby, thereby saving space. Bear in mind, too, that when an antenna is smaller, the read range is shorter.

Some HID reader modules, as a size comparison, average 28 millimeters by 30 millimeters by 9.2 millimeters (1.1 inches by 1.2 inches by 0.4inch). ThingMagic has an HF reader module sized at 70 millimeters by 53 millimeters by 9 millimeters (2.8 inches by 2.1 inches by 0.5 inch), and with an 8-centimeter (3.1-inch) range on average, while GAO RFID offers reader modules for HF at 40 millimeters by 38 millimeters by 5 millimeters (1.6 inches by 1.5 inches by 0.2 inch).

Claire Swedberg
Senior Editor
RFID Journal

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