What Is the Difference Between RFID Readers, Antennas and Reader Chips?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWhat Is the Difference Between RFID Readers, Antennas and Reader Chips?
RFID Journal Staff asked 6 years ago

When would a company want to use each?

—Name withheld

———

Good questions. A reader chip is an integrated microchip that takes some of the discreet components on the circuit board of an RFID reader and combines them into a single device. It is the brains of a reader, analogous to the CPU in a desktop or laptop computer. The reader (or interrogator) is a device that contains the reader chip (or discreet reader components on a printed circuit board), a network connection, a power connection and antenna ports. A reader can have internal or external antennas that emit radio waves and receive them back from a transponder.

When people use the term “RFID reader,” they typically mean the complete device with antennas. If you want to communicate with a transponder—that is, interrogate the information it contains or write data to it—you need a reader with a reader chip in it (or the components contained therein on a printed circuit board) and an antenna.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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