What Standards Govern Passive RFID?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWhat Standards Govern Passive RFID?
RFID Journal Staff asked 12 years ago

Please provide some details regarding the various protocols in place.

—Name withheld


The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has developed a number of standards governing the use of passive RFID tags, depending on the specific frequency that a tag uses, as well as the particular application. Below is a brief look at those standards.

ISO 15693 is an air-interface protocol for high-frequency (HF) tags, created for vicinity cards and designed to be read from a distance of 3 feet (0.9 meter). Although originally intended for access control, it is now used in many different applications, including inventory management for medical samples in test tubes and other small items.

ISO 14443 is another air-interface protocol standard for HF tags, designed for proximity cards. It was created to have a read range of just a few inches, so that it could be used securely for financial transactions.

ISO has also developed a set of RFID standards for automatic identification and item management. This set of air-interface protocols, known as the ISO 18000 series, covers the protocol for systems likely to be utilized to track goods within a supply chain. They cover the major frequencies used in RFID systems around the world. The seven parts of this standard are as follows:

18000-¬1: Generic parameters for air interfaces for globally accepted frequencies

18000¬-2: Air-interface protocol for systems operating at 135 KHz

18000¬-3: Air-interface protocol for systems operating at 13.56 MHz

18000¬-4: Air-interface protocol for active RFID systems operating at 2.45 GHz

18000¬-5: Air-interface protocol for active RFID systems operating at 5.8 GHz

18000¬-6: Air-interface protocol for passive RFID systems operating at 860 MHz to 930 MHz

18000¬-7: Air-interface protocol for active RFID systems operating at 433 MHz

The major air-interface standard for ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID is known as ISO 18000-6C. This protocol was developed by GS1 EPCglobal, and is commonly referred to as the EPC Gen 2 standard. EPCglobal has also created an HF EPC standard based on ISO 18000-3.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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