RFID generally

“Radio Frequency Identification” = “identification using electromagnetic waves”, “radio identification”

  • RFID Transponder (Tag)
  • RFID Reader (Reader)
  • Interface to IT-systems

The reader sends a signal on a specific frequency band. This activates the transponder (which receives on the same frequency band) and sends the information stored on the chip to the reader.
This information is then read out by an IT-system.

The most used frequencies:

  • Low-Frequency (LF) 125 – 134 kHz: Up to 10 cm range
  • High-Frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz: Up to 1 meter range
  • Ultra High Frequency (UHF) 860 – 960 MHz: Up to 15 meter range
  • No visual contact is necessary
  • Mass reading of RFID tags is possible (bulk detection), e.g. entire pallets of goods can be detected all at once
  • Working contact free
  • Higher levels of protection against counterfeiting, thanks to the unique ID and other optional features
  • Automation of industrial processes, e.g. to control material flow
  • Production Control
  • Medical technology, Pharmaceutics
  • Logistics, Supply Chain
  • Container management, C-parts management
  • Asset Management
  • and much more


  • transponder is composed of the words “transmitter“ and “responder“
  • other common terms are RFID-tag, RFID-label (smart-labels)
  • it is used to uniquely identify objects based on the stored information
  • consists of at least one microchip, which is connected to an antenna (coil or dipole)
  • has an application specific enclosure/cover
  • optically, RFID-transponders can vary in size and shape as desired
  • E.G. round and rigid in form of an RFID hard tag
  • flat and flexible in form of RFID smart labels
  • passive RFID-transponders are supplied with power for communication by the RFID-reader
  • semi-active transponders have a backup battery that powers the chip, but to send data it uses the power of the RFID-reader
  • active tags have their own power supply (battery) and can send their data independently
  • personal identification
  • animal identification
  • object identification
  • and many more

RFID chips can store data ranging from a few bytes to several Kbytes.
These are transmitted depending on the frequency and protocol.

  • Depending on frequency & energy resources
  • active transponders (with battery) can achieve a range of up to 100 m
  • passive transponders (no battery supported communication) reach, depending on the frequency, from a few cm up to 20 m

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