RFID Technical Issues Operations & Decision Technologies Department Kelley School of Business  Indiana University
What is RFID? <ul><li>RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification </li></ul><ul><li>It is a technology that permits con...
RFID Technology is Not New!! <ul><li>Tracking livestock (Approximately 15 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Contactless payments (A...
Why Now? <ul><li>The creation of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology changes </li></ul><ul><li>...
The Wal-Mart Mandate <ul><li>Wal-Mart required its top 100 suppliers to be RFID-enabled at the case and pallet level by Ja...
Advantages of RFID   <ul><li>Provides non-contact, non-line-of-sight operation </li></ul><ul><li>Is difficult to counterfe...
RFID Technology is Maturing <ul><li>Technology has improved significantly </li></ul><ul><li>Standards are being adopted an...
RFID Systems <ul><li>Tags are attached to objects </li></ul><ul><li>Each tag has a certain amount of internal memory in wh...
RFID Systems <ul><li>When the tags pass through a field generated by a reader, they transmit information back to the reade...
Possible Roadblocks   <ul><li>Tag reading efficiencies and prices </li></ul><ul><li>Standards -  Applications are global b...
Possible Roadblocks <ul><li>The barrier points for tags are 2 meters for range and 3GHz for frequency.  Below these points...
Improvements in RFID Technology <ul><li>From read-only tags to read-write </li></ul><ul><li>From no memory in tags to 2K, ...
An RFID System Host Computer Control Module Broadcast Interface Transponder Reader Data Transmitted Request Transmitted   ...
RFID Tags <ul><li>Tags can be either active (powered by a battery) or passive (powered by the reader field) </li></ul><ul>...
Structure of a Tag <ul><li>Chip + Antennae + Substrate = Tag </li></ul>Chip or Integrated Circuit (IC) Antenna
An RFID Tag
RFID Operating Frequencies <ul><li>Low Frequency (125-134kHz) Used in access control, livestock, race timing, pallet track...
RFID Transponder or Tags <ul><li>It is a micro-chip with a unique ID code (UID) and memory </li></ul><ul><li>It also has a...
Readability Issues <ul><li>Dead Tags – Unreadable </li></ul><ul><li>Quiet Tags – Readable but only at a short distance </l...
Electronic Product Code <ul><li>Header:  Identifies the EPC’s Version Number </li></ul><ul><li>EPC Manager:  Indicates the...
Some Passive Tags
Some Active Tags
Tag Packaging Formats   <ul><li>Weather-proof or environment-proof enclosures </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure sensitive labels ...
Transponder/Tag Classes <ul><li>Read Only </li></ul><ul><li>Write Once Read Only </li></ul><ul><li>Read/Write  </li></ul><...
Low Frequency Tags  <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range - <0.5 m </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively expensive even at high volume...
High Frequency Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 1m </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive than low frequency tag...
Ultra High Frequency Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 3m </li></ul><ul><li>In large volumes, UHF tags have...
Microwave Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 1m </li></ul><ul><li>Very similar to UHF tags but with faster r...
RFID Readers <ul><li>Readers are radio frequency devices that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmit and receive RF signals </li>...
A Passive and an Active Reader
Reader Characteristics <ul><li>Stationary or Hand-held </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-protocol? </li></ul><ul><li>Weather-proof? ...
Antenna Characteristics <ul><li>Transmits and receives RF signals </li></ul><ul><li>Typically made of copper or aluminum, ...
An Antenna Tunnel Verification  tunnel reads Antennas
RFID System Issues <ul><li>Read Distance Requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long read range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sho...
RFID System Issues <ul><li>Government Regulations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies from country to country </li></ul></ul><ul>...
RFID Players – Hardware <ul><li>Alien Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Intermec Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Matrics, Inc. </l...
RFID Players - Software <ul><li>Manhattan Associates </li></ul><ul><li>SAP </li></ul><ul><li>RedPrairie </li></ul><ul><li>...
RFID - Middleware <ul><li>TIBCO Software  </li></ul><ul><li>Sun Microsystems </li></ul><ul><li>webMethods </li></ul><ul><l...
RFID – Systems Integrators   <ul><li>IBM Global Services </li></ul><ul><li>Accenture </li></ul><ul><li>Cap Gemini Ernst an...
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Fall 2007 RFID – Technical Issues

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Fall 2007 RFID – Technical Issues

  1. 1. RFID Technical Issues Operations & Decision Technologies Department Kelley School of Business Indiana University
  2. 2. What is RFID? <ul><li>RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification </li></ul><ul><li>It is a technology that permits contact-free transfer of data using a radio frequency transmission </li></ul><ul><li>The heart of RFID technology is a transponder, which is a silicon chip attached to an antenna. It is called a tag. The tag can be attached to items that are to be tracked </li></ul><ul><li>A numeric code is stored on the chip. This code is called the electronic product code (EPC) </li></ul><ul><li>The code is read when communication takes place between a reader (interrogator) and the tag </li></ul>
  3. 3. RFID Technology is Not New!! <ul><li>Tracking livestock (Approximately 15 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Contactless payments (Approximately 5 years) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ExxonMobil Speedpass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tollbooth lanes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Event access (Ticketing) </li></ul><ul><li>Building access control </li></ul><ul><li>Has been used in manufacturing to track large components such as engines and chassis </li></ul><ul><li>Has been used for the international postal system for monitoring the quality of service </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Now? <ul><li>The creation of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology changes </li></ul><ul><li>EPCGlobal Generation 2 standard (Gen 2) </li></ul><ul><li>The price of the tags has been coming down. However, price is still an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Mandates by various organizations (European Parliament, DOD, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Wal-Mart Mandate <ul><li>Wal-Mart required its top 100 suppliers to be RFID-enabled at the case and pallet level by January 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>The rest of its suppliers had to be compliant by December 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Wal-Mart did not endorse specific RFID hardware or software </li></ul><ul><li>Expected suppliers to perform their own tests of RFID technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Will impact 10,000+ Suppliers </li></ul>
  6. 6. Advantages of RFID <ul><li>Provides non-contact, non-line-of-sight operation </li></ul><ul><li>Is difficult to counterfeit </li></ul><ul><li>Is a highly capable and proven technology for a wide range of applications </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an instantaneous read of code </li></ul>
  7. 7. RFID Technology is Maturing <ul><li>Technology has improved significantly </li></ul><ul><li>Standards are being adopted and agreed upon </li></ul><ul><li>Some markets are maturing </li></ul><ul><li>Other markets being identified for possible applications </li></ul><ul><li>Significant impact expected in SCM </li></ul>
  8. 8. RFID Systems <ul><li>Tags are attached to objects </li></ul><ul><li>Each tag has a certain amount of internal memory in which it stores information about the object </li></ul><ul><li>This information could be unique ID numbers, details about manufacture date and product composition </li></ul>
  9. 9. RFID Systems <ul><li>When the tags pass through a field generated by a reader, they transmit information back to the reader, identifying the object. </li></ul><ul><li>Until recently the tags and readers were used in systems with low volumes but the objective is to use them in high volume situations </li></ul>
  10. 10. Possible Roadblocks <ul><li>Tag reading efficiencies and prices </li></ul><ul><li>Standards - Applications are global but the basis of radio regulations are national and even regional </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability of the technologies through the supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>Who bears the cost of the RFID system in the supply chain? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Possible Roadblocks <ul><li>The barrier points for tags are 2 meters for range and 3GHz for frequency. Below these points, it is possible to make a low cost tag system. Beyond these points, technologies get more expensive </li></ul><ul><li>IT Infrastructure to handle the large amounts of data </li></ul><ul><li>Change of work and labor practices </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy and ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Security issues </li></ul>
  12. 12. Improvements in RFID Technology <ul><li>From read-only tags to read-write </li></ul><ul><li>From no memory in tags to 2K, 8K and in some cases 16K bits </li></ul><ul><li>Better authentication between tag and reader </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-collision algorithms for multiple tag reads in the field </li></ul><ul><li>More sophisticated security algorithms </li></ul>
  13. 13. An RFID System Host Computer Control Module Broadcast Interface Transponder Reader Data Transmitted Request Transmitted Data Requested Data Received Command to Retrieve Data Data sent to Host Internet / Intranet
  14. 14. RFID Tags <ul><li>Tags can be either active (powered by a battery) or passive (powered by the reader field) </li></ul><ul><li>Tags can also be semi-active or semi-passive (same type of tag). Such tags have batteries but are only activated by a reader’s electromagnetic field </li></ul><ul><li>Tags come in various forms including smart cards, tags, labels, watches, and even embedded in cell phones </li></ul>
  15. 15. Structure of a Tag <ul><li>Chip + Antennae + Substrate = Tag </li></ul>Chip or Integrated Circuit (IC) Antenna
  16. 16. An RFID Tag
  17. 17. RFID Operating Frequencies <ul><li>Low Frequency (125-134kHz) Used in access control, livestock, race timing, pallet tracking, wireless commerce </li></ul><ul><li>High Frequency (13.56 mHz) Smart labels – Used in supply chain, wireless commerce, ticketing, product authentication </li></ul><ul><li>Ultra-High Frequency – UHF (900+mHz) Emerging technology </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave (2.45 gHz) Not widely deployed </li></ul>
  18. 18. RFID Transponder or Tags <ul><li>It is a micro-chip with a unique ID code (UID) and memory </li></ul><ul><li>It also has an antenna which is usually copper or aluminum </li></ul><ul><li>Active tags versus passive tags </li></ul><ul><li>Some chipless tags – very low cost, short read range tags </li></ul>
  19. 19. Readability Issues <ul><li>Dead Tags – Unreadable </li></ul><ul><li>Quiet Tags – Readable but only at a short distance </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of tags is an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Readability rates of higher quality tags are at about 97% to 98%. That translates to about 2 Sigma </li></ul>
  20. 20. Electronic Product Code <ul><li>Header: Identifies the EPC’s Version Number </li></ul><ul><li>EPC Manager: Indicates the enterprise using the EPC number </li></ul><ul><li>Object Class: Refers to the class or category of a product (similar to a Stock Keeping Unit – SKU) </li></ul><ul><li>Serial Number: Identifies a unique item being tagged </li></ul>647.37000.123456.100000000 Header 8 Bits EPC Manager 34 Bits Object Class 20 Bits Serial Number 34 Bits
  21. 21. Some Passive Tags
  22. 22. Some Active Tags
  23. 23. Tag Packaging Formats <ul><li>Weather-proof or environment-proof enclosures </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure sensitive labels </li></ul><ul><li>Credit card size flexible labels </li></ul><ul><li>Tokens and coins </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded tags </li></ul><ul><li>Paper tags </li></ul>
  24. 24. Transponder/Tag Classes <ul><li>Read Only </li></ul><ul><li>Write Once Read Only </li></ul><ul><li>Read/Write </li></ul><ul><li>Read/Write with On-Board Sensors (for recording parameters such as temperature, pressure, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Read/Write with Integrated Transmitters – Can communicate with other tags and devices without the presence of a reader </li></ul>
  25. 25. Low Frequency Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range - <0.5 m </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively expensive even at high volumes. Low frequency requires a longer more expensive copper antenna. Least susceptible to performance degradations from metal and liquids </li></ul><ul><li>Generally passive tags </li></ul><ul><li>Applications include access control, animal tracking, POS applications including SpeedPass </li></ul><ul><li>Data rate slower than other frequencies </li></ul><ul><li>Passive tag size is larger than other frequencies </li></ul>
  26. 26. High Frequency Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 1m </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive than low frequency tags. Best suited for applications that do not require long range reading of multiple tags </li></ul><ul><li>Generally passive tags </li></ul><ul><li>Applications include item-level tracking such as baggage handling (non-US) </li></ul><ul><li>Data rate slower than other ultra high frequencies (UHF) </li></ul><ul><li>Passive tag size is larger than UHF </li></ul>
  27. 27. Ultra High Frequency Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 3m </li></ul><ul><li>In large volumes, UHF tags have the potential to be cheaper than either LF or HF tags. Offer balance between range and performance </li></ul><ul><li>Active tags with integral battery or passive tags </li></ul><ul><li>Applications include pallet tracking and item-level tracking such as baggage handling (US) </li></ul><ul><li>Data rate faster than other LF or HF tags </li></ul><ul><li>Passive tag size is smaller than LF or HF tags </li></ul>
  28. 28. Microwave Tags <ul><li>Typical Maximum Read Range – Approx 1m </li></ul><ul><li>Very similar to UHF tags but with faster read rates. Most susceptible to performance degradations from metal and liquids, particularly metal </li></ul><ul><li>Active tags with integral battery or passive tags </li></ul><ul><li>Applications include SCM And toll collection </li></ul><ul><li>Data rate faster than other ultra high frequencies (UHF) </li></ul><ul><li>Passive tag size is smaller than UHF tags </li></ul>
  29. 29. RFID Readers <ul><li>Readers are radio frequency devices that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmit and receive RF signals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contain a control unit to execute commands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate an interface to transfer data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receives commands from a Host computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responds to software commands from Host </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. A Passive and an Active Reader
  31. 31. Reader Characteristics <ul><li>Stationary or Hand-held </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-protocol? </li></ul><ul><li>Weather-proof? </li></ul><ul><li>Read ranges vary from a few centimeters to a few meters </li></ul><ul><li>Read range is dependent upon broadcast signal strength, size of broadcast antenna, size of transponder antenna, and the environment </li></ul>
  32. 32. Antenna Characteristics <ul><li>Transmits and receives RF signals </li></ul><ul><li>Typically made of copper or aluminum, new technologies emerging for printed antennas </li></ul><ul><li>Stationary or Hand-held </li></ul><ul><li>Weather-proof? </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed or Turnable </li></ul>
  33. 33. An Antenna Tunnel Verification tunnel reads Antennas
  34. 34. RFID System Issues <ul><li>Read Distance Requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long read range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short read range </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frequency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All frequencies have their pros and cons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ISO Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proprietary or Standards-based </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. RFID System Issues <ul><li>Government Regulations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies from country to country </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple Tag Reading in Same Field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-collision algorithms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hardware set-up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment can affect performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transponders </li></ul>
  36. 36. RFID Players – Hardware <ul><li>Alien Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Intermec Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Matrics, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Savi Technology </li></ul><ul><li>SAMSys Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Symbol Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Instruments </li></ul>
  37. 37. RFID Players - Software <ul><li>Manhattan Associates </li></ul><ul><li>SAP </li></ul><ul><li>RedPrairie </li></ul><ul><li>JDA Software </li></ul><ul><li>Manugistics </li></ul><ul><li>EXE Technologies </li></ul>
  38. 38. RFID - Middleware <ul><li>TIBCO Software </li></ul><ul><li>Sun Microsystems </li></ul><ul><li>webMethods </li></ul><ul><li>GlobeRanger </li></ul><ul><li>ConnecTerra </li></ul>
  39. 39. RFID – Systems Integrators <ul><li>IBM Global Services </li></ul><ul><li>Accenture </li></ul><ul><li>Cap Gemini Ernst and Young </li></ul><ul><li>Sapient </li></ul><ul><li>Kurt Salmon Associates </li></ul><ul><li>The ePC Group </li></ul>

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