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Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2005 

(pronounced as separate letters) Short for radio frequency identification, a technology similar in theory to bar code identification. With RFID, the electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the RF portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is used to transmit signals. An RFID system consists of an antenna and a transceiver, which read the radio frequency and transfer the information to a processing device, and a transponder, or tag, which is an integrated circuit containing the RF circuitry and information to be transmitted.

RFID systems can be used just about anywhere, from clothing tags to missiles to pet tags to food -- anywhere that a unique identification system is needed. The tag can carry information as simple as a pet owners name and address or the cleaning instruction on a sweater to as complex as instructions on how to assemble a car. Some auto manufacturers use RFID systems to move cars through an assembly line. At each successive stage of production, the RFID tag tells the computers what the next step of automated assembly is.

One of the key differences between RFID and bar code technology is RFID eliminates the need for line-of-sight reading that bar coding depends on. Also, RFID scanning can be done at greater distances than bar code scanning. High frequency RFID systems (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) offer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet, although wavelengths in the 2.4 GHz range are absorbed by water (the human body) and therefore has limitations.

RFID is also called dedicated short range communication (DSRC).

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eWork Markets: Radio Frequency Identification Consultants - eWork Markets connects you to the experts in RFID and automated data capture. Project posting, comparing bids and choosing consultants is free.

Siemens Industrial Automation: RFID Integration - PROFINET offers decentralized IO, peer-to-peer communications, data visibility, machine safety, and motion control on one Industrial Ethernet network.

For pages about RFID . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Five RFID Myths Exposed 
RFID technology is new and many misconceptions remain concerning the opportunities it offers. The RFID wave is coming but its shape may not be what the pundits expect.

Inside ID Home Page
News and information for identity management specialists.

Tag It!
A 2002 article from PC Magazine looking at some of the uses of RFID technology.

Tutorial Reports
Tutorial Reports provides technical reports on some of the more recent technologies and standards.

Understanding and Solving the RFID Data Dilemma
Like it or not, mountains of RFID data is on the way and managing that data will be a major challenge unless you have the right tools.

Sponsored listings

CMS Consultants: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - Enable RFID shipping with an enterprise shipping solution. Print RFID, barcode, & human-readable labels. Gain global visibility. Lower shipping costs.

TEKLYNX International: RFID - Developer of software products for the automatic identification and data collection (AIDC).

Managing Automation: RFID - Offers directory of RFID software vendors and articles. Includes vendor profiles, resources, and RFP submissions.

Cellotape: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Products - Designs and manufactures packaging labels, overlay panels, nameplates, RFID tags and barcodes for products in the electronics and medical industries. RFID - Provides database of suppliers for RFID. Browse catalogs and view technical information.

related categories

Pervasive Computing

Wireless Computing

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pervasive computing


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