What are RFID systems?
Radio frequency identification is a technology that allows us to identify almost any object wirelessly using data transmitted through radio waves.
For RFID technology to work properly, several components or pieces of hardware are needed that together will form an effective RFID system. The components that make up an RFID system are the following:
RFID tags use radio frequency technology to in order to be traced. Through radiofrequency, tags transmit data from the tag to the reader, which receives the information and is used for convenience. RFID tags have a multitude of uses, such as tracking or identifying vehicles, articles, pets and even patients. They are composed of an antenna, a radio transducer and an encapsulated material or chip. The purpose of the antenna is to allow the chip to transmit the identification information contained in the chip. RFID tags are placed on objects and, unless they are active RFID tags, wait for the reader to read or interrogate them. They usually have one or more memory banks to store diverse information and unique identifiers.
RFID antennas are responsible for sending radio frequency (RF) energy to RFID tags to energize them and be able to “hear” the response returned by the tags.
The antennas are connected to the RFID reader via a coaxial cable and are the voice and ear of the reader, which depends on the antenna to send and receive the information generated.
RFID readers are the “brain” of the system.
Readers can be programmed to act on our needs. They can read only certain RFID tags, read tags at a given time, read tags once in inventory mode or read tags continuously and repeatedly to measure specific information.
RFID readers vary in features and functions. That is why we can find a wide range of readers depending on the desired purpose. From a few hundred euros for a simple reader/recorder to more than several thousand euros for more complex and high performance readers.
RFID cables or coaxial cables connect the reader to the antenna, allowing commands to be sent via radio frequency (RF) energy to the antenna. RFID cables vary in terms of connectors, length and insulation rating.
Depending on the complexity of your RFID system, additional elements can be added for ease of use and optimization of functionality. These elements are usually hardware including antenna mounts, RFID printers, multiplexers, GPIOs and more.
Depending on the functionality we want of our RFID system, sometimes it is necessary some kind of software that controls or extracts the information we are interested in, either a firmware and a basic software program, or firmware, middleware and complex software, usually requires some kind of software so that our hardware can perform even the basic functions.