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RFID Tags for Beginners

Jul 1, 2008
1 min read
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RFID tags come in several varieties (like those pictured above) with different abilities, memory and power requirements, so you’ll want to take a look at what each is capable of before you make any decisions.  Tags also serve different environmental conditions, for instance, smart labels are ideal for single-use applications because they’re paper thin and can be produced on demand, but other RFID tags can be made to be reusable and are so durable they’re suitable for a lifetime of use.

Two general classifications for RFID tags, include read-only tags and read-write tags.  Read-only tags are preprogrammed at the factory with unalterable data; when they’re programmed once they can never be programmed again.  This is similar to a CD you would purchase at a store.  But read-write tags allow users to program, erase and revise data thousands of times.  This type of tag is similar to a CDRW.  Many read-write tags are designed with a partition that defines a certain area of the tag to be read-only, this allows users to permanently encode data that is static, but utilize the writeable portion for changing data.

Another type of classification for RFID tags is active or passive tags.  Passive RFID tags are the most common, and receive power from a reader, all RFID smart labels are passive tags.  Active RFID tags on the other hand, power data transmission with a battery that is included in the tag.  Because of this, active tags are larger and more expensive than passive tags, but they also offer more benefits, including:

  • Indoor and outdoor flexibility
  • Transmit a stronger signal much farther
  • Ample storage
  • Tamper-proof with built-in theft protection
  • Extended life-cycle

As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to RFID, even down to the smallest piece, the tag.  If you’d like more information about certain kinds of RFID tags or need help before you invest in an RFID system, please contact us.

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