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Application and development of key technologies of RFID electronic tag

RFID is a general term of radio frequency identification technology. It is the same as other identification methods such as bar code and IC card. Its basic function is to identify the unique identifier (UID) of the target object. The difference is that it uses radio frequency transmission to complete non-contact automatic identification and realize the identification of moving targets and multiple targets. RFID is also a data communication technology, which has the basic functions of the basic components of the communication system, such as sending, receiving, channel and transmitting information. The difference is that the information transmitted is artificial and fixed.
With its advantages and development potential, such as large storage capacity, many identification targets, long reading distance and data encryption, RFID is known as one of the important technologies today. The key to the application and development of RFID system is electronic tag. This paper focuses on the key technology of electronic tag and the research status at home and abroad, and puts forward the basic countermeasures for the application and development of electronic tag in China.

Electronic tag technology and research status at home and abroad

In the research literature at home and abroad, the current research on electronic tags mainly focuses on the following six aspects.

Chip technology

Chip technology is a core technology of RFID technology. A tag chip is a system, which integrates all circuits except tag antenna and matching line, including RF front-end, analog front-end, digital baseband, memory unit and other modules. The basic requirements for chips are light, thin, small, low and cheap.
The development trend of RFID chip design and manufacturing technology is that the chip power consumption is lower, the action distance is longer, the reading and writing speed is faster, the reliability is higher, and the cost is decreasing. In addition to increasing the storage capacity of the tag to carry more information, reducing the size of the tag to reduce the cost, and improving the sensitivity of the tag to increase the reading distance, the current research hotspots also include: ultra-low power circuit; Security and privacy technology, password function and implementation; Low cost chip design and manufacturing technology; New storage technology; Anti conflict algorithm and implementation technology; Integration technology with sensors; An overall solution closely combined with the application system.

Antenna design technology

In the design of RFID tag antenna, miniaturization has always attracted much attention. In order to expand the application range, the bandwidth, gain characteristics and cross polarization characteristics of miniaturized antenna are also important research directions. At present, RFID tags still use an off-chip independent antenna, which has the advantages of high Q value, easy manufacture and moderate cost, but it is large and easy to break, so it is not competent for anti-counterfeiting or implanting into animals in the form of biological tags. If the antenna can be integrated on the tag chip, it can work without any external devices, which can reduce the volume of the whole tag, simplify the tag manufacturing process and reduce the cost, which leads to the research of on-chip antenna technology. In addition, at present, the research focus of tag antenna also includes antenna matching technology, structure optimization technology, broadband antenna design covering multiple frequency bands, optimal distribution technology of multi tag antenna, anti metal design technology, consistency and anti-interference technology, etc.

Packaging technology

The packaging of electronic tags mainly includes chip assembly, antenna manufacturing and other main links. With the development of new packaging technology, new processing technologies have emerged in tag packaging technology, such as bump generation of flip chip, antenna printing and so on. Compared with traditional wire connection or tape connection, flip chip technology has the advantages of high packaging density, good electrical and thermal performance, good reliability and low cost. Using conductive ink printed tag antenna instead of traditional etching method to make tag antenna greatly reduces the manufacturing cost of electronic tag. In addition, the research hotspots of tag packaging technology also include low-temperature hot pressing packaging process, precision mechanism design optimization, multi physical quantity detection and control, high-precision and high-speed motion control, on-line detection technology and so on.

Tags application technology

Based on the unique characteristics of RFID tags for object identification, there is an upsurge of research on various functional tags. In addition to the traditional goods identification, tracking and monitoring, research hotspots also include interactive smart tags, spatial positioning and tracking, pervasive computing, mobile payment, goods anti-counterfeiting and so on.

  • (1) Interactive smart tags. The structure of interactive smart tag is still composed of single chip wireless micro power transceiver and single chip microcomputer. Write various required application programs in advance in the single chip microcomputer, and call these programs through wireless instructions when necessary, so that the tag can perform various tasks required by IOT applications such as identification, positioning, data acquisition and so on. The tag usually does not transmit any signal, but periodically receives and records the signal sent by the coordinator in the form of broadcast on the monitoring channel at a certain time as required. Only after receiving the wake-up instruction, it jumps to the working channel of the reader / writer and receives the instruction from the coordinator, And according to the instruction, enter the state of information exchange with the reader and writer according to the pre written program mode, complete the specified work task within the specified time, and then return to the monitoring and sleep state. It can be seen that the core of this technology is to realize the ultra-low power wireless long-distance transmission of tags by quickly filtering invalid signals, at the cost of using an additional coordinator. Because the interactive smart tag solves the key problems such as low cost, low power consumption and wireless long-distance transmission in the application of the Internet of things, it expands the application scope of electronic tag and can be widely used in the fields requiring remote identification, positioning or data acquisition, such as urban intelligent transportation system and urban basic data acquisition system.
  • (2) Real time positioning and tracking tags. The existing positioning systems mainly include satellite positioning system, infrared or ultrasonic positioning system and positioning system based on mobile network. However, due to the limitations of positioning time, positioning accuracy and environmental conditions, there is no positioning technology that can solve the problems such as airport hall, exhibition hall, warehouse, supermarket, library, underground parking lot The location information of facilities and goods in indoor complex environment such as underground mine. RFID technology provides a new solution for spatial positioning and tracking service, especially for indoor positioning which is difficult to deal with by satellite positioning system. It mainly uses the unique identification characteristics of the tag to the object, and measures the spatial position of the object according to the signal strength of RF communication between the reader and the tag installed on the object.
  • (3) Pervasive computing tag. By combining with sensor technology, RFID tags can also sense the temperature, humidity, light and other state information of items or environment at the nodes of the Internet of things, and use wireless communication technology to transfer these information and its changes to the computing unit, improve the visibility of the environment to the computing module, and build the infrastructure of pervasive computing in the future.
  • (4) Mobile payment tag. RFID mobile payment uses short-range communication between mobile terminal and POS terminal to conduct transactions. It can not only use mobile phone bill to pay the transaction amount, but also use SIM card to bind the bank account for the bank to process the transaction. RFID mobile payment is the product of the integration of RFID industry and telecommunications industry. At present, there are mainly four application modes: felica, NFC, diim and rf-sim4. RF-SIM is a medium and short-range wireless communication technology based on SIM card. It embeds the RF module in the SIM card. The SIM card is used for normal mobile communication and authentication, and establishes a physical connection with the mobile phone. RF SIM card supports all mobile phones on the market. It is a full-service platform that can replace wallets, keys and ID cards.
  • (5) Security tag. Traditional anti-counterfeiting technologies such as physical anti-counterfeiting, biological anti-counterfeiting, structural anti-counterfeiting, bar code and digital anti-counterfeiting can not play a real anti-counterfeiting role because they are not unique and exclusive and easy to copy. RFID technology has absolute advantages in anti-counterfeiting, because each tag has a unique ID number in the world, which can not be modified and imitated. In addition, RFID anti-counterfeiting technology also has the characteristics of no physical wear, high security of physical interface of reader / writer, encryption of tag data, mutual authentication between reader / writer and tag, so it can not be completely copied, so it can eliminate forgery. At present, RFID anti-counterfeiting has been gradually applied in the fields of certificate management, ticket management, electronic license plate, alcohol anti-counterfeiting, art treasures anti-counterfeiting and so on.

Research on Standards

At present, the international communication standards related to electronic tags mainly include:

  • (1) ISO / IEC18000 standard.
  • (2) EPC standards.
  • (3) DSRC standard.
  • (4) Uid standard.

In addition, many countries and institutions are actively developing regional, national or industrial alliance standards related to RFID, and hope to promote them to international standards through different channels. Each standard system is divided into several parts according to the working frequency, and they are not compatible. The main differences are communication mode, anti-collision protocol and data format. In January 2008, the EU FP7 project team funded and sponsored the global RFID universal standards Forum (grifs), which aims to strengthen.
Collaboration enables RFID standards to achieve the greatest degree of consistency in the world. With the development of RFID technology, there is a trend of integration of various standards of electronic tags. For example, ISO / IEC15693 standard for high frequency 13.56MHz has become a part of ISO18000-3 standard, and EPC GEN2 standard has also become ISO18000-6C standard. At present, the United States, the European Union and other countries adopt their own different standards. Due to the difficulty of interest coordination, the process of standard unification is still relatively long, although it is urgent.

Research on security and privacy

The security mechanisms studied and adopted mainly include physical method, cryptographic mechanism and the combination of the two. Physical methods are usually used in low-cost tags to protect tag information through electrostatic shielding or active interference. Compared with the hardware security mechanism based on physical methods, the software security mechanism based on cryptographic technology is more favored. It mainly uses various mature cryptographic schemes and mechanisms to design cryptographic protocols that meet the security requirements of RFID.

Development trend and Countermeasures of electronic tags

The application and development of electronic tags are based on the development of RFID industry chain. The backwardness of any link will affect the development of the whole industry. China lags behind Europe, America, South Korea, Japan and other countries in the R & D time of RFID field, and lacks a complete industrial chain in UHF and microwave frequency band. To develop China’s electronic tags based on the existing domestic RFID technology and market, we must aim at the whole RFID industrial chain and formulate specific measures and strategies.

  • (1) Increase R & D efforts and seek technological breakthroughs. At present, there are still many defects in electronic tags. For example, due to the directivity of the antenna, the readout reliability of a single tag is low, which is easy to miss reading, the RFID signal is easy to be affected by conductive substances such as metal and water, resulting in the reduction of the identification distance, and the RFID system may produce electromagnetic interference when working at the same time with other wireless communication systems with close frequency band, which may affect each other’s performance When a large number of RFID tags are placed together, the tag antenna may produce array effect, which may show different characteristics from a single tag antenna, which poses a challenge to the development of electronic tags.
  • (2) Formulate relevant standards for electronic tags as soon as possible.
  • (3) Identify the breakthrough of application and improve the application scale of the industry. Because the application of RFID electronic tags in China is still relatively scattered, many enterprises even stay at the surface, with simple business process, single logic and lack of back-end system integration, they have not really played the role of electronic tags in supply chain management and enterprise information construction. Therefore, how to integrate RFID with the existing information systems of enterprises, such as ERP, SCM and MIS, innovate business processes, give full play to the advantages of electronic tags, improve the scale of industrial applications and form a complete industrial chain is an urgent problem to be solved.
  • (4) Strengthen technology integration and realize cross regional and cross industry applications. With the development of RFID, it has been widely used in the fields of World Expo ticket management, intelligent transportation, logistics, food safety, commodity anti-counterfeiting, electric power and so on. China’s RFID industry has shifted from government demand to market demand. In the process of RFID development, we should not only see the development potential of RFID industry, but also see the problems in this development process. We should use more scientific methods to continuously deepen the application of RFID, so as to promote the development of domestic RFID industry.


This paper describes the basic functions, advantages and development trend of RFID. It also introduces the key technologies of electronic tags, and analyzes and studies the standards and security privacy problems at home and abroad. Finally, it puts forward the basic policy and development trend for the application and development of electronic tags at the present stage in China. This has played a key role in the development of RFID.

Authors: Su Xiangjun, Guo Guanqi

SourceChina Electronic Tags Manufacturer – Actility Technologies Company Limited (www.tractility.com)

Actility provides powerful security solutions for retail store management to prevent asset and property losses, improve transaction security, and provide intelligent analysis. We produce AM/EM/RFID systems, EAS tags, EAS soft tags, EAS safer, lanyards, detachers and all kinds EAS accessories products. Infrared people counter and camera people counter is available.
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