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RFID vs NFC: capire le differenze e le applicazioni

RFID vs. NFC: What’s the Difference and How Do They Work?
The identification technology in the Internet of Things is mainly RFID and NFC wireless technology. In the beginning, the identification technology representative was RFID, which then extended to NFC technology with the expansion of the industry. At present, these two technologies play a huge role in the identification of the Internet of Things. But what is the relationship between RFID and NFC? Many people can’t say it clearly. What fields they use respectively, and the boundary is also very vague.

What is RFID?

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RFID is a wireless communication technology that uses radio waves to identify and track objects. RFID systems contain a reader, an antenna, and a tag or transponder. The reader emits radio waves picked up by the tag, which then responds with a unique identifier code. The reader then processes the code and sends the data to a computer or database. Tag RFID can be active or passive, depending on whether they have an internal power source.

Types of RFID Systems

There are two types of RFID systems: passive and active. Passive RFID systems do not have an internal power source and rely on the energy emitted by the reader to power the tag. Active RFID systems, on the other hand, have an internal battery and can transmit data over longer distances.

How RFID Works

RFID systems work by using radio waves to communicate between a lettore and a tag. The reader sends out a radio wave signal that is picked up by the tag. The tag then sends back a response signal that contains the tag’s unique identifier code. The reader processes this code and sends the data to a computer or database. RFID systems can track inventory, monitor assets, and identify products.

Applications of RFID

RFID is used in various logistics, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. In logistics, RFID tags track shipments and improve supply chain management. In retail, RFID manages inventory, reduces theft, and improves customer experience. In healthcare, RFID tracks patient data, monitors medical equipment and improves patient safety. In manufacturing, RFID monitors inventory, manages assets and improves production efficiency.

Advantages of RFID

RFID has several advantages over other identification technologies, such as barcodes. RFID tags can be read from a distance, and multiple tags can be read simultaneously. RFID tags can also be read through materials such as walls and packaging. RFID systems are also more durable and can withstand harsh environments such as extreme temperatures and moisture.

Disadvantages of RFID

RFID also has some disadvantages. RFID systems can be expensive to implement, and the tags can
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What is NFC?

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Near Field Communication (NFC) is a wireless communication technology that allows two devices to exchange data in proximity. NFC is based on Tecnologia RFID and operates at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. Smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices can read NFC tags and devices.

How NFC Works

NFC establishes a wireless communication link between two devices when brought close together. NFC devices can operate in two modes: active and passive. The NFC device can initiate communication with another NFC device or tag. In a passive way, the NFC device can only respond to communication initiated by an active NFC device.

Applications of NFC

NFC has a wide range of applications in various industries, such as finance, retail, and transportation. In finance, NFC is used for mobile payments and contactless transactions. In retail, NFC is used for product information, loyalty programs, and advertising. In transportation, NFC is used for ticketing and access control.

Advantages of NFC

NFC has several advantages over other wireless communication technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. NFC devices can establish a connection quickly and easily without pairing or configuration. NFC also consumes less power and is more secure than other wireless communication technologies.

Disadvantages of NFC

NFC also has some disadvantages. NFC devices have a limited range of communication, typically up to 4 cm. NFC devices also require proximity to establish a connection, which can be inconvenient in some situations.

RFID vs. NFC: Main Differences

What is the difference between NFC and RFID:
(1) Operating frequency band
The most common feature of RFID and NFC is that both use 13.56M, but NFC only has 13.56M. RFID has many other frequency bands besides 13.56M, including 125KHz in the low-frequency band, 13.56MHz in the high-frequency band, 433.92MHz, 915MHz in the ultra-high frequency band, and 2.45GHz in the microwave frequency band.
The original intention of NFC is to realize near-field payment. NFC selects 13.56M as the basis and adds point-to-point communication. Traditional RFID can only interact with one READER and one TAG at the same time, while NFC can transfer data between two READERS.
(2) Communication distance
NFC is called near-field communication; the communication distance is very close, at most 0.1m.
There are many kinds of RFID, and the identifiable distance is also different. Like the RFID access card, the recognition distance is similar to NFC. However, the recognition distance is relatively long for the ETC application scenario. The recognition distance of long-distance RFID can reach tens or even hundreds of meters.
(3) Application scenario
Whether active or passive, RFID is mainly used to identify objects. RFID technology is widely used in logistics, transportation, and storage to track goods.
NFC chips are more integrated, including card readers and labels. In addition, the two-way communication capability of NFC has been strengthened. In other words, NFC can be used not only as a tag for identification but also as a two-way communication method for data exchange. At present, NFC is most commonly used in the payment field.

Which Technology to Choose RFID or NFC?

Choosing between RFID and NFC depends on the specific application and requirements. RFID is better suited for applications that require long-range communication and the ability to read multiple tags at once. NFC is better suited for applications that require short-range communication and secure data transfer.

Future of RFID and NFC

RFID and NFC are both mature technologies that continue to evolve and improve. RFID is becoming more common in healthcare and retail, while NFC is becoming more popular for mobile payments and contactless transactions. Both technologies are expected to grow in the future, driven by increasing demand for wireless communication and data transfer in various industries.


RFID and NFC are two wireless communication technologies that have revolutionized the way data is transmitted and stored. RFID is a more mature technology widely used in various industries for many years, while NFC is a newer technology gaining popularity in the consumer electronics industry. Both technologies have unique features and advantages, making them suitable for different applications.


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