Mod 8 – RFID Solution Design – What is Tested

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Scope

An RFID system has many components which global standards have helped ensure can work together. However, simply connecting the components together does not mean that the system will work effectively – the components must be configured to work together.

As an example, although it may be possible to physically connect an antenna to a reader antenna port, if the antenna is not of the correct impedance to match that of the reader’s antenna port, then the system may not function properly or may even be damaged.

Many countries also impose a specific limit on the amount of power that may be transmitted from the antenna. The power transmitted is not simply that output by the reader but is a result of the influence of many components within the system, which is why it is important to know how to configure the system overall to work in unison.

What you are expected to know

What are the components of a RFID system:

  • Reader
  • Cable
  • Connectors
  • Antenna
  • Hub (not always present)
  • Multiplexor (not always present)

What are the configuration factors that impact overall system effectiveness:

  • Reader port impedance
  • Connector type/materials
  • Cable type & signal loss
  • Cable length
  • Reader antenna polarization
  • Reader antenna gain
  • Tag antenna size
  • Material tag is placed on or near
  • Tag processor type (“chip”)

What is required is knowledge of what factors must be taken into account in configuring an RFID system rather than detailed knowledge of how to do that.

What you are not expected to know

  • Specification of any specific reader, antenna or tag
  • Connector types or materials
  • What the different types of antenna cables are
  • How to calculate power transmitted at the antenna
  • Details of any tag chip type