Radio Frequency Identification Tags commonly referred to as RFIDs are small devices intended for location and tracking objects. The normal operation of passive tags consists of two devices; the RFID tag and the reader. The reader sends an RF signal to the tag which then transmits a string of data to the reader. There are a series of International standards which govern the communication protocol between the reader and the tag.



Near Field Communication(NFC) is a wireless RFID technology which is an extension of the ISO14443A passive RFID tag technology. It operates in the 13.56 MHz RF band and has a maximum data rate of 424k baud. It has a very short range of about 10 cm (~ 4 inches). ISO14443 tag is a passive tag.


NFC has additional functionality in that there can be two active NFC devices communicating with one another. The protocol for the link between two NFC devices is governed by ISO18092. NFC is both a read and write technology. NFC communicates by magnetic induction technology over a very short range.

While normal RFIDs are passive, the NFC standard allows for communication between two (2) devices.


RFID and Wireless Communication utilizing WiWIZ1


The NFC tag can be placed on any object such as a container, tool or any moving device. When the object arrives or leaves a certain location the tag is read by a reader. If the NFC is operating in the active mode then the two devices can send and receive information. A NFC tag can be read/written by an NFC reader/writer device attached to the WiWIZ1. When the tagged container arrives, the NFC tag is read and the information on the tag can be passed to the wireless network.


Currently the reader/writer device is connected to the backbone network by wires, limiting mobility. An example of an NFC application is the installation of an active NFC tag in a cell phone. If one goes into a restaurant and wishes to pay for the meal, then a portable NFC reader/writer connected to a WiHART systems wireless link transmits the payment information. The cell phone equipped with an NFC RFID is brought within 10 cm (~4 inches) of the portable wireless NFC reader/writer. Under strict security protocols the payment information from the RFID tag is transferred to the portable wireless device and the data is verified at the financial institution. The short range of the wireless communication links inhibits reading the signal by a hacker.


There is two-way communication between the cell phone RFID and the wireless portable RFID read/writer. This is a credit card replacement application. The NFC device is also used in transportation systems, security and asset management systems.


The WI-WIZ1 can be connected to the NFC reader/writer and provide for a portable wireless connection transferring the information from the tag and supplying information to the tag. Thus, NFC is a symmetrical active tag communication technique.


For more information see www.nfcforum.org.





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