Standards for RFID

In order to cost effectively use RFID technology, there are a few things to consider.

  • The object to be labelled must have or be given a universally unique identity (UUID).
  • That identity, the UUID, should be stored in an RFID Transponder (Tag).
  • The Tag should be able to talk to an Interrogator (Reader/writer).
  • The Reader might have to communicate with a Control Unit, WMS, ERP or similar system.

Etc

All the above items are candidates for standardization. Some are critical, others are only desirable.


THE PRESENT POSITION

Among many things, the collaborative effort between ISO/IEC JTC1 SC31 and GS1/EPCGlobal that resulted in the initial ISO/IEC 18000-6C (now ISO/IEC 18000-63), and the equivalent EPCGlobal® Class 1 Generation 2, common RFID Air Interface standards from around 2005, are now considered stable, mature and reliable technology which gains acceptance at a healthy pace. Some of the primary reasons for this are the facts that;

  • The transponders (tags) are easy to manufacture in volume, and are hence cheap and 
  • There now exists two more or less complete standardized frameworks for everything from tag data representation and coding, to recommendations on data structure management and interfaces to enterprise level ICT systems, in order to help the implementers and users.

These two basic frameworks are:

  • The ISO/IEC one, which is the most flexible one (and may hence require some more work to implement), and the
  • GS1/EPCGlobal one, that is fairly focused on retail logistics, and by focusing, enables software system vendors to provide good COTS packages for many applications.

There are of course also other mature RFID technologies out there, since the RFID technology started in the mid 1940ies.  One well known set is the ISO 11784 / ISO 11785 one. Tags that comply with this standard are mandatory to use in e.g. Sweden, in order to "chip" one's pet dog or garbage bin. Other well proliferated and standardized RFID technologies are NFC as used in passports, tickets and mobile phones etc., as well as the old and trusty ISO/IEC 15693, also called "HF", that currently is seen in among other places, in library books.

In order to keep the owners of RFID based systems within the boundaries of civil behaviour and in order to make sure that personal privacy of the users is not jeopardized, there is now a European legal framework in place called Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), which is currently being updated along with a set of reports that eventually will be ratified by CEN/TC225 as European standards.
In order to operate public RFID based systems, the owner(s) are expected to fill in a PIA form, in order to assess whether the system to be deployed has any significant impact on the users personal privacy or not. For more information on this, please contact RFID Nordic. To complement this there is the "RFID Sign" standard, ISO/IEC 29160 which has been in effect for a while.

Below is a matrix giving a brief overview of currently standardized RFID system technologies.
Please note that aspects such as read range, price etc. are snapshots, as they tend to change over time depending on supply and demand as well as technology advances with respect to tag sensitivity etc.

FREQUENCIES LOW FREQUENCY
125 or 134.2 kHz
Passive tags
HIGH FREQUENCY
13,56 kHz
Passive tags
VERY HIGH FREQUENCY
433 MHz
Active tags
ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY
860-950 MHz
Passive & BAP tags
MICROWAVE
2,45 GHz
Passive & active tags
Typical reading distance.
Depends on antennae and power.
Up to 0.5m Up to 1m - ISO 15693
2 cm - NFC
Up to 500m 3-10m, but special tags may be readable at 30m 4 - 12m
Advantages Simple and robust technology.
Good penetration.
Well defined reading boundaries.
Good anti-collision.
Quite well standardized.
Well defined reading boundaries.
Secure data management (NFC).
Long range systems. Good anti-collision.
High data speed.
Medium distance reading.
Cheap transponders.
Global standards.
High data speed.
Disadvantages Limited anti collision.
Slow data transfer.
Medium data speed. Needs battery maintenance. Indistinct reading area. Primarily used in the Far East.
Examples of usage Access systems,
animal registration,
garbage disposal systems.
Access systems,
Public transport systems,
libraries,
mobile phones,
credit cards.
Sea containers. Food retail,
apparel,
logistics,
automotive industry,
parking.
Tickets,
Toll collection.
Typical transponder price ranges / unit 10 – 100 SEK 2 - 50 SEK 100+ SEK 0.6 – 50 SEK operators of toll roads etc. mainly
take out a deposit from its customers


Current (January 2013) ISO/IEC standards and technical reports for AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture)

ISO 11784   Radio frequency identification of animals -- Code structure

ISO 11785   Radio frequency identification of animals -- Technical concept

ISO 14223 family  Radiofrequency identification of animals -- Advanced transponders

ISO/IEC 14443 family "Proximity cards" which also encompasses the NFC basic technology

ISO/IEC 15693 family "Vicinity cards"

ISO/IEC 15418:2009  Application Identifiers and Data Identifiers

ISO/IEC 15434:2006  Automatic identification and data capture techniques -- Syntax for high-capacity ADC media

ISO/IEC 15459:2006  Unique identifiers

ISO/IEC 15961:2004  Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Data protocol: application interface

ISO/IEC 15962:2004  Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Data protocol: data encoding rules and logical memory functions

ISO/IEC 15963:2009  Radio frequency identification for item management -- Unique identification for RF tags

ISO/IEC 18000-1:2008 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 1: Reference architecture and definition of parameters to be standardized

ISO/IEC 18000-2:2009 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 2: Parameters for air interface communications below 135 kHz

ISO/IEC 18000-3:2010 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 3: Parameters for air interface communications at 13,56 MHz

ISO/IEC 18000-4:2008 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 4: Parameters for air interface communications at 2,45 GHz

ISO/IEC 18000-6:2013 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 6: Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz General

ISO/IEC 18000-61:2012 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 6: Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz Type A

ISO/IEC 18000-62:2012 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 6: Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz Type B

ISO/IEC 18000-63:2013 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 6: Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz Type C

ISO/IEC 18000-64:2012 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 6: Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz Type D

ISO/IEC 18000-7:2009 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Part 7: Parameters for active air interface communications at 433 MHz

ISO/IEC TR 18001:2004 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Application requirements profiles

ISO/IEC 18046-1:2011 Radio frequency identification device performance test methods -- Part 1: Test methods for system performance

ISO/IEC 18046-2:2011 Radio frequency identification device performance test methods -- Part 2: Test methods for interrogator performance

ISO/IEC 18046-3:2012 Radio frequency identification device performance test methods -- Part 3: Test methods for tag performance

ISO/IEC 19762-3:2008 Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) techniques -- Harmonized vocabulary -- Part 3: Radio frequency identification (RFID)

ISO/IEC TR 20017:2011 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Electromagnetic interference impact of ISO/IEC 18000 interrogator emitters on implantable pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators

ISO/IEC/IEEE 21451-7:2011 Smart transducer interface for sensors and actuators -- Part 7: Transducer to radio frequency identification (RFID) systems communication protocols and Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) formats

ISO/IEC TR 24710:2005 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Elementary tag licence plate functionality for ISO/IEC 18000 air interface definitions

ISO/IEC TR 24729-1:2008 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Implementation guidelines -- Part 1: RFID-enabled labels and packaging supporting ISO/IEC 18000-6C

ISO/IEC TR 24729-2:2008 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Implementation guidelines -- Part 2: Recycling and RFID tags

ISO/IEC TR 24729-3:2009 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Implementation guidelines -- Part 3: Implementation and operation of
UHF RFID Interrogator systems in logistics applications

ISO/IEC TR 24729-4:2009 Radio frequency identification for item management -- Implementation guidelines -- Part 4: Tag data security

ISO/IEC 24753:2011  Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Application protocol: encoding and processing rules for sensors and batteries

ISO/IEC 24791-1:2010 Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Software system infrastructure -- Part 1: Architecture

ISO/IEC 24791-2:2011 Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Software system infrastructure -- Part 2: Data management

ISO/IEC 24791-5:2012 Radio frequency identification (RFID) for item management -- Software system infrastructure -- Part 5: Device interface

ISO/IEC 29143:2011  Automatic identification and data capture techniques -- Air interface specification for Mobile RFID interrogators

ISO/IEC 29160:2012  Radio frequency identification for item management -- RFID Emblem

ISO/IEC TR 29162:2012 Guidelines for using data structures in AIDC media

ISO/IEC 29167-1:2012 Automatic identification and data capture techniques -- Part 1: Air interface for security services and file management for RFID architecture

ISO/IEC 29173-1:2012 Mobile item identification and management -- Part 1: Mobile RFID interrogator device protocol for ISO/IEC 18000-63 Type C

ISO/IEC 29175:2012  Mobile item identification and management -- User data for Mobile AIDC services

ISO/IEC 29176:2011  Mobile item identification and management -- Consumer privacy-protection protocol for Mobile RFID services

ISO/IEC 29178:2012  Mobile item identification and management -- Service broker for Mobile AIDC services

ISO/IEC 29179:2012  Mobile item identification and management -- Mobile AIDC application programming


Consumer and transport packaging

ISO/FDIS 17363:2007 Supply chain applications of RFID - Freight containers

ISO/FDIS 17364:2009 Supply chain applications of RFID - Returnable transport items (RTIs)

ISO/FDIS 17365:2009 Supply chain applications of RFID - Transport units

ISO/FDIS 17366 :2009 Supply chain applications of RFID - Product packaging

ISO/FDIS 17367:2009 Supply chain applications of RFID - Product tagging


Gas bottles

ISO 21007-1 Gas cylinders Identification and marking using radio frequency identification technology -- Part 1: Reference architecture and terminology

ISO 21007-2 Gas cylinders Identification and marking using radio frequency identification technology -- Part 2: Numbering schemes for radio frequency identification


The most relevant GS1/EPCGlobal® standards:

The EPCglobal Architecture Framework

EPC Information Services (EPCIS) Version 1.0.1
 
The Application Level Events (ALE) Specification, Version 1.1.1

Reader Management 1.0.1

Discovery, Configuration, and Initialization (DCI) for Reader Operations

Low Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) Version 1.1

EPC™ Radio-Frequency Identity Protocols Class-1 Generation-2 UHF RFID Protocol for Communications at 860 MHz – 960 MHz Version 1.2.0

EPC™ Radio-Frequency Identity Protocols Class-1 HF RFID Air Interface Protocol for Communications at 13.56 MHz Version 2.0.3

GS1 EPC Tag Data Standard 1.6

GS1 EPCGlobal Tag Data Translation (TDT) 1.6

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