EAI IIES Summit and Exhibition
Riva del Garda, Trento Italy 4-6 October, 2012
Food Safety & Autenticity 2012
Brussels, Belgium 18-20 September, 2012
Rome, Italy, 23-27 July 2012
IEEE Symposium and URSI Meeting
Chicago, IL, USA 8-14 July, 2012
QUID Innovation Italy
Milan, Italy 27-28 June, 2012
INSME - INNOBIZ - WTA Hi-tech fair
Daejeon, South Korea 21-25 May 2012
CIBUS 2012
Parma, Italy 7-10 May 2012
SMAU business 2012
Padova, Italy 18-19 April 2012
IEEE International Conference on RFID
Orlando, FL, USA 3-5 April 2012
Anuga FoodTec - F2F at Speakers' Corner
Cologne, Germany 28 March 2012


Path: Home > Equipment > Hardware


Through radio waves, RFID technologies provide a real-time communication with numerous objects at the same time at a distance, without contact or direct line of sight. These advanced identification and communication characteristics of RFID can improve the product traceability, increasing the efficiency of systems and the visibility among supply chains.
All pilots will have a broad scope in the business processes of the involved companies, combining wireless sensor networks for ambient parameters control with RFID systems for traceability operations.

The hardware architecture for all pilots will be based on several computers to run middleware software, to control wireless sensor networks, and to manage the required databases, reproducing the most common method of identification by associating the RFID tag unique identifier with an object. An RFID system typically comprise the following:

  • an RFID device (TAG);
  • a tag reader with an antenna and transceiver (WSN); and
  • a host system or connection to an enterprise system (middleware).

Most RFID tags contain at least three parts:

  • An integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal; this chip, according to EPC-Global standards, contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) which allows the identification of each product in a unique way and has the logic to tell itself what to do when it is in front of a reader
  • the antenna enables the chip to receive power and exchange data with the reader
  • a substrate.

Most of the tags produced today are passive, they draw energy from that electromagnetic field created by a reader to power itself and “scatter back” its information through a wave at a different frequency.
The use of the same standard at all the processes flow will make easier the implementation of the F2F project, but the Pilots have to evaluate the hardware that suits better to their needs.
RFID tags are often a complement, but not a substitute for UPC or EAN barcodes, so companies that are currently using barcodes, will have the challenge to complement their current systems with new benefits obtained from the additional traceability possibilities offered by RFID systems.

An excellent source of information has been set up by VeryFields, the largest showcase of RFID tags combined with the most complete search tool to help RFID professionals find the best RFID tags for their applications (RFID Tag Search page), by defining up to 50 tag characteristics at a time.


RFID readers
Readers are the devices responsible for detecting when tags enter their read range. They are also capable of interrogating other sensors coupled to tags or embedded within tags.
Each reader can be connected to one or more antennas that broadcast into a specific interrogation zone the electromagnetic signal created by the reader.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is an evolution of short-range RFID. This high-frequency wireless communication technology enables devices such as mobile phones or tags to exchange data over a few centimeters distance. Since NFC is an extension of the ISO 14443 standard, NFC devices are compatible with already existing contactless infrastructures (e.g., RFID tags or public transportation systems). NFC technology targets mainly mobile phones which can therefore be used in three different ways. A NFC mobile phone can behave as a common RFID reader, it can be read or write to/from a contactless card or even be used in peer-to-peer mode: two NFC devices can communicate and exchange information.