RFID tag: operation, types and criteria and choices

The RFID tag is more and more ubiquitous in everyday life and makes everyday objects “smarter”. Indeed, it connects them to other systems and devices without physical contact. As the RFID reader, it is an essential part of an RFID solution. In this article, find out everything you need to know about the RFID tag.

What is an RFID tag?

Also call chip label, smart label, or tag, the RFID label is an electronic identification medium equip with RFID technology. An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system is use to designate a radio frequency identification technology that facilitates daily work in libraries, industry, product safety, logistics, etc.

The tag has a chip connect to an antenna. The latter allows the chip to RFID tagtransmit information (weight, serial number, etc.) that can be read using a transceiver reader.

The smart tag does not need to be seen to be read. For this, its use is very attractive to meet the requirements in terms of traceability. The RFID tag is use for the identification of goods, storage, the fight against counterfeiting or even traceability.

How does the RFID tag work?

Among the RFID media, the RFID tag is the most use. It consists of housing a series of data or a serial number on a chip couple to an antenna. It’s activates and transmits the data it contains thanks to a radio signal emit by the RFID reader which is also equip with an antenna and an RFID card. possible that this chip/antenna assembly constituting the label is affix to or insert into an object.

However, the tag uses a transmission frequency on which its reading speed and maximum range depend. There are therefore an RFID tag low frequency 125 kHz high frequency 13.50 MHz RFID tag Ultra High Frequency 860 MHz to 965 MHz.

What are the different types of RFID tags?

In general, there are passive, semi-passive, and active tags.

Passive labels

Passive RFID tags often have two components: an antenna and an integrated circuit. Battery-free, they are powered when read during a process call inductive coupling. Since they only work when needed, they tend to last longer. Since they have no moving parts, potential sources of failure are few.

However, these tags also have some drawbacks. Note the requirement to use middleware or software for data, limit data storage and the inability to add additional functionality.

Semi-passive labels

Semi-passive tags consist of an antenna, a battery, and an integrate circuit. Because they are battery-power, you can add additional features such as real-time tracking, sound notifications, and sensors.

The only functionality that cannot be found in these tags is the onboard transmitters. Semi-passive labels have a limit scope. In addition, they have a lifespan limit by the action of the battery.

Active labels

Active tags consist of an onboard transmitter, a battery, an antenna, and an integrate circuit. They have a great range because the current is sent directly to the reader by the onboard transmitter. In addition, they are compatible with various additional features, including more substantial memory, built-in sensors, and more logic functions.

How to choose an RFID tag?

To choose the most appropriate RFID tag for the identification and traceability of target persons or objects, certain parameters must be taken into account. It is about the format of labels which is determine according to the performance of reading to have, of the use of the tag. There is also the selection of the frequency of use according to the environment and the nature of the object to be identify.

The desire frequency must also consider because as it was said above, it is this which will influence the speed and the reading distance. You can opt for a low frequency rfid(LF) tag, a high frequency (HF) tag, or an ultra frequency (UHF) smart tag.

The environmental constraints, the lifespan and the nature of the product, the method of fixing the size of the tag memory are other important selection criteria. Finally, the price of an RFID tag varies between 5 and 30 euros, you must rely on your budget to make your choice.


In short, the RFID tag is the ideal tool for identifying and “tagging” an object or a person. But you still have to choose the right product when buying.

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