RFID Reader Testing and Reader Sensitivity Will become Focus Topics
CISC Semiconductor is the global leader in developing test methods and test equipment for the quality assurance of RFID and NFC technology. Company EVP and CTO Josef Preishuber-Pflügl talks about the new focus areas for RAIN RFID standards.
CISC Semiconductor launched the RAIN RFID Xplorer Reader Checker in late 2021. Is tag and reader testing the main focus for CISC in 2022?
Offering test methods and test equipment is something we have done for years. We share our know-how about RFID and NFC and help developing standards for our industry. This will be one focus in our business activities this year, but increasingly we will also focus on reader sensitivity.
Why is reader sensitivity such an important topic?
When the RFID communication protocols GS1 EPC Gen2 were launched, the read range of tags was shorter than today. 10 meters was the maximum. With Monza R6 and UCODE 7 tag generations, read sensitivity of tags has increased significantly. But it has been recognized that the response back from the tag has become the limiting element.
Can you go into detail about this?
Of course. Gen2 tags need less and less energy and can be read from further away. Read distance today can be as much as 20 or even 30 m. But the answer from the tag must then also be able to reach back again that same distance, and that’s not always easy. Therefore, it is important to know which parameters the reader in question has to have and which type is the best for specific applications. The reader needs to be sensitive enough for the entire process.
Is there already some awareness of the importance of reader sensitivity in the RFID community?
Not quite; in past years, tag performance was more in the foreground. RFID systems performance is therefore at times unsatisfactory at the user’s end simply because readers and tags don’t match. We are actively campaigning to change that. Reader sensitivity will need to become a central topic in the RFID industry.