Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): Definitions

(some of the of terms used in RFID technology)

UHF antennas are tuned to receive RFID waves of a certain length from a reader, just as the tuner on the radio in a car changes the antenna to receive signals of different frequencies.

When UHF antenna is close to metal or metallic material, the antenna can be detuned, resulting in poor performance.

The silicon block onto which circuits have been etched to create a microchip.
A channel capable of transmitting data in both directions at the same time.

A half duplex is a channel capable of transmitting data in both directions, but not simultaneously.

duty cycle
The length of time the reader can be emitting energy.

Regulations in the European Union say readers can be on only ten percent of the time.

effective isotropic radiated power, EIRP (s) (noun), effective isotropic radiated powers (pl)
A measurement of the output of RFID reader antennas used in the United States and elsewhere: An effective isotropic radiated power is the assessment of the power of the signal departing from a satellite antenna in a certain direction.

EIRP is usually expressed in watts.

effective radiated power, ERP (s) (noun), effective radiated powers (pl)
A measurement of the output of RFID reader antennas used in Europe and elsewhere: An effective radiated power is the same as "equivalent radiated power" and is an IFEE standardized meaning of directional radio frequency power.

ERP is usually expressed in watts and is not the same as EIRP.

electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, EEPROM
1. A method of storing data on microchips.

Usually bytes can be erased and reprogrammed individually.

RFID tags that use EEPROM are more expensive than factory programmed tags, where the number is written into the silicon when the chip is made, but they offer more flexibility because the end user can write an ID number to the tag at the time the tag is going to be used.

2. A form of read-only memory which can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.
3. An integrated-circuit memory chip that has an internal switch to permit a user to erase the contents of the chip and to write new contents into it with electrical signals.
electromagnetic library security system
A security system that uses magnetic strips in objects that are read by a scanner in an antenna or a sensitizer/desensitizer.
electronic article surveillance, EAS (s) (noun); electronic article surveillances (pl)
Simple electronic tags that can be turned on or off to indicate check-out or check-in status of products: When an item is purchased (or borrowed from a library), the electronic article surveillance is turned off.

When someone passes a gate, or door, of a place holding an item with an electronic article surveillance that hasn't been turned off, an alarm sounds.

electronic product code, EPC
A serial, created by the Auto-ID Center, that will complement barcodes.

The EPC has digits to identify the manufacturer, product category and the individual item.

EPC discovery service
An EPC global network service that allows companies to search for every reader that has read a particular EPC tag.
EPC Global
A non-profit organization set up the Uniform Code Council and EAN International, the two organizations that maintain barcode standards, to commercialize EPC technology.

EPC Global is made up of chapters in different countries and regions. It is commercializing the technology originally developed by the Auto-ID Center.

EPC Global Network or EPC Network
The internet-based technologies and services that enable companies to retrieve data associated with EPCs.

The network infrastructure includes the Object Name Service, distributed middleware (sometimes called Savants), the EPC Information Service and Physical Markup Language.

EPC Information Service
Part of the EPC Network.

The EPC Information Service is a network infrastructure that enables companies to store data associated with EPCs in secure databases on the Web.

The EPC Information Service will enable companies to provide different levels of access to data to different groups.

Some information associated with an EPC might be available to everyone. Other information might be available only to a manufacturer's retail customers.

The service also includes a number of applications; such as, the EPC Discovery Service.

List of Radio Frequency Identification or RFID articles.