What are the different types of RFID technology? (RFID Stickers)

What are the different types of RFID technology? (RFID Stickers)

May 06, 2020

RFID Technology Type

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has become more and more common in many industries, but there are many different types of RFID technologies, namely tags and readers, each of which is suitable for different types of applications.

RFID Stickers can be classified by their radio frequency range for communication and the way the tag communicates with the reader.

What is the frequency?

According to the frequency range of RFID tags used to transmit data, it can be divided into three categories: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and ultra high frequency (UHF). Generally speaking, the lower the frequency of the RFID system and the shorter the reading range, the slower the data reading rate.

Frequency Type


The operating frequency range of these RFID systems is 30 KHz to 300 KHz, and the reading range is up to 10 cm. Despite their short reading range and slow data reading speed, their performance is better in the presence of metals or liquids. LF tags are used for access control, livestock tracking, and other applications that accept short read ranges.


The HF system operates in the range of 3 MHz to 30 MHz with a reading distance of 10 cm to 1 m. Common applications include electronic ticketing, payment and data transmission. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is based on HF RFID and has been used in payment card and hotel key card applications. Other types of smart card and proximity card payment and security systems also use HF technology.


These systems have a frequency range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz, provide a read range of up to 12 m, and have a faster data transmission rate. They are more sensitive to interference from metals, liquids and electromagnetic signals, but new design innovations have helped alleviate some of these problems.

UHF tags have low manufacturing costs and are commonly used in retail inventory tracking, drug anti-counterfeiting, and other applications that require large numbers of tags. The EPCglobal Gen2/ISO 18000-6C standard is a well-known global standard for project-level tracking applications.

According to the communication method between tags and readers, there are two other common classifications of tags: active RFID or passive RFID.

Active RFID

Active RFID tags have their own transmitters and power supplies on the tags. These are mostly UHF solutions, and in some cases the reading range can be extended to 100 m. Active tags are usually larger and more expensive than passive tags, and are used to track large assets. Active RFID tags are usually also equipped with sensors that can measure and transmit temperature, humidity, light, and vibration/vibration data of objects attached to them.

There are two types of activity tags. The transponder only "wake up" and sends data when it receives a radio signal from the reader. For example, the transponder connected to a vehicle located at a toll or checkpoint control location is only active when passing a specific gate. This helps save battery life.

Passive RFID

In a passive RFID solution, the reader and reader antenna send a signal to the tag, which is used to power the tag and reflect energy back to the reader. Passive tags have a shorter reading range than active tags and are limited by the power of the radio signal reflected back to the reader.

Passive tags are usually smaller, cheaper and more flexible than active tags. This means that they can be attached or even embedded in various objects. For example, passive UHF tags are commonly used for item-level tracking of consumer products and pharmaceuticals.

By matching the correct type of RFID tag to your application, you can ensure a successful deployment and get the full benefits of the technology.