Sunny Lu (CEO of Bechain) Jianliang Gu (CTO of VeChain) VeChain’s Tech Deep Dive Series Session 1, Episode 3: RFID Technology and Deployment Before getting into the subject of RFID, we need to define RFID.
Roughly speaking, Broadly speaking, we will classify RFID into three categories. The first category is the low-frequency band from 125k to 134k. The second category is a high-frequency band such as the NFC high frequency.
The third category is very high frequencies above 400mhz, RFID-related products exceeding 800mhz or 900mhz. In fact, RFID is a technology that existed in the 1990s. It has a history of almost 30 years.
Yes, it is relatively mature, Other frequency bands are extended. For example, depending on the scenario You have to choose a different frequency or different product. RFID system contains many elements, We can see that the first one is a card reader. For example, let’s say I have a UHF code scanner in my hand. Of course, there are also NFC’s near field code scanners.
This is for industrial/industrial use. For example, In large corporate warehouses or logistics environments By expanding the process more mechanically and easily expanding the operation, You can solve the inconvenience of manual work with the phone.
Yes, this is a typical industrial machine model. The second part is RFID. This is very important. Look at this card. There are two parts to the card. The first part is the chip The second part is the antenna.
We will continue to discuss the substrate part of the next topic. Near field communication and RFID will also be mentioned later. A finished RFID card usually consists of a chip, an antenna, and aboard. Of course, a lot of software will be included as well. In the field of RFID, The scanner that everyone can see is ultra-high frequency RFID.
This chip has a wide selection from top manufacturers such as IMPINJ, NXP, EM, Alien, ST and more. That’s right, ST too. Yes, but ST only has NFC. However, not many companies are among the leaders. Currently, there are only two companies in this industry.
One is IMPINJ and the other is ST. Of course, it can be said that some manufacturers currently have reader products, Only two of them were measured by “quantitative and stability” criteria.
IMPINJ occupies more than 80% market share, The second is ST, which basically covers the rest of the market. That’s why I decided to build the platform with the IMPINJ supplier. Yes, from now on, let’s talk about antennas and substrates. And later we will focus on the reader part as well. In the reader part, we see a code scanner.
There are also products such as UHF readers. This is a very complex chip with baseband and analogue circuitry. What you’re seeing right now is this. This is very important, why? Because most of the RFID scanners you see today use this chip. It’s a chip called R2000.
There are three types of IMPINJ: R500, R1000 and R2000. Among them, the R2000 is the flagship product. Up to 900 cards can be scanned per second. The composition of this product is more complex and Analog circuits, digital basebands, etc.
We are currently using IMPINJ R2000 products. Of course, cooperation with IMPINJ includes chips and gateways. This is a code scanner installed in access control. Of course, it is not designed as a chip, but as a separate device. good. At the same time, We took an X-ray image of IMPINJ in the Shanghai branch of VeChain.
You mean the set we exhibited before? Yes, that is correct. You can manage storage, inventory and location. The positioning precision is about 2m. Ok, At the same time, you can also track, so you can track where items are going and where they are going. You can record your travel path.
Yes. It is convenient for general store operation from 100 to 140 square meters. It has already been applied to smart warehouse solutions. Yes, it is. Yes, the most difficult part of RFID and short-range wireless communication cards is the antenna design.
Why do we talk about near field communication, RFID, and UHF separately? Because NFC 13.56MHz UHF 860-960MHz works very differently. If you look at this, you can see this near field communication card Behind it you can find the antenna. But for the HF antenna, it works differently, so The design is completely different from the RFID antenna.
The frequency of 13.56MHz for short-range wireless communication is not that high. So, how it works is to do inductive coupling. Yes, it is. So the distance is relatively close and the frequency is low The antenna design is relatively simple. But for 860-960MHz UHF RFID, The principle of operation uses the microwave principle. Like cell phones, It is made by high-frequency microwave and electromagnetic induction.
Here, we need to talk about one thing like RFID. When customers come we will ask questions. It’s important to find the right product for them during our design process.
Simply put, Besides the requirements of the frequency band on which the chip is based or its own technical specifications, We need to consider the actual application scenario. Yes. Then it would be possible to say this.
In this way, it is also used in mainstream products, It’s used for certificates or paper products that can be used for harder materials, such as inside high-end products. Behind that even used in other places There is also a QR code that is a dual HD presentation.
Yes, that is correct. Now I want to focus on the RFID part. When it comes to logistics and storage management This is because companies use it the most. When discussing with customers, We need to figure out what our customers really need. (E.g. for readers, fixed or portable) Yes.
And how the RFID card was installed on the product. We will evaluate based on these two aspects. You will also be asked about the type of card and the materials used. Judging from this… You can also see how it contacts the product.
The design of these contact materials, These are some of the experiences we have accumulated over the past 2-3 years. The technical team of our future community When providing solutions for various enterprise scenarios Not just saying that blockchain can do it, it can also do IoT.
In fact, this is a very complicated process. right. In recognition of many people in the industry, Let’s take an example like this card. Everyone knows this is a card. And the black dot is the real chip.
Yes, it’s a very small chip. Yes, small chips. There are many people in the industry that make this kind of chip. As you can read the IMPINJ readers mentioned earlier or these standard devices If you can really make this, Must meet ISO18000-63 standard.
Yes. If you donâ€™t meet the criteria. Universal protocol, It is a common protocol that everyone recognizes. Yes, it will be more common. The difficulty in card design is the antenna. The chip on this card costs only 40% of the total card.
Most of the cost is on the antenna. And the design of the antenna. When using this RFID card, Because itâ€™s a very high-frequency antenna You should discuss with the customer what his application scenario is.
That’s right. Therefore, its application scenario cannot be used for liquids and metals. In this part, you should discuss this with the customer at an early stage. On the basis of this premise, we will consider the design of the antenna together. Yes. From my point of view, the antenna design will consider three parts.
The first part is the resonant frequency The second part is the gain and the third part is polarization. Like we mentioned earlier about Europe and America In the case of resonant frequencies, their frequencies are different, but We cannot design cards suitable for use only in Europe or the United States. Because we cannot ship this card. I See. So when we design a card, I want to be able to use as many frequencies as possible.
All over Yes, but it does not work when using this code scanner. You need to set the appropriate frequency band for each area. Therefore, this product is It is designed to cover this frequency band. There is another problem.
Since there is a very important point in the antenna design like this antenna Do you know what your name is? I don’t know. This is a dipole antenna. What is a dipole? It is a dipole. There is no radiation from this antenna.
That antenna emits this circle. good. I need to know what kind of trouble it will cause, The point of the problem is that the middle part is empty. There is no benefit at this point. The signal is not received in the middle. So, when we design it, We need to know where to put this card and how the card reader works. Yes, how to read, such as from a certain direction, from a certain angle.
Good or if you put it his way, it might not be read. Yes, you probably have to read it from the side. You can read it from the side. But whether you need to scan from any angle using a portable scanner Or when scanning using a fixture (For example, whether you need to install more antennas on the access control to scan). right.
Of course, we have other designs like True3D designs. Antenna radiation can be used from any angle. That’s right. It is necessary to meet a variety of customer requirements (e.g. item size). Yes. In which scenario it should be applied, What materials are used for the substrate, e.g.
Plastic, paper, glass, And even anti-metal tags need to be considered. Look, first, there is a thickness. Second, there is metal behind the antenna. All of this must be considered. Overall, you still have to rely on other application scenarios. The scenario is different. Yes. To talk about RFID, I want to ask a question too.
This is a hotter issue being discussed in the community. RFID existed in the 1990s It has been around for almost 30 years. This technology has evolved, but nothing fundamentally changes. Yes, there aren’t any particularly big changes.
For example, because we are combining the Internet of Things, RFID, and short-range wireless communication with the blockchain, The hot topic we are talking about is IoT (Internet of Things) equipment, We are very clear about the active tags of these devices. These RFID or NFC with passive tags Can you communicate directly or communicate directly to the blockchain? That’s a very good question.
To communicate directly with the blockchain In other words You need to implement some transactions going to the blockchain. It gets read and write data. But the first thing we need to be clear This is a passive tag that can’t do anything proactively. That’s right. You must have such a reader.
Active tag or data store. Yes, it will help you do that. This is one point. Next, the second point is that near field communication and RFID are different. This is because short-range wireless communications are closely inductively coupled.
So its energy is relatively larger. good. The asymmetric encryption algorithm is It can be implemented with a short-range wireless communication-based MCU. For example, we use a portable ellipse algorithm.
However, this kind of RFID by itself has relatively low energy. It’s then using limited energy to overcome the distance. Yes, this is the first problem. And the second problem To implement this kind of asymmetric encryption algorithm It is the need to introduce an MCU and a card operating system (COS) system.
It is very difficult to implement without considering the cost. Absolutely. There is currently nothing on the market. Yes. I think it depends on the actual application scenario.
This is a cost issue. Yes, For example, if we apply this chip to clothes worth tens of dollars, I think this is unrealistic.
That’s right, we offer our customers the best choice and We want to provide the best quality. You also need to consider return on investment (ROI) issues. Yes. Next Episode: An Introduction to Sensors and Smart Chips
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