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RFID: A Beginner's Guide
Glossary of Terms:
Active tag: An RFID tag that has an internal power source such as a battery.
Carrier: A Radio Frequency (RF) sine wave generated by the reader (interrogator) to transmit energy to the tag and retrieve data from the tag. 125 kHz and 13.56 MHz, utilize transformer-type electromagnetic coupling, whereas 2.45GHz uses RF link between the reader and the tag for communication.
Passive tag: An RFID tag without internal source of power.
Reader: Also called interrogator, is a device used to communicate with RFID tags. The reader has an antennas, which emit radio waves. These electromagnetic waves are picked up by the tag, and the tag sends back signals containing unique information.
Back Scatter: A method of communication between a passive tag and a reader. The tag reflects the received rf frequencies with modulated carrier.
Barcode: A barcode (also called bar code) is a machine-readable representation of information in a visual format on a surface. Barcodes normally store data in the widths and spacings of printed parallel lines. However, they also come in patterns of dots, concentric circles, and hidden in images.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): A method of identifying unique items using radio frequencies. Here a reader communicates with a tag, which holds digital information in a microchip.
Savants: Middleware that filters data from EPC readers and pass it on to enterprise systems. Savants reside on servers across the EPC Network and pass data to one another and act as backbone for the network.
Smart label: A term that usually refers to a barcode label that contains an RFID. It's considered "smart" because it can store information (say, a unique serial number), and communicate with a reader.
Transceiver: A device that both transmits and receives radio waves.
Universal Product Code (UPC): The barcode standard used in North America. It is administered by the Uniform Code Council.
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