UHF is becoming more popular for solving difficult RFID problems and meeting business needs across various industries. However questions HF and UHF remain. Many still wonder whether HF or UHF RFID tags are the best solution for meeting business goals. To understand why this is the case one must first understand what UHF Technology is, the differences between HF and UHF products and applications where these tags have been successfully deployed.
UHF RFID Tags vs. HF RFID Tags
Up until now HF has been viewed as a more reliable and proven technology. However recent developments established that UHF products are equally as reliable and often times can offer better performance across many applications. To understand why that is, we must first understand the difference between HFRFID and UHF RFIDTags.
HF and UHF products operate at different frequencies. The maximum range for HFRFID tags is 13.56 MHz and the maximum read range is about 3 feet. Meanwhile UHF operates in the 858 to 930 MHz frequency band and can have a read range of 30 feet .
HFRFID Tags are considered more "mature" tags, since they have been around for longer. While UHF products are dominant technology for supply chain applications, it is believed that due to their "maturity" and a short read range HF RFID tags are a better choice for item level or near-field applications. However over the past years it has become apparent that UHF is equally as reliable as HF tags and often can offer better performance. UHF products do not need to be near field tags to be read at a close range. Unlike HF, Ultra Hight Frequency tags can be read both at close and long ranges: a 30 ft. tag can also be read from an inch away. Because of their versatile read range, UH FRFID tags can be optimized for various applications and be processed at various read distances. UHF products are perfect for work-in-process applications including, inventory tracking, anti-counterfeit applications, identification applications and many more. Because these tags can provide the range and coverage users need, UHF products are perfect for applications where a "universal" tag is necessary or a tag that can be read at both long and short distances.
Advantages of UHF Technology:
There are several advantages to using Ultra Hight Frequency Technology, the two most relevant are cost and performance. In the section above we touched upon how these tags have a longer read distance; however we have yet to explain the difference in speed. The speed at which this technology may be read and the distance over which UHF products may be read are usually higher when compared to HF. Additionally, due to mandates to their supplier to use UHF products for their supply chain tracking, from giants such as Wal-Mart and Gillette it is believed that UHF products will be cheaper. The idea is that as UHF production volume increase, cost will decrease. Furthermore it is suggested that as UHF RFID tags become more popular in item level tagging and the production numbers will reach billions, tag prices will plummet.
While both of these factors suggest operational benefits to implementing a Ultra Hight Frequency RFID system, there are still misconceptions that need to be cleared. The next section deals with myths and misconceptions if UHF RFIDTags.
Misconceptions about UHF RFID Tags:
While UHF products can obviously offer a versatile read distance, many believe there are drawbacks to UHF RFIDTags. For a long time it was believed that
1. UHF RFIDTags could not function on/in water or metal
2. UHF RFID Tags could not provide shorter read range
3. UHF RFID Tags are too large and are inappropriate for applications where a smaller footprint is necessary
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