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Glossary

  • Anti-collision: A general term used to cover methods of preventing radio waves from one device from interfering with radio waves from another. Anti-collision algorithms are also used to read more than one tag in the same reader's field.
  • Backscatter: A method of communication between passive tags (ones that do not use batteries to broadcast a signal) and readers. RFID tags using backscatter technology reflect back to the reader radio waves from a reader, usually at the same carrier frequency. The reflected signal is modulated to transmit data.
  • Closed Systems (closed loop systems): Within the context of radio frequency identification, they are systems in which data handling, including capture, storage, and communication are under the control of the organization to which the system belongs. Compare with Open Systems.
  • Electronic article surveillance: Simple electronic tags that can be turned on or off. When an item is purchased (or borrowed from a library), the tag is turned off. When someone passes a gate area holding an item with a tag that hasn't been turned off, an alarm sounds. EAS tags are embedded in the packaging of most pharmaceuticals. They can be RF-based, or acousto-magnetic.
  • Electronic Product Code: A serial, created by the Auto-ID Center, which will complement barcodes. The EPC has digits to identify the manufacturer, product category and the individual item.
  • EPCglobal: The organization set up to commercialize RFID technology, which has taken over this task from the Auto-ID Center.
  • ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute): The European standards organization responsible for standardization in telecommunications.
  • Chipless RFID tag: An RFID tag that doesn't depend on a silicon microchip. Some chipless tags use plastic or conductive polymers instead of silicon-based microchips. Other chipless tags use materials that reflect back a portion of the radio waves beamed at them. A computer takes a snapshot of the waves beamed back and uses it like a fingerprint to identify the object with the tag. Companies are experimenting with embedding RF reflecting fibers in paper to prevent unauthorized photocopying of certain documents. Chipless tags that use embedded fibers have one drawback for supply chain usesonly one tag can be read at a time.
  • Interference: Unwanted electromagnetic signals, where encountered within the environment of a radio frequency identification system, cause disturbance in its normal operation, possibly resulting in bit errors, and degrading system performance.
  • Read Only: Term applied to a transponder in which the data is stored in an unchangeable manner and can therefore only be read.
  • RFID reader: A device used to communicate with RFID tags. The reader has one or more antennas, which emit radio waves and receive signals back from the tag. The reader is also sometimes called an interrogator because it "interrogates" the tag.
  • RFID (Radio frequency identification) system: An automatic identification and data capture system comprised of one or more reader/interrogators and one or more transponders in which data transfer is achieved by means of suitably modulated inductive or radiating electromagnetic carriers.
  • RFID Tag: Alternative term for a transponder.
  • Smart label: A bar-code label that contains an RFID tag.
  • Tag: Colloquial term for a transponder. Commonly used and the term preferred by AIM for general usage.
  • Transmitter (Exciter): An electronic device for launching an electromagnetic wave or delivering an electromagnetic field for the purpose of transmitting or communicating energy or modulated data/information. Often considered separately from the antenna, as the means whereby the antenna is energized. In this respect it is also referred to as an exciter.
  • Write Once Read Many (WORM) : Distinguishing a transponder that can be part or totally programmed once by the user, and thereafter only read.
  • Write Rate: The rate at which data is transferred to a transponder and stored within the memory of the device and verified. The rate is usually expressed as the average number of bits or bytes per second over which the complete transfer is performed.
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