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Home » Applications & Technologies » RFID & NFC Electronics
Applications & Technologies
RFID & NFC Technologies
RFID & NFC Technologies

There is RFID market potential in every product that can be counted, inventoried, or sold. Although inventory and point-of-sale activities will comprise the lion’s share of the RFID tag market, applications that go a step beyond identification are growing faster. Retail products that are tagged enable not only inventory control but dynamic changes in pricing. Library books, pharmaceuticals, livestock, and airport luggage are tracked with RFID. Hospitals use them to keep track of patients, staff, medications, and equipment. Access control enabled by keyless entry using RFID-enabled fobs and smart cards are already in use. However, now RFID is also being combined with biometrics in applications such as ePassports and health records. The market for RFID tags is expected to accelerate. IDTechEx, for example, forecasts that 250 billion tags will be sold in 2021 – up almost ten times from the three billion units sold in 2011.

Although NFC is part of the RFID technology spectrum, its unique capabilities set it apart. Strong security starts with NFC’s less than 10 cm operating distance, and can be enhanced with SIM chips and cryptography. NFC was designed to be easy-to-use and to simplify other technologies as well. The widespread adoption of NFC into mobile phones that began in 2011 has opened the door to many new applications. Manual pairing is becoming a thing of the past. NFC can act as a bridge between a Wi-Fi router and any other computer peripheral or device by effortlessly passing set-up information from the device to the router. According to IMS Research, NFC applications are growing rapidly. The number of NFC-enabled mobile phones will grow ten times between 2012 and 2017, reaching 1.2 billion units, as manufacturers adopt wireless communications and payment technology in their products as a de facto standard.


RFID technology is not a single technology. It has many implementations that vary according to frequency, protocol, and antenna design. But most RFID variants have two things in common: (1) Communication is bi-directional and takes place between a very inexpensive RFID tag and a considerably more sophisticated RFID reader; and (2) the information exchanged tends to be 2 Kbits or less – usually much less. In the vast majority of cases, the tag has no power supply – it harvests energy from the reader to transmit its identification information. In most cases, energy is transferred though inductive coupling, which could be thought of as a transformer with an air core created by the distance between the tag and the reader. Reading range is determined by carrier frequency and the power generated by the reader. RFID systems that operate at UHF frequencies can achieve a considerable greater reading range through a phenomenon called backscatter coupling and in some instances by providing an energy source to the tag.

» View Low-Frequency Devices (125 - 148 KHz)

» View High-Frequency Devices (13.56 MHz)

» View Ultra-High Frequency Devices (915 MHz)

» View RFID Development Tools

» View Tags & Antennas

» View RF Cable Assemblies



NFC (Near Field Communications) is becoming ubiquitous as a means of transferring information securely between a growing number of electronic devices and with an absolute minimum of effort. Virtually any product with an MCU or CPU can become more useful and user friendly when it is NFC-enabled. NFC is a subset of RFID: It operates in the RFID HF (13.56 MHz) carrier signal range; is interoperable with legacy smart-card protocols; and delivers far more value than information exchange.

» View High-Frequency Devices (13.56 MHz)

» View NFC Development Tools

» View Tags & Antennas

» View RF Cable Assemblies

Development Tools
Development tool example

Evaluation boards and development kits for RFID and NFC applications speed development time, reduce engineering costs, and allow for faster product cycles in follow-on designs. Kits typically include the hardware – readers and transponders – plus a range of development tools that can include applications programming interfaces (APIs), reference designs, firmware, software libraries, sample source code, user interfaces, and a serial or USB connection to connect the development kit hardware to a PC. Development kits are most often based on an MCU, which provides the intelligence for the RFID controller. Familiarity with the MCU could be a deciding factor for some design teams.

» View RFID & NFC Development Tools

» View RFID & NFC Tags & Antennas

» View RF Cable Assemblies

Learn more about the TI TRF7970A RFID & NFC Transceivers
& NFC Transceivers

  • Fully integrated
  • Highly programmable
  • Parallel or SPI interface
Learn more about the TI TRF7970A RFID & NFC Transceivers
Learn more about Murata LXMS MAGICSTRAP® RFID Modules
UHF RFID Modules

  • 1/10th the size of conventional tags
  • Embedded RF antenna
  • Wide frequency range from 865MHz to 955MHz
Learn more about Murata LXMS MAGICSTRAP® RFID Modules
Learn more about NXP SL3ICS1x02 Smart Label and Tag ICs
Smart Label and Tag ICs

  • Passive Anti-collision UHF RFID
  • Operates over several meters
  • 64-bit tag identifier with 32-bit unique serial number
Learn more about NXP SL3ICS1x02 Smart Label and Tag ICs
Learn more about STMicroelectronics NFC Solutions
NFC Solutions from

  • Dynamic NFC/RFID tags
  • Dual access protocol EEPROMs
  • Dev kits & reference design boards
Learn more about STMicroelectronics NFC Solutions
Learn more about Pulse NFC Antennas
Pulse Electronics
NFC Antennas

  • Ferrite-backed embedded NFC antennas
  • NFC Flex Stamp antennas
  • NFC Wire Loop antennas
Learn more about Pulse NFC Antennas
Learn more about AMS AS3993 UHF Reader Chip
Reader Chips

  • Selectable receive sensitvity of -90dBm
  • Internal power amplifier to 20dBm
  • Filters dedicated to 250kHz and 320kHz
Learn more about AMS AS3993 UHF Reader Chip
Teledyne LeCroy HDO 4000 Series High Definition Oscilloscopes
  • 12-bit ADC resolution
  • 200 MHz, 350 MHz, 500 MHz,1 GHz bandwidths
  • Long memory - up to 50 Mpts/Ch
  • 12.1" touch screen display