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Nanotechnology Report

HF RFID The Great Leap Forward

HF RFID  The Great Leap Forward
Category: Electronics Published: Apr 2010 Pages: 197 View Contents
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This unique 180 page report details the great leap forward in HF RFID technologies, with unprecedented advances hitting the market in the next two years and some earlier inventions entering the mainstream at the same time. It is an unbiased assessment, with the problems of all these approaches being assessed as well as the opportunities.

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The most important RFID frequency

HF is by far the most important frequency for RFID in value of market. This position will be strengthened in the next few years by dramatic improvements in HF RFID technology such as replacing the silicon chip with printed transistors, leading to 90% reduction in tag cost, new signalling techniques that improve many parameters, elimination of inlays and many other advances.

This will make it a much stronger contender in supply chains and asset management. In addition, the standards for many exciting new markets for passive RFID, from RFID enabled phones to financial cards, national ID cards, passports and tickets are at HF and the new smart active labels will also be mainly at HF. Many applications typically met with LF RFID such as secure access and tagging metallic items are moving to HF.

As a result, the global market for HF RFID will triple from $2.9 billion in 2008 to $8.6 billion in 2018, remaining a larger and more lucrative business than UHF passive RFID, the number two. This report analyses this great leap forward.

For over a decade, most RFID has been practised at High Frequency (13.56MHz). Last year, 50% of the global RFID market value was HF, expenditure on tags and systems at that frequency being ten times the amount spent on RFID at any other frequency. Its dominance was been retained as RFID entered a phase of rapid growth in the last two years mainly because of huge orders such as the $6 billion China national ID card scheme, the e-passport, now issued by over 70 countries, and financial cards such as the MasterCard Paypass. Gas cylinders and marathon runners previously tagged at LF are now tagged at HF.

After the huge orders we now see the huge improvements in performance. HF RFID is taking a great leap forward. Improvements of 50% to several hundred percent in range, tag cost, tag size, multi-tag reading, reader power, tolerance of environmental and electrical interference and more will be seen in mainstream applications, thanks to the breakthroughs of ten or so companies, most of them little publicised. For example, Kovio will print silicon nanoparticles into the few thousand transistors of a typical ISO 14443 tag at one tenth of the cost of the silicon chip. Cambridge Resonant Technologies offers 50% more range to one tenth of the reader power and smaller tags. NanoMas prints better performing HF antennas with one tenth of the material on the cheapest polymer films thanks to silver particles only a few nm across. Take the ten times improvement in multi-tag reading from Magellan and the ten times improvement in range from DAG and, excitingly, it can be seen that most of these huge leaps forward can be used together for even greater gains. It is likely to make HF pull ahead as candidate for the biggest emerging market of all - very high volume item tagging.

Forecasts by application are given, for tags, readers and services. The following is an example of the split between the money spent on HF RFID tags versus systems (including readers) for smart ticketing applications.

Unique report

A unique 197 page report details the great leap forward in HF RFID technologies, with unprecedented advances hitting the market in the next two years and some earlier inventions entering the mainstream at the same time. Those of largest impact are covered, but we also examine the unusually large number of more modest advances that are now arriving. Together they may enable HF to retain its 50% share of the global RFID market as it that market quintuples in the next ten years.

We take a close look at the markets for RFID enabled mobile phones and contactless smart cards and tickets, showing how they will prosper together and we re-look at the trade-off of Near Field UHF and HF for item level tagging in the light of the new advances. Particular detail is given on the most significant technical advances at HF. It is an unbiased assessment, with the problems of all these approaches being assessed as well as the opportunities.

The global market for HF RFID will triple from $2.9 billion in 2008 to $8.6 billion