Radio Frequency Identification (RF And RFID?

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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, aiming to automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. Near Field Communication (NFC) is one specific type of RFID, and shares many physical properties with it. The differences between NFC and RFID is that many extra properties were developed for NFC to enable secure mobile payments.
1.1. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) RFID was first patented in 1983 and is the precursor to NFC. The physical theoretical fundamental for RFID is the inductive coupling principle between transmitting and receiving devices. It enables a one way wireless communication between two objects, one is a RFID tag and the other
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Near Field Communication (NFC) As we can see in the last chart in RFID section, NFC’s frequency band operates in the red box, at 13.56 MHz and is an extension of High Frequency (HF) RFID, so NFC and RFID share some physical characteristics such as both of them focus on the electromagnetic fields in the air to build communications. We have pointed out in the beginning of the previous section that the communications between RFID readers and tags are one way communications: information transmits from tags to readers, but RFID readers can communicate with multiple tags at the same time.
However, there are three major differences between NFC and RFID. 1. NFC makes it possible for two active devices to communicate in a double way mode such as the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) mode and the card emulation mode. 2. The distance between two devices in NFC is limited at close proximity, usually 5cm or less. Studies have been taken to investigate how far different brands of smartphones can read NFC tags. The result shows that smartphones will purposely decrease the max distance to the tags for the reason of security. 3. Only one tag can be scanned in a single NFC
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They can also work actively with another actively smartphone to build a P2P communication. But most importantly, smartphones can mimic the action of tags to work passively with another active NFC reader. Smartphones here act as a card or a tag to the NFC readers, so this mode is called the card emulation mode and is widely adapted in mobile payments. Now, Apple only use NFC in this mode in its iPhone6 and iPhone6s just because of the simple and intuitive way to make a payment. Android phones can do much more jobs with NFC technology than iPhones, they can also work under the P2P mode and Read/Write mode. There are different communication interfaces and standards for each communication types. ISO/IEC 18092 NFCIP-1, ISO/IEC 21481 NFCIP-2, JIS X 6319-4/Felica and ISO/IEC 14443 contactless smart card standards (referred to as NFC-A, NFC-B and NFC-F, respectively) in the NFC Forum specifications on RF layers. Different protocols have their own advantages and disadvantages in energy efficiency, transmission speed, and transmission

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