VeChain’s Tech Deep Dive Series – Session 1, Episode 3: RFID Technology and Deployment

Sunny Lu (CEO of VeChain) Jianliang Gu (CTO of VeChain) VeChain's Tech Deep Dive Series Session 1, Episode 3: RFID Technology and Deployment Before getting into the topic of RFID, we need to define RFID. Roughly speaking, Broadly speaking, we will classify RFID into three categories. The first category is the low frequency band from 125k to 134k. The second category is high-frequency bands, such as NFC high-frequency. The third category is for ultra-high frequencies above 400 mhz, It is an RFID related product exceeding 800mhz or 900mhz. Actually, RFID is a technology that existed in the 1990s. It has almost 30 years of history. Yes, it is relatively mature, but Other frequency bands are extended. For example, depending on the scenario You must select a different frequency or a different product. RFID system includes many elements, We can see that the first one is a card reader. For example, let's say I have a UHF code scanner in my hand. Of course, there are also NFC code scanners for near-field communication. This is for industrial/industrial use. For example, In large-scale corporate warehouses or logistics environments, By making processes easier to scale mechanically and easier to scale operations, You can solve the inconvenience of doing manual work on your phone.

Yes, this is a typical industrial machine model. The second part is RFID. This is very important. Look at this card. The card has two parts. The first part is the chip The second part is the antenna. We will continue to discuss the board part as a topic in the next section. Near Field Communication and RFID will also be mentioned later. A finished RFID card usually consists of a chip, an antenna, and a board. Of course, a lot of software will be included. In the field of RFID A scanner that everyone can see is ultra-high frequency RFID. These chips have a wide selection from top manufacturers like IMPINJ, NXP, EM, Alien, ST, etc. That's right, there's also ST. Yes, but ST only has NFC. But there are not many companies among the leaders. Currently, there are only two companies in this industry.

One is IMPINJ and the other is ST. Of course, you can say that some manufacturers currently have reader products, but Only two of them were measured by the "quantitative and stability" criteria. IMPINJ occupies more than 80% market share, The second is basically ST, which covers the rest of the market. That's why we decided to build a platform with IMPINJ vendors. Yes, from now on, let's talk about the antenna and the board. And later we will focus on the reader part as well. In the reader part we see the code scanner. There are also products such as UHF readers. This is a very complex chip with baseband and analog circuitry. What you are seeing now is this. This is very important, why? Because most of the RFID scanners you see today use this chip.

It's a chip called R2000. There are three types of IMPINJ: R500, R1000 and R2000. Among them, R2000 is the flagship product. It can scan up to 900 cards per second. The configuration of this product is more complex and Analog circuitry, digital baseband, and more. We, VeChain, are currently using the IMPINJ R2000 product. Of course, working with IMPINJ includes chips and gateways. This is a code scanner installed in access control. Of course, it is not designed as a chip, but as a separate device. good. At the same time, We took X-ray images of IMPINJ at VeChain's Shanghai branch. You mean the set we showed before? Yes, that is correct.

You can manage storage, inventory and location. The positioning precision is about 2m. Ok, You can also track at the same time, so you can keep track of where items are moving and where they are going. You can record your travel route. Yes. It is convenient for general store operation of 100 to 140 square meters. It has already been applied to smart warehouse solutions. Yes, that's right. The most difficult part of your RFID and NFC cards is the antenna design.

Why do we talk separately about near field communication, RFID, and UHF? Because NFC 13.56MHz UHF 860-960MHz works very differently. If you look at this, you can see this short-range wireless card. Behind it you will find the antenna. But for HF antennas it works differently because It has a completely different design than an RFID antenna. The frequency of 13.56 MHz for short-range wireless communication is not very high. Therefore, the principle of its operation is that of inductive coupling. Yes, that's right. So the distance is relatively close and the frequency is low. The antenna design is relatively simple. But for 860-960MHz UHF RFID, The working principle uses the microwave principle. like a cell phone It is made by high-frequency microwaves and electromagnetic induction. Here, we need to talk about one thing like RFID. When customers come we will ask questions. During our design process, it is important to find the right product for them. Simply put, In addition to the requirements of the frequency band on which the chip is based or its own technical specifications, We need to consider practical application scenarios.

Yes. Then it might be possible to say In this way, it is also used in alcoholic beverages, It is used for certificates or paper products that can be used on harder materials, such as inside high-end products. After that, even used in other places There will also be a QR code, a dual HD presentation. Yes, that is correct. Now I want to focus on the RFID part. When it comes to logistics and storage management Because it is the most used by businesses. When discussing with customers, We need to figure out what our customers really need. (e.g. for reader, fixed or portable) Yes. And how the RFID card was installed on the product. We will evaluate based on these two aspects. They will also ask about the type of card and the materials used. When looking at this… You can also see how they are in contact with the product. The design of these contact materials, These are just some of the experiences we have accumulated over the last 2-3 years.

Our future community's tech team When providing solutions for a variety of enterprise scenarios This is not to say that only blockchain can do it, but also the Internet of Things. In fact, this is a very complex process. right. In recognition of many in the industry, Let's take an example like this card. Everyone knows that this is a card. And the black dots are real chips. Yes, it's a very small chip. Yes, it's a small chip. There are a lot of people in the industry who make this kind of chip. Just like the previously mentioned IMPINJ readers or these standard devices can read If you can really make this, Must meet ISO18000-63 standard. Yes. If you don't meet the criteria… universal protocol, It is a common protocol that everyone recognizes.

Yes, it will be more general. The difficulty in card design is the antenna. The price of the chips on this card is only 40% of the total card. Most of the cost is in the antenna. And the design of the antenna. When using this RFID card, We know that because it is a very high frequency antenna You should discuss with the customer what his application scenarios are. That's right. Therefore, its application scenario cannot be used for liquids and metals. This part should discuss this issue with the customer at an early stage. Based on this premise, we will consider the design of the antenna together. Yes. It seems to me that there are three aspects to consider when designing an antenna. The first part is the resonant frequency The second part is the gain and the third part is the polarization. As we have previously mentioned for Europe and America In the case of resonant frequencies, their frequencies are different, We cannot design a card suitable for use only in Europe or the United States.

Because we cannot ship this card. i See. So when we design the card, I want to be able to use as many frequencies as possible. all over Yes, but it doesn't work when using this code scanner. You must set the appropriate frequency band for each area. Therefore, this product is not suitable for antenna design. It is designed to cover this frequency band. There is another problem. Because there are very important points in the antenna design like this one. Do you know what the name is? I don't know. This is a dipole antenna. What is a dipole? It is a dipole. The radiation from this antenna is invisible.

The antenna radiates this circle. good. I need to know what kind of problem it will cause, The crux of the problem is that the middle part is empty. There is no benefit at this point. No signal is received in the middle. So, when we design it, We need to know where to put this card and how the card reader works. Yes, how to read, such as from a certain direction, from a certain angle. good. Or, if you put it his way, it may not be read. Yes, you'll probably have to read it from the side. It's okay to read side by side.

However, do you need to scan from all angles using a mobile scanner? or when scanning using a fixture (For example, whether scanning requires installing more antennas on the access control unit). right. Of course, we have other designs like True3D designs. Antenna radiation can be used from any angle. That's right. We need to meet different requirements of our customers (eg item size). Yes. Which scenario should it be applied to? What material is used for the substrate, e.g.

Plastic, paper, glass, And even anti-metal tags should be considered. Look, first, there is thickness. Second, there is metal behind the antenna. All of this must be taken into account. Overall, you still have to rely on different application scenarios. The scenario is different. Yes. To talk about RFID, I also want to ask a question. This is a hotter issue being discussed in the community. RFID existed in the 1990s. It has been around for nearly 30 years. The technology has been advancing, but nothing fundamental has changed. Yes, there are no major changes. For example, as we are combining the Internet of Things, RFID, and short-range wireless communications with blockchain, The hot topic we are talking about is IoT (Internet of Things) equipment, We are very clear about the active tagging of these devices. These RFID or NFC with passive tags Can you communicate directly to or directly to the blockchain? That's a very good question. To communicate directly with the blockchain In other words I need to implement some transactions towards the blockchain. fetching read and write data.

But the first thing we should be clear about is The point is that this is a passive tag that can't do anything proactively. That's right. You must have a reader like this. Active tag or data store. Yes, it will help you do that. This is one point. Next, the second point is that near field communication and RFID are different. This is because short-range wireless communications are closely inductively coupled. Therefore, its energy is relatively larger. good. Asymmetric encryption algorithm It can be implemented like an MCU based on short-range wireless communication.

For example, we use the ellipse algorithm for transplantation. However, this kind of RFID by itself has relatively little energy. It's then that you use your limited energy to overcome the distance. Yes, this is the first problem. and the second problem To implement this kind of asymmetric encryption algorithm It is the introduction of MCUs and Card Operating System (COS) systems. It is very difficult to implement without considering the cost. Absolutely. There is currently nothing on the market. Yes. I think it depends on the actual application scenario. This is a cost issue. Yes. For example, if we apply this chip to clothes worth tens of dollars, I think this is unrealistic. That's right, we provide our customers with the best choice and We want to provide you with the best quality.

You also need to consider the return on investment (ROI) issue. Yes. Next Episode: Introduction to Sensors and Smart Chips.

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