High Frequency Specification & Integrated Circuits
High Frequency (HF) is on the 13.56 MHz RFID frequency band. HF protocols include ISO 14443-A/B and ISO 15693, and they are typically used for a range of item level solutions, such as library systems and document management. Unlike UHF or Ultra High Frequency, the signal from HF frequencies offers the advantage of being able to travel through objects which carry a high water content, such as animals or humans. HF is typically favoured in industrial environments due to its short reading range which negates some of the potential disruption which long reading distances can cause when metal surfaces are involved.
HF Tags are valued for their application flexibility and a design which allows them to be fitted for function - because of these attributes, they are also suitable for use in many demanding applications. In the pharmaceutical and wider medical sector, asset tracking and item level authentication have benefitted enormously from HF, as have systems when renting of single items - such as library books - is involved, or industrial closed loop applications and customer loyalty schemes.
Government networks are an area in which HF has been utilised, taking advantage of benefits such as automated connectivity and frequency selection. Cost is also a big factor for many organisations taking the decision to utilise HF, as it is seen as a better value alternative to satellite by some. HF is also capable of supporting video transmission, which has opened up future avenues of development. Error free data is another plus, as exemplified by the ARQ and STANAG 5006 standard protocols. And aviation uses HF communications as an essential channel for trans-oceanic flight paths, including the international distress channel of 2182 kHz.
The 3 ICODE Integrated Circuits (IC's)
ICODE SLIX Family
Chips which are fundamental to the functionality of many products in the NFC range are ICODE SLIX and ICODE SLIX 2. These NFC Forum Type 5 Tags operate under ISO/IEC 15693.
These chips possess a data retention spec of 50 years, which in practice means that they can hold data for up to 50 years.
The two chips make up an important strand of the ICODE SLIX family, with the ICODE SLIX being the newest addition to this product group of chips for applications which are ISO15693/ ISO18000-3 compliant. It is an advantage that the ICODE SLIX 2 is entirely backwards compatible with ICODE SLIX products which preceded it. The new chips offers a 2528 Bit user memory, along with a persistent quiet mode, NXP originality ECC signature, as well as a counter. While the ICODE SLIX offers 896 Bit user memory.
The feature set of these chips means they are suitable for a wide range of applications designed by NFC Direct, giving us benchmark RF performance. While the chips are capable of providing 2528 Bit memory, their memory ranges upwards from 896 Bit, giving us flexibility when it comes to the requirements of different applications. AFI and EAS password application is supported, and long term applications benefit from the 50 year guarantee on data retention which the chips offer. We also value the high quality scan strength the ICODE SLIX and ICODE SLIX 2 provide.
We do not use them for NFC marketing or consumer facing applications, as the chips are not supported by most NFC enabled smartphones, but they are suitable for a wide range of other uses. These chips are typically used for specialised applications which are closed off within industries; from library management to applications in the pharmaceuticals industry, factory automation and even ski ticketing. Their diminutive nature also benefits the asset tagging industry where the absolute smallest size is required.
ICODE DNA Family
As is often the case with NFC Forum Type 5 Tags such as ICODE DNA, they work more effectively 'behind the scenes', in a wide range of industrial uses, rather than in the consumer facing environments our NFC marketing tags are designed for.
Operating under ISO/IEC 15693 and 2016 Bit of user memory, ICODE DNA offers both tag and mutual tag AES cryptographic authentication, which performs the function of enhancing the security of vicinity applications. This can bring benefits to businesses in many sectors - in manufacturing, for example, brand authentication can be provided by using ICODE DNA NFC tagging as an identifier. This can help safeguard against the sale of counterfeit goods and give buyers down the supply chain peace of mind. The same benefits of the ICODE DNA can be applied to the tracking and authentication of important documents, giving it relevance across a wide range of sectors.
The ICODE DNA integrates well into other systems using NFC technology as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), making it a valuable method of performing tracking and tracing of items across the supply chain.
ICODE ILT Family
High speed tagging at item level can be facilitated by the ICODE ILT and ICODE ILT-M. ISO 18000-3M3/EPC Class-1 HF compliant, they are able to offer high anti-collision speed and provide an excellent performance level for their price. A number of next generation solutions are enabled by the ICODE ILT and ICODE ILT-M, which are a gaming favourite, used by casinos in their game cards and chips as a security measure.
As with the other chips in the ICODE family, ICODE ILT chips are very useful to the manufacturing sector, where their capabilities really shine through. Even when used on fast conveyor belts, and among tag populations which are highly dense, they are still able to perform their role.
In healthcare, uses for the ICODE ILT seem infinite, with the technology already being applied to innovations such as smart cabinets and surgery sponge detection, and many other future development paths possible. Supply chains in the pharmaceuticals industry are also being managed more effectively thanks to ICODE ILT NFC tags, and they are even benefitting laundry firms with their automation capabilities.
ICODE ILT NFC tags are harmonised for the 13.56 MHz ISM band, making them usable all over the globe.