Thursday, February 11, 2016

Deeply understanding the difference between RFID and NFC for proper set up system efficiently

RFID and NFC is different in application and specification, so you have to know deeply about difference between RFID and NFC to avoid misuse of those. RFID is the process by which items are uniquely identified using radio waves, and NFC is a specialized subset within the family of RFID technology. This make both of them are seem like same in use but actually different, at least in the use of radio wave. Specifically, NFC is a branch of High-Frequency (HF) RFID, and both operate at the 13.56 MHz frequency

RFID tag vs NFC tag

For better understanding the difference between RFID and NFC, you can check system Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and NFC specification as below:

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Specification

RFID Frequency Band 120-150 kHz (Low Frequency, LF) with Scan Distance Up to 10 cm, 13.56 MHz (High Frequency, HF) with Up to 1 m distance,  433 MHz (Ultra High Frequency, UHF) for 1-100 m and finally 865-868 MHz & 902-928 MHz (Ultralight High Frequency, UHF) for 1-2 m 2450-5800 MHz (Microwave) 1-2 m 3.1-10 GHz (Microwave) Up to 200 m. This make a little bit difference between RFID and NFC.

In addition, RFID enables a one way wireless communication, and can be used for globally for asset tracking in warehousing, airport baggage handling, livestock identification. This technology is typically between an no powered RFID tag and a powered RFID reader. It can be scanned at distances of up to 100 meters without a direct line of sight to the reader and can operates at a range of radio frequencies each with their own set standards and protocols.

Near Field Communication (NFC) Specification System

NFC operates at 13.56 MHz and capable of two way communication and can therefore be used for more complex interactions such as card emulation and peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing. This system has ability to communicate without a direct line of sight but limited to communication at close proximity, typically 5cm or less. This is also will be enable to answer difference between RFID and NFC.

NFC shares many physical properties with RFID such as one way communication completed with single NFC tag can be scanned to enable secure mobile payments and it is for this reason NFC is limited to singular and close proximity interactions. These properties were developed primarily. An important by-product is that NFC is now available in the majority of mobile phones and this is perhaps the most important difference between NFC and RFID.

NFC Operating Frequency 13.56 MHz with One way-Two way. It has Standards operating based on ISO 14443, 15693, 18000, and ISO 14443. For this operating, this technology enable to cover scan distance Up to 1 m- Up to 10 cm. It is enabled phones offer both businesses and day-to-day users slick and intuitive communication between mobile phones and between a mobile phone and an NFC tag.


RFID and NFC is actually have the same function but there is a little difference between RFID and NFC. The difference is on radio and frequency wave to be used. In several application, RFID and NFC support file sharing via Android Beam, instant connection setups between electronic devices and the ability to link everyday objects such as posters to online content. User should understand basic principle of this difference, so that no misuse on those application in automatic industries.


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