Looking for a RFID tag IC you pretend to use to design your own battery free devices for IoT applications? Take these into account.

RFID is not linked to just identification anymore. New RFID tag ICs allow manufacturers and system integrators to develop RFID based solutions that include sensors, actuators, displays and many more components based on customer needs.

While RFID can have a short range – specially the passive solutions – it gives you the possibility of creating battery free solutions, which are really interesting for many applications.

ANDY100 RFID tag IC for battery free sensors and actuators

ANDY100 RFID tag chip for battery free sensors and actuators

Standard passive RFID chips

However, not all RFID tag ICs are designed for extended functionality. If you pick an Impinj Monza 5 or Alien Higgs 3 RFID chip for example – which can be considered standard for passive RFID tags – you will not be able to use them and create battery free sensors or actuators. They are just not thought for that purpose.

These RFID ICs are thought for just identification. They are using the minimum silicon area possible and the lowest power consumption to just reply to the RFID reader with the unique identification number they have in a 96 bit nonvolatile memory.

Including communication with external devices

Some other chips also include communication with components such as sensors or actuators.

In general, you will find some short of communication protocol – SPI or I2C are very common for these chips.

Note that the communication itself does not provide you with a chip that can work battery free with sensors or actuators.

Including power supply for external devices

The thing that will allow you to design and develop battery free devices with RFID tag chips is the power output. This is basically the ability to power up the external device of your choice from the energy that is available in the RFID chip.

When selecting a RFID tag IC for battery free device development you will have to take these into account. Both the communication with devices and the power supply have an impact on RFID performance so we will talk about some extra topics in the future posts. To name a few:

  • SPI/I2C communication: Master vs. Slave devices
  • Sensitivity/Read range
  • BAP/Configurable sensitivity
  • BAP/battery switch
  • Power output

Stay tuned and correctly select the RFID tag IC for your next IoT solution!