A Comprehensive Guide To Different Types Of RFID Systems

A Comprehensive Guide To Different Types Of RFID Systems

A Comprehensive Guide To Different Types Of RFID Systems

When most people think of RFID systems, they usually think of the passive RFID tags often used for tracking and managing inventory. The use of RFID tags for inventory tracking and management is quite extensive. However, besides passive tags, there are several different types of RFID systems that individuals and businesses can implement or use. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks.

Generally, RFID systems can be classified according to the frequency band within which they function. The read rates and ranges of RFID tags basically differ depending on the frequency band used. Aside from this, there are also two major categories of RFID systems, namely active and passive RFID.

Read on to learn more about the different types of RFID systems.

Types of RFID Frequency

1. Low-Frequency RFID

A low-frequency (LF) RFID system functions at frequencies between 30 and 300 kHz. These RFID systems are commonly used for short-range applications, such as access control and RFID inventory management. This is because the low-frequency band delivers a short read range of only 10 centimetres and has a slower read speed compared to higher frequencies. That being said, the advantage of LF RFID is that it is not quite sensitive to radio wave interference and is relatively inexpensive.

2. High-Frequency RFID

The high frequency (HF) band covers frequencies from 3 to 30 MHz. These RFID systems are ordinarily used for longer-range applications like asset tracking and supply chain management under RFID retail. Most HF RFID systems function at 13.56 MHz and have read ranges between 10 centimetres to 1 meter. They also experience moderate sensitivity to radio wave interference. Compared to LF RFID tags, HF tags are more costly, but they provide greater speed and range.

3. Ultra-High Frequency RFID 

Ultra-high frequency (UHF) band comprises frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz. These RFID systems often function at frequencies above 900 MHz and are usually used for very long-range applications like people tracking and vehicle tracking. As such, UHF RFID tag suppliers in Singapore are in-demand in manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare industries. The best advantage of UHF RFID tags is that they offer the greatest speed and range.

Types of RFID Systems

1. Active RFID System

An active RFID system utilises tags that operate with their own power source (typically a battery) to broadcast their signal and transmit the information stored on their microchips. This signal can travel up to hundreds of feet, making active RFID systems ideal for tracking large items or applications requiring long-range scanning.

Most of the time, active RFID systems function in the UHF band and provide a range of up to 100 meters. Generally, active RFID tags are utilised on big reusable containers, rail cars, and other large assets that require tracking over long distances.

2. Passive RFID System

A passive RFID system uses tags that source their power from the electromagnetic energy transferred by the RFID reader. To put it differently, in a passive RFID system, the reader and its antenna send a radio signal to the RFID tag, which then uses the transmitted signal to power and reflect energy back to the reader. This restricts the range of passive RFID tags to just a couple of feet.

Nonetheless, passive RFID tags do not require a power source, so they are significantly less costly to manufacture than active tags. For this reason, passive RFID is ordinarily used for low-cost applications like tracking products in retail environments. Passive RFID systems can function in all frequency bands, namely LF, HF, and UHF bands.


RFID technology is more complex than most people think. There are various types of RFID systems offered by RFID companies, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Individuals and companies must understand the differences between these RFID systems because different systems cater to different needs. Knowledge of the various RFID systems allows one to find the right solution that suits their requirements easily.