Over the last couple of years the RFID industry has evolved considerably. End-users have found innovative use of UHF RFID RAIN technology in various applications. This demand for new use cases has also led to the development of variety of tags and interrogators/readers. RAIN tags have become more advanced and reading these tags more challenging. Readers perform differently with different tags. Consistency and repeatability of the performance of the reader has been of a major concern. Therefore it has become necessary to understand and analyze the different parameters of reader and tag communication to improve the success rate of RFID projects.
One of the important parameters to consider is the detailed analysis of the communication between the reader and the tag in the air interface. It is important to review the communication protocol between the tag and the reader to ensure that the intended information travels between reader to tag and back. This can be achieved by sniffing and analyzing the communication between the reader and the tag. The detection and decoding of reader commands and tag responses should be done in real-time on the trigger of specific reader commands. The data can then be used to select the perfect reader for the RFID setup. Sniffing of the tag and reader communication also helps resolve issues occurring due to the presence of multiple readers in the environment & helps Verification of interoperability between a new reader and a new tag.
On the R&D side developers of new advanced readers demand for fast feedback on performance and conformance issues during the development process. It has become important to test the limits of new readers and record their performance with respect to multiple tags so that these readers can perform successfully in the presence on any selected RAIN tag. A tag emulator presents an efficient way to achieve this. This provides reader manufacturers the advantage of testing their readers with a device which acts as a tag, whose behavior is fully under their control. Such a tag emulator is also flexible enough to provide protocol functions that have not yet been brought to the market by traditional tag providers.
Readers form an integral part of the RFID setup. Therefore testing the performance and conformance of the readers are vital to the success of RFID projects. It is recommended to listen and analyze the communication between the reader and tag & emulate different tags to test the performance of new readers based on global standards in order to select the best reader for the environment.