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How is a high-performance RFID tag made?

2019-08-15

A friend who drives a car may have this experience. When you pass the high-speed kilometer toll booth, your traffic charge card will occasionally be unreadable when entering and leaving the station because your traffic card is used more frequently. Exceeded his number of reading and writing. At present, most of these transportation cards are manufactured by RFID with embedded EEPROM, and if the EEPROM in the intelligent transportation card is replaced with FRAM, the problem will be solved.

"The number of RFID readings and readings using FRAM can reach 1012, while the number of reading and writing of RFID using EEPROM is only one million times. This is why the data can not be read occasionally in high-speed toll booths." Fujitsu Semiconductor (Shanghai Cai Zhenyu, senior manager of the marketing department of the company, said: "The embedded FRAM in RFID can break the performance limit of traditional RFID tags using EEPROM and solve many application problems."

Embedding FRAM in RFID to achieve breakthrough advantages

Fujitsu Semiconductor's embedded FRAM RFID products are relatively new compared to their single FRAM products, and the RFID products commonly used in the market are embedded in EEPROM. Compared to RFID products with embedded EEPROM, RFID embedded with FRAM is not only faster than reading and writing, but its radiation resistance is more than an order of magnitude higher than EEPROM. Figure 1 below shows the performance comparison of FRAM RFID and EEPROM RFID.

Figure 1. FRAM RFIDvs EEPROM RFID.

FRAM is a non-volatile memory that uses ferroelectric materials as a data carrier, combining the advantages of random access memory (RAM) and read-only memory (ROM). As a non-volatile memory used in RFID, EEPROM has been widely used, but when data is written, EEPROM requires an internal boost voltage, because the principle of data storage is to see if it has an electronic charge, so its The writing speed is slow (takes a few milliseconds), and the number of erasing times is limited to about 100,000 times. Therefore, most EEPROM-based RFID products are small storage capacity products, only suitable for reading, not suitable for writing.

In comparison, FRAM RFID data write time is very fast. For example, in the case of writing data, RFID using EEPROM requires 6 msec to wait for a response, while RFID using FRAM requires only 100 usc. Also, FRAM performs as well as writing and reading because the principles are the same.

Another major feature of FRAM is its superior protection against EEPROM in terms of radiation protection. For example, in gamma ray sterilization of medical devices and packaging, food or linen, the data present in the EEPROM is heavily affected by radiation because its data storage uses electronic charges. The data present in the FRAM is still unaffected at high levels of radiation.

Add SPI serial interface to FRAM RFID to expand application areas

To date, Fujitsu Semiconductor has developed FRAM RFID products for a variety of applications, covering HF (high frequency: 13.56MHz) and UHF (UHF: 860 to 960MHz). Figure 2 below shows the Fujitsu Semiconductor FRAM RFID product line. These FRAM RFIDs are widely used in industrial, medical, and aerospace industries.

Figure 2. Fujitsu Semiconductor FRAM RFID product line.

"Compared with the commonly used EEPROM RFID, the capacity of FRAM RFID will be larger. The more RFID products on the market are 128b or 512b, and customers have the need to store more information inside." Cai Zhenyu said: "Currently Our FRAM RFID capacity can be up to 64KB. In addition, Fujitsu Semiconductor has introduced FRAM RFID products with SPI serial interface, which will add new added value to FRAM RFID."

RFID was originally used as an ID store that can be read by an RFID reader. Fujitsu Semiconductor has used FRAM on RFID, and has achieved high-capacity storage of data carrier tags due to its fast FRAM erasing speed and high endurance. Today, the built-in serial interface encloses sensors and RFID to enrich RFID applications.

The advantage of large storage data carriers is that RFID can record traceable data, such as manufacturing data, production data, logistics data, maintenance data, etc., so it can be used for the management of various assets, products and components. Based on these market demands, Fujitsu Semiconductor has developed a FRAM RFID product with an SPI interface.

The main feature of this configuration is that for the same FRAM memory area, it can be accessed either from the serial interface or from the RF interface. In addition to sensing applications, RFID with a built-in serial interface can theoretically be connected to a variety of applications controlled by the MCU.

FRAM RFID innovative application case

FRAM has injected new vitality into RFID, especially in the field where traditional EEPROM RFID can not meet the application requirements, such as factory automation and maintenance, medical, aerospace and other fields, FRAM RFID can break through all performance limitations and realize EEPROM RFID can not achieve Features.

In factory automation and maintenance applications, historical data, manuals, and parts information on the manufacturing assembly line can be written into FRAM RFID tags, reducing reading time and making the line more efficient. Figure 3 below shows an example of Fujitsu Semiconductor's FRAM RFID tags for factory automation and maintenance. Recording the maintenance information and operation history data of the parts in the label can greatly improve the efficiency of maintenance operations such as aircraft, infrastructure, and civil engineering.

Figure 3. FRAM RFID is used in factory automation and maintenance.

"If you want to make the production line and the assembly line faster, then the RFID reading speed will also be faster. Fujitsu Semiconductor's 118C has been successfully used in such fields." Cai Zhenyu said. For example, in the automobile production line shown in Figure 4 below, the annual production volume will increase because FRAM RFID is used throughout the automobile production process.

Figure 4. Using FRAM RFID tags on automotive production lines to increase productivity.

For the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the most important thing is that FRAM technology is resistant to radiation. There are many places in the United States and Europe that come into contact with medical devices, which require gamma radioactive disinfection. FRAM is highly resistant to radiation. FRAM-based RFID can easily pass standard medical sterilization processes, and EEPROM-based RFID can be corrupted during this process.

"From the current situation, it turns out that the United States and Europe have more applications in this area. Now we are slowly seeing that Chinese hospitals and Chinese customers are also asking for such demand. Currently only our FRAM is on the market. RFID can meet these needs," said Cai Zhenyu.

FRAM RFID is ideal for use in traceability such as operating tables, kits of medicine, tubes similar to punctures, hemodialysis, and the like. An example of a FRAM RFID tag applied to a hemodialysis tube is shown in Figure 5 below, which can withstand certain gamma rays. Figure 6 below is an example of FRAM RFID used as a medical label.

Figure 5. FRAMRFID is used as the Gamma Tag.

Figure 6. FRAM RFID used as a medical label

In addition, cold chain control is also used by FRAM RFID. If you want to trace the temperature change of each node during transportation, how can you ensure that the temperature is below this temperature? It is necessary to add an RFID module to the entire car and transmit the data to the receiving end in real time. The customer can see if there is any temperature coefficient and temperature range within one hour of transportation. RFID with SPI interface can realize such application. .

Cai Zhenyu finally pointed out: "In order to better support the system design of engineers in technology, Fujitsu Semiconductor also provides FRAM RFID development board, so that engineers can better understand the performance and application of FRAM RFID and shorten the time to market. Friends can contact us.” Fujitsu Semiconductor FRAM RFID Development Kit is shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Fujitsu Semiconductor FRAMRFID Development Kit

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