editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Less Back-Talk

RFID tags are everywhere, but they’re rather primitive as high-tech devices go. They’re programmed to do one thing: repeat a message over and over, like so many seagulls chanting, “Mine. Mine. Mine.” And, like a flock of seagulls, if you get a bunch of them going, then it’s hard to tell what any one of them is saying.

This can limit usage of RFID tags in situations where there are a lot of them very close together – say, in the back of a delivery truck. If you want to do an inventory (of sorts), given a strong enough field to activate everything, they will all talk on top of each other.

Imec took a stab at the first bidirectional RFID tags – ones that would take direction from the reader before just chattering away. The idea is that the RFID reader could ask that only tags with a particular characteristic respond; any tags not meeting that characteristic would be powered up, but remain silent.

In this use model, for instance, a dairy delivery truck could be queried to ensure that there was milk on board; any non-milk items would not respond. The query could then be refined by, say, brand.

This has its limits, of course. You have to know what you’re asking for in this model. I asked the presenter after his ISSCC presentation about this, and he agreed that for broader capability, new protocols are needed. For example, there’s no way to say, “OK, roll call: who’s on board?” and have the tags all respond in some kind of order, one at a time. And, of course, it may not help at all with security considerations – something snuck into the mix with no RFID tag would remain undetected.

But, ultimately, that wasn’t their goal; they were simply demonstrating the first bidirectional communication, and further work can go from there. In particular, this was the application that featured their new metal oxide (“MOxFET”) thin-film transistors.

You can find more details in the ISSCC proceedings, session 18.3

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 30, 2022
When I wrote my book 'Bebop to the Boolean Boogie,' it was certainly not my intention to lead 6-year-old boys astray....
Sep 30, 2022
Wow, September has flown by. It's already the last Friday of the month, the last day of the month in fact, and so time for a monthly update. Kaufman Award The 2022 Kaufman Award honors Giovanni (Nanni) De Micheli of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne...
Sep 29, 2022
We explain how silicon photonics uses CMOS manufacturing to create photonic integrated circuits (PICs), solid state LiDAR sensors, integrated lasers, and more. The post What You Need to Know About Silicon Photonics appeared first on From Silicon To Software....

featured video

PCIe Gen5 x16 Running on the Achronix VectorPath Accelerator Card

Sponsored by Achronix

In this demo, Achronix engineers show the VectorPath Accelerator Card successfully linking up to a PCIe Gen5 x16 host and write data to and read data from GDDR6 memory. The VectorPath accelerator card featuring the Speedster7t FPGA is one of the first FPGAs that can natively support this interface within its PCIe subsystem. Speedster7t FPGAs offer a revolutionary new architecture that Achronix developed to address the highest performance data acceleration challenges.

Click here for more information about the VectorPath Accelerator Card

featured paper

Algorithm Verification with FPGAs and ASICs

Sponsored by MathWorks

Developing new FPGA and ASIC designs involves implementing new algorithms, which presents challenges for verification for algorithm developers, hardware designers, and verification engineers. This eBook explores different aspects of hardware design verification and how you can use MATLAB and Simulink to reduce development effort and improve the quality of end products.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

Har-Modular for PCB Connectivity

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and HARTING

Did you know that you can create custom modular connector solutions from off the shelf components that are robust, save PCB space and are easy to assemble? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Phill Shaw and Nazario Biala from HARTING about the Har-Modular PCB connector system that gives you over a billion combination possibilities for data, signal and power.

Click here for more information about HARTING har-modular PCB Connectors