The RFID chip is just another name used to define an RFID tag. These tags, labels, or cards can exchange data with a reader through radio frequency (RF) signals. They usually consist of a built-in antenna and an IC (Integrated Circuit). Recently a research team has developed what is believed to be the smallest RFID chip in existence. The state-of-the-art RFID tag is expected to drive down the costs of the product in the market. This is an enormous contribution towards the development of the RFID Market as the chip’s design enables the tags to be embedded into high-value chips like computer chips. Thus, boosting supply chain security of high-end technologies. The new chip is being referred to as the world’s smallest Gen2- compatible RFID chip.
Gen2 RFID chips are already in widespread use. However, there are several unique advantages to the new RFID chips, particularly their size. They measure 125 micrometers (um) x 245 um. Manufacturers were able to produce smaller RFID chips using previously developed technologies. However, the team has not been able to identify smaller RFID chips that are compatible with the current Gen2 technology.
An RFUD tag size depends on the size of its antenna and not the chip, but the chip is the expensive part. So, the smaller the chip is in size, the more number of chips can be produced from a single silicon wafer. The increase in the number of chips from one single silicon wafer would also make them less expensive. Practically, this indicates that RFID tags can be manufactured for even less than a cent if they are produced in bulk. This method makes production much more feasible for manufacturers, retailers, or distributors to use RFID tags to track low-cost products.
Another advantage is that the design of circuits used is compatible with different kinds of semiconductor technologies similar to those used computer chips. The said advantage helps incorporate RFID tags into computer chips, enabling users to follow individual chips all through their life cycle. This could potentially have benefits against counterfeiting and may allow the user to verify that a component is what it says it is.
The research demonstrates all kinds of possibilities and how already existing technologies can manufacture the new chips. The team is set to further work with industry partners to investigate commercializing these in two ways. Firstly, by creating low-cost RFID tags at a scale where they can be used in sectors like grocery stores. Second by embedding RFID tags into computer chips to secure high-value supply chains.
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