RFID overview

Nowadays, there are many different frequencies and interfaces available for RFID readers. Which are right for your app? Before you make a choice, check all the reader and tag parameters to fit your application.

This is an archive article published 08/20/2019. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

Operating frequency

There are three main frequencies available for RFID readers:

• 125 kHz (LF band)

• 13,56 MHz (HF band)

• 868 MHz (UHF band)

This is the first and the most important parameter when you are looking for the right reader. The working frequency has a major influence on the reader’s reading distance.

With UHF reader it is possible to reach a reading distance of several meters. HF and LF readers, on the other hand, have typical reading distances of around 3-15cm. UHF readers are most suitable for warehouse management systems, while LF and HF readers are used mainly in human tracking, attendance, and electronic wallet applications.

Tag antenna

Coil antenna has a big impact on reading distance, e.g. clamshell ISO card tags can reach the best reading distances of up to 20cm with standard readers. HF readers use etched PCB antennas, reading distances can reach 15-20cm.

HF tags (e.g. MIFARE® technology) are more suitable for security-critical applications because they use secure authentication techniques, while 125kHz tags (e.g. Unique, also known as EM4100/TK4100/GK4100/EM4200 tag chips) use a unique 64-bit code pre-programmed during the manufacturing process at the factory. This code could be easily written in a special tag’s memory (tag chips T5577) and thus clone the original tag.

HF tags use mainly MIFARE® chips, also known as ISO14443, with password-protected memory area, which can be used to store protected information, e.g. prepaid balance at a waterpark or in public transportation applications.

MIFARE® and NFC tags (using chips MIFARE® Ultralight, S50, Desfire, NTAG203/213, etc) can be easily read out using a smartphone, just download e.g. TagInfo application from NXP or similar, turn on NFC on your smartphone and run the application. Put the tag close to your smartphone and you can see information about the card itself and memory capacity, UID, chip manufacturer, etc.

NXP´s Android application screenshot:

RFID overview





Communication interface/protocol

Different readers use different communication interfaces or protocols. The most common interface nowadays is RS232 and USB, but readers with Wiegand, I2C or RS485 can also be found. Even readers with 1-Wire (DALLAS) interface are available.

These readers are suitable to replace outdated DALLAS contact readers and upgrade the attendance systems to modern RFID technology. Wiegand26 interface was mainly used with outdated magnetic strip cards. RFID readers with Wiegand interface are available to replace outdated magnetic stripe readers in the field.

It is important to always check the communication interface and protocol of a certain reader before the purchase because different protocols and interfaces are available e.g. HID, the Serial UART virtual port via USB port emulation is available. etc.

Internal memory

Some RFID readers contain internal memory and can operate autonomously by operating an electric lock. These RFID readers operate mainly in the LF band and have higher IP ratings and robust enclosure for outdoor mounting.

Tags

Tags are available in many different shapes and colours. The most common is the white card with the size of an 85x54x0.7mm ISO card, which can be easily printed and personalized.

The Clamshell card is the same colour but thicker (2mm); this card is equipped by a high gain coil antenna and can achieve far better reading distances comparing to standard ISO card.

For space-saving applications, there are keyfobs and wristband shaped tags available in different colours and shapes. The reading distance for such tags is limited because of the maximum size of the internal coil antenna embedded.

Even glass tags with sizes 13,3x3,15mm for animal marking and other special applications are available.

The most common RFID products can be found in our range of products available directly from our stock or on order. If you need more information, we are glad to help you at sales@soselectronic.com

MIFARE® and MIFARE Classic® are registered trademarks of NXP B.V.

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Additional products


EM 4200 ISO-CT-NN  
EM 4200 ISO-CT-NN

RFID ISO Card 125kHZ EM4200 R/O

RFID

Ord. No.: 101033
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ACM-ABS003BKS50 ACM  
ACM-ABS003BKS50

RFID Keyfob 13,56MHz MIFARE® 1k S50 Black

RFID

Ord. No.: 143256
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 850 pcs
(10/28/2022: 1500 pcs)
4 pcs+
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ACM-WBTBUS50D65 ACM  
ACM-WBTBUS50D65

RFID Wristband MIFARE® Silicon1k S50 65mm Blue

RFID

Ord. No.: 120743
Manufacturer: ACM
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ACM118-MFWG34 ACM  
ACM118-MFWG34

RFID Reader for MIFARE® 13,56MHz Wiegand 34 IP65

RFID

Ord. No.: 306112
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 19 pcs
(10/28/2022: 10 pcs)
1 pcs+
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23,30 €
22,10 €
19,70 €
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DESFIREEV14KISO ACM  
DESFIREEV14KISO

RFID MIFARE® DESFire® EV1 4kb ISO Card 13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 124308
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 711 pcs
1 pcs+
1,39 €
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MF 1 ISO-CC-NN SUNBEST  
MF 1 ISO-CC-NN

RFID ISO Card 13,56MHz MIFARE® 1kbit (S50)

RFID

Ord. No.: 54956
Manufacturer: SUNBEST
in stock 71 pcs
2 pcs+
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1,37 €
1,33 €
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MIFARE®1KISO ACM  
MIFARE®1KISO

RFID ISO Card 13,56MHz MIFARE® S50 1k Blank

RFID

Ord. No.: 105647
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 3000 pcs
(10/28/2022: 10000 pcs)
4 pcs+
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0,6853 €
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ACM-ABS002-T5577-BU ACM  
ACM-ABS002-T5577-BU

RFID Keyfob 125kHz Temic T5577 Chip R/W Blue

RFID

Ord. No.: 161514
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 1000 pcs
3 pcs+
6 pcs+
20 pcs+
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0,8569 €
0,8276 €
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ACM-NFC002 ACM  
ACM-NFC002

RFID Epoxy Tag NFC NTAG203 White

RFID

Ord. No.: 158964
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 136 pcs
1 pcs+
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2,18 €
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ACM-NFC005 ACM  
ACM-NFC005

RFID Sticker Tag NFC NTAG213 85x54mm

RFID

Ord. No.: 261304
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 37 pcs
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UW-DAL NETRONIX  
UW-DAL

RFID Reader 125kHz DALLAS Protocoll

RFID

Ord. No.: 61224
Manufacturer: NETRONIX
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UW-U4R NETRONIX  
UW-U4R

RFID Reader 125kHz RS-485 int. Memory

RFID

Ord. No.: 72845
Manufacturer: NETRONIX
in stock 15 pcs
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39,80 €
38,70 €
36,20 €
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SL030 STRONGLINK  
SL030

RFID Reader/Writer 13,56MHz MIFARE® I2C, 38x38mm

RFID

Ord. No.: 125777
Manufacturer: STRONGLINK
in stock 90 pcs
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14 pcs+
26,11 €
24,93 €
22,26 €
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ACM207H ACM  
ACM207H

RFID Card Reader 125kHz for 1600 users

RFID

Ord. No.: 124254
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 7 pcs
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33,90 €
33,06 €
30,66 €
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EM 4200C-CU-NN  
EM 4200C-CU-NN

RFID Clamshell Card 125kHz EM4200 85 R/O

RFID

Ord. No.: 83213
in stock 0 pcs
(We are checking the delivery date: 1200 pcs)
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EM4100CLAM ACM  
EM4100CLAM

RFID Clamshell Card 125kHz EM4100 R/O

RFID

Ord. No.: 105648
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 2300 pcs
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GT 601200 (GT601203) SUNBEST  
GT 601200 (GT601203)

RFID Glass Tag 125kHz R/O 3,15x13,3mm

RFID

Ord. No.: 54220
Manufacturer: SUNBEST
in stock 190 pcs
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EMAISO-CC-NN ACM  
EMAISO-CC-NN

RFID ISO Card 125kHZ TK4100 R/O Blank

RFID

Ord. No.: 76596
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 0 pcs
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ID 12 LA ID INNOVATIONS  
ID 12 LA

RFID Reader 125kHz w/Built-in Antenna, Read Over 12cm

RFID

Ord. No.: 145498
Manufacturer: ID INNOVATIONS
in stock 1667 pcs
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ID 20 LA ID INNOVATIONS  
ID 20 LA

RFID Reader 125kHz w/Built-in Antenna, Read Over 16cm

RFID

Ord. No.: 142011
Manufacturer: ID INNOVATIONS
in stock 170 pcs
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SL040A BK STRONGLINK  
SL040A BK

RFID Reader MIFARE® DESFfire®/NFC USB 72x57x15

RFID

Ord. No.: 145153
Manufacturer: STRONGLINK
in stock 89 pcs
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ACM08N ACM  
ACM08N

RFID Desktop Card Reader 125KHz USB Keyboard Emulator 8cm

RFID

Ord. No.: 157012
Manufacturer: ACM
in stock 225 pcs
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31,80 €
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28,70 €
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T4QC-FC3B7 ELATEC  
T4QC-FC3B7

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 SLIM, LF, HF, NFC, BLE 125kHz+13,56MHz+2,4GHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 338198
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 2 pcs
(We are checking the delivery date: 1 pcs)
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234,00 €
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HKSI-B ELATEC  
HKSI-B

Accessories RFID Snap-in Holder for TWN3/TWN4 Reader Black

RFID

Ord. No.: 205126
Manufacturer: ELATEC
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14,40 €
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T4BO-F6 ELATEC  
T4BO-F6

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech 2 OEM PCB 125kHz/LF+13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 304080
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 10 pcs
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155,00 €
151,00 €
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T4BO-F7 ELATEC  
T4BO-F7

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech 2 BLE OEM PCB 125kHz+13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 288470
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 2 pcs
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2 pcs+
157,00 €
153,00 €
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T4BO-F2 ELATEC  
T4BO-F2

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech 2 HF OEM PCB 13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 288411
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 12 pcs
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124,00 €
117,00 €
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T4BO-F4 ELATEC  
T4BO-F4

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech 2 LF OEM PCB 125kHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 288373
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 8 pcs
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98,80 €
95,10 €
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T4DO-B ELATEC  
T4DO-B

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech LEGIC 42 OEM PCB 125kHz+13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 213516
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 2 pcs
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204,00 €
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T4DO-F ELATEC  
T4DO-F

RFID Reader/Writer TWN4 MultiTech OEM PCB 125kHz+13,56MHz

RFID

Ord. No.: 182227
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 3 pcs
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152,00 €
149,00 €
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TWN3/TWN4 Housing Kit BK (ART13762) ELATEC  
TWN3/TWN4 Housing Kit BK (ART13762)

Enclosure for TWN3/4 RFID Reader Black

RFID

Ord. No.: 78274
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 24 pcs
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39,50 €
38,50 €
36,60 €
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TWN3/TWN4 USB cable (CAB-B2) ELATEC  
TWN3/TWN4 USB cable (CAB-B2)

Accessories RFID USB Cable for TWN3 2,0m

RFID

Ord. No.: 78278
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 21 pcs
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6,30 €
6,10 €
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MECH-DFW21 ELATEC  
MECH-DFW21

RFID Reader Accessories, TWN4 Palon Design Frame, White

RFID

Ord. No.: 326853
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 3 pcs
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2 pcs+
10 pcs+
60 pcs+
6,97 €
6,47 €
5,93 €
5,34 €
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MECH-DFW22 ELATEC  
MECH-DFW22

RFID Reader Accessories, TWN4 Palon Design Frame, Anthracite

RFID

Ord. No.: 326854
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 2 pcs
1 pcs+
5 pcs+
25 pcs+
16,00 €
14,70 €
13,30 €
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MECH-DFW23 ELATEC  
MECH-DFW23

RFID Reader Accessories, TWN4 Palon Design Frame, Silver

RFID

Ord. No.: 326855
Manufacturer: ELATEC
in stock 2 pcs
1 pcs+
2 pcs+
12 pcs+
28,10 €
26,80 €
24,60 €
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DUR 120 ETHERNET UHF RFID READER TSS COMPANY  
DUR 120 ETHERNET UHF RFID READER

UHF RFID Ethernet Reader

RFID

Ord. No.: 214925
Manufacturer: TSS COMPANY
1 pcs+
30 pcs+
100 pcs+
298,00 €
289,00 €
285,00 €
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DUR 120 USB UHF RFID READER TSS COMPANY  
DUR 120 USB UHF RFID READER

UHF RFID USB Reader

RFID

Ord. No.: 214924
Manufacturer: TSS COMPANY
1 pcs+
6 pcs+
30 pcs+
100 pcs+
259,00 €
252,00 €
245,00 €
240,00 €
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HUR 120 BT UHF RFID READER TSS COMPANY  
HUR 120 BT UHF RFID READER

UHF RFID Reader incl. Software

RFID

Ord. No.: 234129
Manufacturer: TSS COMPANY
1 pcs+
379,00 €
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HUR 120 USB UHF RFID READER TSS COMPANY  
HUR 120 USB UHF RFID READER

UHF RFID USB Reader

RFID

Ord. No.: 214923
Manufacturer: TSS COMPANY
1 pcs+
6 pcs+
30 pcs+
100 pcs+
259,00 €
252,00 €
245,00 €
240,00 €
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mURM UHF RFID module TSS COMPANY  
mURM UHF RFID module

UHF RFID reader module

RFID

Ord. No.: 214917
Manufacturer: TSS COMPANY
1 pcs+
11 pcs+
51 pcs+
100 pcs+
138,00 €
123,00 €
111,00 €
95,00 €
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