History Of Rfid Technology Computer Science Essay

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In recently, the security of place such as office and home are increasingly becoming important and as a main concern of the people. But, with the assist of evolution of the technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, the security system can be improved easier and in a more convenient, and efficiency way. Therefore, the project is focusing RFID based security door system with attendance and display function.

This report mainly divides into 3 sections:

First is the introduction section which briefly illustrates the background, aim and objective of the project. It included the procedure that used to accomplish the task from beginning until the project is completed and also consists of initial project design and analysis.

Next is the literature section. It consist the detail of the component that may use in the project and compare it with other similar component as well.

The last one is Methodology section.

The expected outcome of the project is to design a more secure door system thus assist in ease the office security and attendance system.

In order to clearly represent the time management of the project, the Gantt chart is provided and represent in the appendix section of the report to let the supervisor to review the progress of the project.



Within this few centuries, the safety of human being, company's data and document is being warned badly by the thief and competitors. Thus, there is continuous impetus to improve the security system to more safety and advance while reduce the operation cost of the company.

In early, the access security system that applied in the company was using the security personnel to check the identification card of the employees at the entrances before getting in to avoid illegal entry. However, this system will increase the operating cost of company gradually in order to provide control at many location insides the company.

Then, the punch card system was developed and used as a security system cum attendance recording system. Employees will possess the card and has to punch it before they enter the building. The card will show the entry time of the employees and used as an attendance proven. But, the disadvantages are that, buddy punching for each other among the employees was happened which cause the losses of company.

A new technique in access control is developed and called as bar code system. For this system, the employee's identification card is used as a key to open the office door by touching it on the bar code reader. The authenticity of the card will be checked and the door will open automatically. But, the disadvantage of it is the contact between the reader and card is necessary to activate the system. At the same time, the fingerprint ID system is recommended by the scientist to improve the security system because the fingerprint of everyone is unique.

With growth of technology and giant leap in the field of Radio frequency transmission, a requirement for the same application using RF is desired.

A further improvement is the RF ID card technology, which uses contact less card readers. Bringing the card nearer to the reader suffices for the reader to read the contents of the card. This simplifies the usage for the employees. This technology is crawling into the companies and has the potential to substitute the preceding technologies.

1.2 Aim and Objectives

The project aim are to:

Design a high functional security door system by using RFID with the feature of automatic attendance recording system and viewing availability of person in the office by LCD display to improve the existing security door system with only secure function.

Design a low cost security door system that can make the security process easier and avoid outside people to enter the room or office without permission.

The objectives of the project are

To understand the working principle of RFID technology.

To design and construct a prototype for the RFID security door system with the feature of automatic attendance recording system and view in and out information of the people through the LCD display.

Design and construct the electrical and electronics interface between the PIC microcontroller and LCD

1.3 Project Design and Analysis


Attendance Recording




Input Program


LCD Display

Power Supply


2.1 History of RFID Technology

In 1948, during the World War II, the RFID technology was innovate by British and utilized as radar to detect the aircraft to avoid from some attacks [2, 9]. Due to its high functionality, the RFID technology is being developed and advanced within this half century such as development of the RFID tag into variety of size and wider the transmission range which able to utilized in many application.

RFID Technology

RFID Technology (known as Radio Frequency Identification) is a wireless communication that normally utilizes to identify the people or object by using the radio signal [5, 7, 8, 10]. These are 2 main components in RFID application [1, 7]:

RFID Reader (RFID Transceiver)

RFID reader is a transmitter which as well as a receiver [13,. On other words, Sweeney (2006) stated that "The RFID readers are lynchpins of data collection". The RFID reader is always emitting the radio frequency. For passive transponders, the signal from reader is utilized to active the transponder by powering the circuitry. The RFID reader will receive the data and information from transponder and transmit to the computer device. It is a communication medium between the computer device or computer and transponders.

RFID Transponder (also called as transponder)

Transponder typically contains of an antenna and a microchip with encoded identification (ID) [5, 10]. The microchip is a memory chip which utilized to store the data or information [5]. In general, the transponder is attached with object or used as an identification card [1]. Once the transponder is under radio signal transmission range of the RFID reader, the transponders is activated. The transponders will modulate the radio signal transmitted from the reader to transmit the data which stored in microchip such as ID number back to the RFID reader and reflect the modulated radio signal to the reader [1, 2].

2.3 System Design Consideration

RFID Reader

The RFID is a wireless identification technology by using the RF, therefore, the antenna is most significant component either in transponder or reader. For reader, the numbers of the antenna in reader can be one or more than that but the limitation is there due to the level of signal loss in the cable connection between the transmitter and receiver in reader and antenna. Glover and Bhatt (2006) stated that the higher of the signal loss on cable, the lesser of the antenna can be controlled [4].

In addition, the arrangement of the transmitting antenna (TX) and receiving antenna (RX) will vary the amount of time to receive the data and energize the transponders which directly affect the efficiency of the RFID reader. At figure 2.3.1, it showed a RFID reader that contain one transmitting antenna (TX) and one receiving antenna (RX) with the arrangement of TX "ahead' RX and a moving box attached with the passive transponder ( the direction of motion of the box is fixed and showed by the arrow). This arrangement is a more effective method of receiving the data because the transponder that attached in box will passes by the TX first. Therefore the transponder is activated in a further place (compared with reverse arrangement of the 2 antennas). This increases the amount of time to receive the signal from the transponders and thus the chance of receiving the data or information completely [4].

Figure 2.3.1 Show the arrangement of the TX and RX with a moving box that attached with transponder

Furthermore, the RFID reader's class can mainly divert into 2 classes which are read only and read/write. For the read only, the RFID reader is only can receive and read the data from transponders and transmit it. In contrast, for read/write RFID reader, it able to receive and rewrite the data or information and transmit back to the transponders that have the read/write memory function [Gavrilovska].

2.3.2 RFID Transponder

The transponder can normally be categorized into variety of forms according to its ability which shown in figure 2.3.2. For instant, based on power supply of transponder, it can mainly divert into 2 categories that are passive, active and semi-active type of transponders [1, 10].




Power Supply

Class 0

Low Frequency

Active Transponder

Class 1

Class 2

High Frequency

Semi-passive Transponder

Class 3

Ultra-High Frequency

Passive Transponder

Class 4

Figure 2.2.1 Show category of RFID transponder Passive Transponder

Passive transponder is a transponder that does not contain an on-board power supply but energize its circuitry by the radio signal transmitted from RFID reader [1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10]. As the passive transponder comes closer to reader, a change occur in the electromagnetic field which generated by the coil in reader. This change will induce a current in the antenna coil of the transponder and the current will provides the sufficient voltage to boost up the transponder circuitry [3, 7]. At that time, the transponder transmits the data and information back to the reader. Because of the electromagnetic coupling, it has limit operating perimeter which only can up to 3 meter [3, 10]. It is much shorter than the active transponder. However, the advantage of it is there, it can avoid of turning on the transponder accidently [8].

Because Passive transponder does not have the power supply, it is very small in size, cheap and commonly utilized [6, 9, 10]. The data storage capability also is very low [6]



Figure Show the Passive Transponder Active Transponder

The active transponder is a transponder that contains on board power supply to provide sufficient DC voltage to boost up the microchip circuitry and also generate the radio signal to initial the communication [2, 5, 6, 8]. So, it enables the transponder to transmit the data and information to the reader independently and with a significant transmission range extension which can up to few hundred meter [2, 6]. It is also allowed to communicate with other transponder as well [6]. However, this extra capability and transmission range due to the self-contained power supply also come up with a cost; these are several time expensive and bigger in size compare with passive transponders[1,8,10]. Semi-active Transponders (Semi-passive Transponders)

Semi active transponder contain on board power supply (battery) which is almost same as the active transponder but the difference is that the board power supply of semi activate is only utilized to energize the its circuitry and keep the memory in transponder [1, 2, 3, 6]. Therefore, Semi-active transponder is also known as battery-assisted transponder [2, 6]. The transponder still has to utilize the power from radio signal transmitted from to transmit the data and information to the reader [1, 3, 13]. Due to the assisted-battery, semi-active transponders can activate its circuit without waiting for the signal from the reader. Therefore, its transmission range is longer than passive transponders which can up to 30meter [6, 10]

Type of Transponder 

Internal Power Supply  



 Transmission Range

 Passive Transponder





 Active Transponder





Semi-active Transponder

Yes (with assist battery)




Table 2.3.2: Show the comparison between Passive, Active, and Semi-active Transponders

Sources from [2, 3, 6, 10] TAG CLASSES

In general, tag classes are classified into 5 classes that are based on the memory of the tag. There are 2 main memories generally which are read-only (RO) and read-write (RW). Read-only represent its memory that can only be read whereas read-write (RW) represents the memory which can be read and rewrite [1, 5]

CLASS 0 - Factory programmed

These are the simplest and earliest type of transponders. It can read only (RO) and be programmed only during the manufacturing time which is similar to the principle of burning the CD-ROM. After the CD-ROM is burned, any alteration is not possible anymore. Class 0 tag is also a passive transponder and its memory is limited [6].


The class l transponder is a passive type of transponder which can be programmed once to update the information by the manufacturer or by the user and read for many times [5, 6]. Tags of this type usually act as simple Identifiers


For class 2 tag, that is only allowed to read and rewrite date for several times to the RF memory [6,]. It is a passive transponder and also includes the encryption [6].

CLASS 3 - READ WRITE- with power battery to enhance range

This tag is not only a battery-assisted passive transponder but also is a transponder which contain sensor for measuring the parameters such as temperature and acceleration. The data or result of the measurement can be recorded down and stored into the tag memory. Besides, because of the assist of the power battery, the read range becomes longer [6].

CLASS 4 - READ WRITE-active transmitter

This is an active type of transponders. Therefore, this transponder can be either transmits the data to reader which acted as a transmitter or receive the data from others independently. This transponder is also a reader [6]. Its transmission range and reliability is much greater and better than class 3 transponders. Operating Radio Frequency

Similar to all wireless communication, variety of frequency that valid in global can be used for RFID application. However, in generally, it categorized into 3 main frequency ranges which are low frequency (LF 30 to 400 KHz), high frequency (HF 3 to 30 MHz) and ultra high frequency (UHF 300 MHz to 3 GHz) [1]. The frequency that used in RFID application will directly affect the characteristic of the transponders. For a passive transponder, at the low frequency the transmission range will be around 30cm. The transmission range is increased around 70cm to 1 meter for high frequency transponder. But, for ultra-high frequency, it is can be approximately 3 to 5 meter.

The comparison between low, high and ultra high frequency range is discussed on table.


Frequency Band 

Low Frequency  

High Frequency 

Ultra-High Frequency 

Type of Transponder




Electromagnetic Coupling

Inductive Coupling

Inductive Coupling

Backscatter Coupling

Transmission Range




Reading Speed








Metals and Fluid Resistance





Access control,

inventory control,

animal identification

Access control,

Library control

Smart card,

Automated toll collection system,

Table Show the comparison between low, high and ultra high frequency range

Source: [1, 5, 6, 8]


There are various types of controller in the global market. For this project, the PIC and PLC are the 2 controller will be mainly considered and the comparison between the PIC and PLC is showed in Figure 2.3.3

 Control Device



Known as Programmable Logic Controller.

a single-chip computer which known as Programmable Integrated Circuit Microcontroller









Hard (more input is applied)

 Program Language

Programmed by using ladder logic

Programmed by using high level programming language like C++

Electrical Noise

Immunity to electrical noise

Prone to Electrical noiseTable 2.3.3 Show the comparison between PLC and PIC

LCD Display 16x2

A 16x2 LCD display maybe used in this project. 16x2 means that it has 2 rows and each row can display 16 characters. The LCD is connected to microcontroller to display the name of the user. The brightness of LCD display can be adjusted by using potentiometer. As the resistance increase, the current decrease, the brightness of the light of LCD display will be reduced.

Figure 2.3.4 Show the LCD display 16x2