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RFID UHF Chip

The basic structure of different frequency band tag chips is similar, generally containing modules such as RF front-end, analogue front-end, digital baseband and memory unit. Among them, the RF front-end module is mainly used to rectify and reflect the modulation of RF signals; the analogue front-end module is mainly used to generate the reference power and system clock required within the chip, to perform power-on reset, etc.; the digital baseband module is mainly used to encode and decode the digital signal and to process the anti-collision protocol, etc.; the memory cell module is used for information storage. In the last article we talked about the mainstream HF chips, today we will talk about the mainstream UHF chips and their development trend.

From the point of view of the chip in line with the null protocol: At present, the common domestic UHF RFID null protocols are international standards, national standards, industry standards, enterprise standards, etc.. The mainstream chips in the market basically refer to ISO/IEC 18000-6C.
(1) International standards are ISO/IEC 18000-6 series standards, including ISO/IEC 18000-6A (61), ISO/IEC 18000-6B (62), ISO/IEC 18000-6C (63, EPC C1 GEN2), ISO/IEC 18000-6D (64).
(2) National standards: Chinese National Standard GB/T 29768-2013 Information Technology Radio Frequency Identification 800/900 MHz Air Interface Protocol; National Military Standard GJB 7377.1-2011 Military Radio Frequency Identification Air Interface Part 1: 800/900 MHz Parameters
(3) Industry standards: China's transportation industry electronic vehicle identification (ERI) standards, etc., for high-speed identification of vehicles.
(4) Enterprise standards: IP-X standard of IPICO, Han protocol of Aikamp Technology (Dalian) Co.

Wafer wafer cost is relatively low, can directly use the inverted package; QFN and SOT is the second package on the basis of wafer, can be done directly as Chip pieces using SMT with PCB, FPC or ceramic antenna for welding, mainly used to do some anti-metal type of special label.

From the mainstream application of the chip: the most widely used chips on the market: Higgs 3 (H3), Higgs 4 (H4), Higgs 9 (H9), Impinj M4E Impinj M4QT, Impinj R6/R6-P, NXP Ucode 7, NXP Ucode 8, NXP Ucode 9

1、Alien
A few years ago, Alien's RFID tag chip H3 (full name: Higgs 3), is also considered a great success. Until now, many of the previous projects on the use of this chip. The Higgs-3 provides enough reflective signal to read tags over a wide area even at very low power. The Alien Higgs-3 uses a low cost CMOS process and EEPROM technology. The chip also has a 64-bit factory-programmed unique serial number which, combined with the EPC code, provides a unique 'fingerprint' of the item to be tagged.

However, as new applications emerged and new areas of tag reading distance became more demanding, the H3's reading sensitivity gradually became unachievable and Alien updated their chip with the H4. The Higgs-4 is also capable of writing data at low RF power and can also write data to tags at high speed using Alien's QuickWrite™ command. The Higgs-4 fully supports the latest industry standard 'serialisation scheme'. The chip also features a factory-written, non-rewritable 64-bit serial number which, when combined with the EPC code chip, provides a unique identifier for the item being identified.

The H4 and H5 were rarely seen on the market. It was only with the advent of the H9 that the Alien name began to come alive again, with the H9 building on the H3 chip and increasing the storage space even further. This is great news for customers who are out of stock of the H3 but have large storage needs.
It is also worth mentioning that Alien releases chips that come with a public version of the lineup in a variety of sizes and applications. This gives them a huge advantage in promoting and capturing the market for their chips. Many customers and intermediaries can get the tags directly for trial, reducing the time and cost of developing tag antennas.
As the impedance of H9 and H3 chips are similar, and the pin binding of the chips is similar, the former H3 male antenna can be directly bound to the H9. Many customers who used to use the H3 chip can use the new chip directly without changing the antenna, which saves them a lot of work.
Alien classic line type: ALN-9640, ALN-9662, ALN-9654, ALN-9629, ALN-9610, etc. Below are the corresponding pictures, I believe many of you will find them familiar, for more information, please go to the Alien website.

.......................AlN-9640..................................................... ALN-9662..................................................ALN-9654

2、Impinj
Impinj's UHF chips are named after the Monza series. From M3, M4, M5, M6, all the way up to the latest M7. There is also an MX series. the Monza series of tag chips, offering unique performance, memory and expansion capabilities to solve the most challenging RFID applications. Combining excellent interference immunity with superior sensitivity, Monza supports chip-level serialisation, omni-directional antennas, memory expansion and packaging options.Impinj Monza tag functional features.
1). The industry's best read/write sensitivity and excellent interference immunity for superior read/write reliability, smaller tag design and longer read range
2). Second generation standard customisation for stock reading of hard to read tags and fast access to serial numbers
3). Easy to deploy, reliable and scalable chip serialisation method, supporting bulk and in-line encoding
4). 2 fully independent antenna interfaces for blind spot free tagging
5). Multiple memory options to support high capacity user memory and data data, ensuring security and privacy of sensitive information
6). 48-bit serialised tag identification code (TID) memory
7). Product authentication and anti-counterfeiting application support

Based on Impinj Monza 6, the RAIN RFID tag chip offers unparalleled performance and data integrity for mass item intelligence applications that require high volume, high performance, serialised tags. 6 tag chips are suitable for retail, medical, ticketing and other applications at the single item level. All Monza 6 tag chips include features such as automatic performance tuning, self-diagnostics and durable construction to improve tag quality and read performance while reducing the cost of tagging applications.

Each generation, however, may have more than one. For example, the M4 series contains: M4D, M4E, M4i, M4U and M4QT, with M4i and m4u fading out. The entire M4 series are dual-port chips, which can be used to make dual-polarised tags, avoiding line polarisation tags and read-write antenna polarisation cross read, or polarisation decay read distance close to the situation. It is worth mentioning that the QT function of the M4QT chip is almost unique to the whole field, divided into public and private data two storage modes, higher security.

Impinj's chips are rarely replaced with newer chips, each generation has its own unique and irreplaceable features. So until the M7 series appeared, the M4 and M6 still had a large market share. The M4QT, MR6-P and now the M730 and M750 are becoming more and more common.

As a whole, Impinj's chips have been updated with increasing sensitivity and smaller chip sizes, and like Alien, when the chips are released, there are public versions of each application. The classic line types are.

.......................RFID MINI WEB............................................RFID BELT....................................................RFID WEB

3、NXP
NXP's UHF tag chips, the Ucode series, are used in a wide range of applications such as apparel retail, vehicle management and brand protection. This series of chips is named according to the application of each generation, some of which are rarely seen on the market because the application area is relatively niche. Like Impinj, each generation of NXP has more than one chip.

The U7, for example, includes the Ucode 7, Ucode 7m, Ucode 7Xm-1k, Ucode 7xm-2k and Ucode 7xm+. The first two are of high sensitivity and small memory. The latter three have a larger memory and slightly lower sensitivity.NXP UCODE 7 enables long-range reading of RFID tags and fast inventory in densely tagged environments. The UCODE 7 chip design enables the manufacture of globally compliant RFID tags with best-in-class performance. The device offers pre-serialisation for 96-bit EPCs and parallel encoding to improve and simplify tag initialisation, as well as a tag power indicator to optimise RFID tag initialisation and a product status flag for electronic merchandise theft prevention (EAS) applications.

The U8 has gradually replaced the U7 (except for the three large memory chips of the U7xm) because of its higher sensitivity. The latest U9 chip is also popular, with a reading sensitivity of even -24dBm, although the memory has become smaller.

The NXP chips I often see are mainly focused on: the U7 and U8. Most of the line of tags are label development capabilities of their own manufacturers to design, rarely see the public version.

.....................RFID MINI WEB..............................................RFID BELT....................................................RFID WEB

This may be a major trend in the development of foreign RFID tag chips,: 1, the chip size becomes smaller, so that the same size wafer output more wafers, production increased significantly; 2, the sensitivity is increasingly high, and now the highest has reached -24dBm, to cope with the needs of customers far reading distance, applied in more areas, but also in the same application to reduce the number of installed reading devices, the terminal customers, saving the cost of the overall program. 3, memory becomes smaller. This seems to be a sacrifice that has to be made to increase sensitivity. However, many customers do not need much memory, they just need to be able to keep the codes of all items from being duplicated. Other information about each item (e.g. when it was produced, where it has been, when it left the factory, etc.) can be completely recorded in the system for the corresponding code, and it is not necessary to write it all into the code.

In terms of the development trend of chips, UHF chips are on the verge of polarisation, which is reflected in the trend of "one more, one less".
One category is "minus function simplification", the smaller the chip, such as impinjR6 size 465µm * 400µm, this kind of chip function is simple, small capacity, some even no User area, but in the chip sensitivity and multi-tag anti-collision performance has been greatly improved. Such as impinjR6, NXP Ucode 7, Alien Higgs EC reading sensitivity of -22.1dBm, -21dBm, -22.5dBm, erase sensitivity 18.8dBm, -16dBm, -19dBm. this type of chip is the main application areas in clothing, retail, logistics, libraries, etc..

Another category is the "increase in functional complexity", the chip from the simple "identification" function to AES encryption, Tamper Detection detection, UHF & HF dual-frequency, temperature and humidity Sensor, such as NXP Ucode DNA, NXP G2IL+, EM4423, AMS SL900A, the characteristics of these chips are secondary to the sensitivity requirements, the focus is on how to fit into a specific application scenario, usually used in intelligent transportation, traceability and anti-counterfeiting, asset management, cold chain logistics and other fields, the market volume of a single chip is not large, but the value is higher.

4、Kiloway
Kiloway was founded under the leadership of Dr. Peng Zezhong. In the RFID tag market nearly saturated situation, Kiloway with its self-developed XLPM super low-power permanent memory technology, to kill a bloody road.

Its special advantages of security, high sensitivity, tamper-proof and permanent storage are irreplaceable in the market.
Any of the X-RFID series of chips from KELUVI, in addition to the above advantages, have their own special features.

In particular, the KX2005X special series, high sensitivity and large storage has been rare on the market, but also with LED lighting, on/off detection, anti-medical radiation function. As far as I know, almost all the UHF tags with LEDs on the market are using the KELUVE's KX2005X special series chips. With the LED, the tag can be used in archive management or book management, and the LED can be lit up to quickly find the desired file or book, which greatly improves the efficiency of the search.

..........LED Lighting RFID tags


KELWAY has launched a series of minimalist read-only chips: ONLY 1 and ONLY 2, which are considered a revolution in RFID tagging chips. It is a breakthrough in the storage partition of the tag chip, abandoning the tag rewriting function, and directly in the factory to determine the tag code. If the customer does not need to modify the tag code later, with this one, almost eliminate the counterfeit tags, because each tag code is different, he wants to copy, need to start from the custom chip wafer, which is very high cost of counterfeiting. This series, in addition to the above-mentioned anti-counterfeiting advantages, its high sensitivity and low cost are also considered the "one and only" in the market now.


5、Quanray
Quanray also, in order to stand firm in the market competition so strong today, it is inevitably also has the ability to see.

Quanray was co-founded in 2005 by a number of senior people and technical experts in the field of radio frequency identification. Kunrui has experts from the National Auto ID Laboratory, the State Key Laboratory of Specialized Integrated Circuits of Fudan University, the main designer of the national second generation ID card and Shanghai Bus One Card chip, senior SOC architects and software and hardware R&D engineers. 90 patents have been granted. ---This text is from Kunrui's official website.

Their UHF chips are basically chips with large storage capacity, named after the Qstar series. Each series also has its own special features. For example: dual frequency (UHF + HF), temperature detection, open and short circuit detection, LED drive, long-term data storage in High Temperature environments, support for EAS anti-theft, compatibility with national standards, etc. Each function carried out is very recognisable in the industry. It is widely used in asset management, commodity anti-counterfeiting, health education, mobile communication, smart retail, logistics and transportation, animal husbandry, etc.

The Qstar-5X is the one I use the most, and consists of the Qstar-53, Qstar-54, Qstar-55 and Qstar-56 chips, which are differentiated by the size of the user area.

The QStar-5XE version can store data at temperatures of up to 85°C for up to 30 years. Also a highlight is its Block Perma Lock function, which locks a minimum of 1 word.
From the above two domestic manufacturers of chips introduced, it can also be seen that the domestic chips in addition to the pursuit of higher reading sensitivity in the general trend of efforts, but also in other functional aspects are also doing independent innovation, is their own chips in the international market more competitive.

In addition to the above-mentioned domestic and foreign RFID UHF tag chip manufacturers, there are also some of the more famous, such as: em microelectronic (Switzerland's EM Microelectronics, their home dual-frequency chip is the world's first, considered a dual-frequency chip leader), Fujitsu (Japan Fujitsu), Fudan (Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Group), CEC Huada, National Technology, etc.

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