Reconfigurable And Affordable Chipless RFID To Open New Opportunities in Industries
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is on the verge of remarkable advancements fueled by rapid growth in healthcare, food safety, and e-commerce sectors. The future of RFID is expanding and the next big thing is chipless RFID, thanks to advancements in electronic printing and conductive ink technologies. Chipless RFID is a wireless data capturing technique that uses radiofrequency for the automatic detection of objects. RFID sensors have been fundamental for the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) that aim to connect every physical object to the cloud. The global chipless RFID market is expected to witness significant growth in the IoT and retail sectors. The advent of chipless RFID is regarded as a crucial breakthrough as it allows the cost associated with chips while being passive, printable, low-power, and effective in harsh environments.
What is a chipless RFID tag? In layman’s terms, RFID tags without silicon IC, microchip, or RFID tag IC are called chipless RFID tags. The working of a chipless transponder is similar to the concept of radar, where data is encoded in the EM response of the tag. This EM signature is dependent on the passive physical architecture of tags. On the other hand, the communication principle for a chipless tag is dependent on the backscattered signal from the tag and its performance can be judged by a radar cross-section of the structure. Chipless RFID tags often work over a wider temperature range and are less sensitive to RD interference. Thus, its use is encouraged in anti-counterfeiting applications and tagging for confidential documents as the amount of information that chipless RFID tags can store is limited.
Recent market developments Over the last few years, the RFID market has witnessed significant improvements and chipless RFID is just the tip of the iceberg. However, the increasing use of chipped-based RFID tags has increased the environmental issues and the idea of chipless RFID was widely appreciated. Recently, the European Research Council (ERC) launched the ScattererID project that introduced RF communication systems that are based on chipless tags while including new functionalities. This project aims to cut down the costs of RFID tags and make them as affordable as barcodes. The project portrayed how it is possible to incorporate chipless label ID with other improved functionalities including the ability to rewrite the information and include the ID with sensor functions and gesture recognition. The scientific community now focuses on designing reconfigurable and affordable tags that improve the original purpose of RFID tags. The future of chipless RFID can be similar to the use of CBRAM from microelectronics that enable reconfigurable elements that are based on nano-switches. With recent advancements and important results achieved with multibit chipless tags, the researchers now show interest to extend the functionality of chipless RFID to chemical, physical, and structural parameters. These potentials have developed a strong interest in the scientific community. Thus, it is safe to say that the future would be bright for the chipless RFID and it would soon become a barcode of the future.