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Operation and Basic Information of NFC Tags

One of the key elements of NFC technology is the ability of NFC devices to communicate with passive NFC tags. This feature of NFC technology is the key to enabling many applications. NFC tags are being mass produced and deployed in several fields around the world. With more than a million tags deployed, NFC tags will penetrate many new areas as the technology becomes popular.


Ⅰ. Basic information of NFC tags


While NFC is similar in many ways to RFID and its history is based on RFID, it is a separate concept. Where RFID has passive and active tags, active tags can be read from relatively long distances, and NFC, as its name suggests, works in the near-field region of electromagnetic fields.


NFC tags are passive devices that can be used to communicate with active NFC devices (active NFC readers). Tags can be used within applications, such as posters and other occasions where small amounts of data are stored and transmitted to active NFC devices. In the poster, the active parts can be used as contact points for active devices. The stored data contained in an NFC tag can be in any form, but is generally used to store a web address (URL) for the NFC device to find further information. It requires a small amount of data, so NFC tags can be used. In order to define the communication between active NFC readers and passive tags, its first standard technical architecture and standards for NFC-compliant devices were introduced, these include NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) and three record type definitions (RTD), they are used in smart poster, text, Internet resource reading applications.


Ⅱ. Type and definition of NFC tag


There are four basic label types defined, identified by 1 to 4, each with different formats and capacities. These tag type formats are based on ISO 14443 Types A and B, which is the international standard for contactless smart cards, and Sony FeliCa, which conforms to the ISO 18092 passive communication mode standard. The advantage of keeping NFC tags as simple as possible is that there are many occasions where the tags can be single-use, such as in posters where the life span is short.


Ⅲ. The operation of NFC tag


NFC tags are passive devices that do not require power. When in use, the user contacts it with an NFC-enabled device. The tag obtains a small power supply from the reader to drive the circuit of the tag, and transmits a small amount of information to the reader. The data in the tag's memory is transferred to an NFC-enabled device. Although the amount of data is small, it may direct the device to a certain web address (URL), small amounts of text and other data.

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