RFID technologies matter

RFID technologies are not all the same. They differ according to capacity, update capability and foremost - security. Technologies found in access control are usually either low frequency (125 kHz) and higher frequency (13,56 MHz) Smart Card technologies.

Low frequency technologies can usually only read an RFID transponder’s unique serial number, or UID. By contrast, Smart Card technologies let transponders store a lot of data and protect it with encryption. MIFARE® DESFire provides the most secure, essentially unbreakable, 128 bit ciphers.


Access control RFID technologies come in two types: older UID technologies, that read a transponder’s unique serial number; and more modern smart card technologies that hold data in the transponder's memory, often secured by encryption. Encryption both protects the data from hacking attempts and also ensures it can only be read with a reader programmed for that transponder. A site’s security level can also be enhanced by requiring personal pin codes.


Smart card technologies also provide more data storage, letting you utilize your transponders more effectively, in more versatile applications. For example, you can combine access and payment, or even write new data to a transponder.


Modern systems require flexibility. Improvements shouldn't constantly force component replacement. Flexible readers give you unparalleled control, ensuring your future freedom to expand and develop. Update-capable readers can also streamline your product management: a single flexible model in stock can support different technologies and respond to different customers’ needs. The need for flexibility has only increased as systems have grown more complex, embracing CCTV, Alarm, Time & Attendance. IT and IoT will soon enable even more agile, remote administration. Protect your systems' future agility with update-capable devices. Why constantly replace if you can simply update?

Open and closed technologies

Many RFID chip manufacturers build chips used in RFID transponders and RFID reader devices. Conversely, some other card and reader manufacturers develop proprietary chip technologies utilized only in their own products. This arrangement is referred to as a closed technology; the company is the source for both the RFID chip technology and the assembled RFID cards and RFID readers. Inevitably, this means the products of other manufacturers will be prohibited from interfacing with that technology. Therefore, when system architects integrate products from such suppliers, any future site enhancements or expansions will inevitably be limited to technology produced by the original manufacturer. Both the architect’s and customer’s freedom to choose supply sources by quality, functionality or price will have been lost.

New generation smart card technologies operating on 13,56 MHz frequency are often based on ISO1443 and ISO15693 standards. Devices based on these so called open technologies are compatible with each other. Open technology does not make you dependent on one single supplier, but ensures your freedom to choose a supplier in the future.

What is RFID

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a relatively new technology; its first applications were developed in the 1980s. By means of a system with RFID equipment, people, assets or animals can be identified and tracked without direct contact or line of sight. This technology is very efficient in harsh environments such as are found in industrial applications. This makes RFID technology very suitable also for vehicle identification, because it is not restricted by weather conditions of any kind – it operates well in rain, snow, dirt and low temperatures. The components of an RFID based system are readers, transponders and controllers.

RFID transponder

Contains a unique serial number and or other (application) data.

RFID reader

Interrogates the data in the transponder, possibly writes new data in the transponder and sends data to the controller. Receives inputs from the controller and controls e.g. a door based on this information.


Contains database, receives data from the reader and controls the system.


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