High sensitivity EPC tag architecture

EPC tags are widely used by many applications now. The most popularly used is supply chain management (SCM). Other applications such as asset management are also widely adopted. Sensitivity is still the most important factor limiting wider adoption of EPC tag as the tag sensitivity limits the read range, readability and tag footprint. For SCM application, tag to tag interference is the major factor to limit the readability and higher sensitivity tag is a remedy for this problem; small object tagging needs high sensitivity tag because of small footprint antenna; for asset management, longer read range is essential while high tag sensitivity is the key to read distance. Tag sensitivity is limited by a few factors such as RF/DC energy conversion efficiency, power consumption of silicon circuit, backscatter ratio, etc. A comprehensive analysis of those factors may direct us to overcome the bottlenecks and improve the sensitivity of the tag.

The objectives of this research topic are:

1) Theoretical analysis on how tag sensitivity and reader sensitivity impact the read distance and readability. Comprehensive analysis on the limit factors to the sensitivity of EPC tags and readers will be studied. For tag sensitivity, RF/DC energy conversion efficiency, power consumption of silicon circuits, backscatter ratio, etc. will be studied carefully to illustrate how those factors have impact on tag sensitivity. Theoretical limit of those factors will be studied so that the theoretical sensitivity can be calculated under those circumstances. A white paper will be composed to illustrate this study.

2) A few new architectures will be proposed to improve the tag sensitivity. Some possible approaches include higher efficiency RF/DC conversion, more energy efficient silicon circuits, harmonic based tag and reader, new architecture of battery assistant tags, etc. Prove of concept demonstration will be constructed to illustrate those improvement.

3) An application demonstration will be constructed together with industry partners to illustrate the improvement of those new technologies.