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EPC vs TID: Key Differences and Uses

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Jan 12, 2024
  • RFID
EPC vs TID: Key Differences and Uses

RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology has transformed how we track and manage goods, assets, and even living beings.  If you already know about RFID components such as RFID tags, Readers and Antennas, now is the time to know about RFID memory and how various kinds of stored in RFID memory banks.  Each RFID tag contains an IC/microchip and antenna. The integrated circuit in RFID tags contains unique information about assets being tagged with RFID tags and the antenna lines facilitate tag reading by an RFID reader by capturing and transmitting RF signals.

The Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Tag Identifier (TID) are two of the most important components of an RFID tag, RFID chip to be precise. Apart from EPC (bank 01) and TID (bank 10), the chip also has user memory bank (bank 11), and reserve memory bank (bank 00).

Understanding the key differences between EPC and TID is essential for optimizing RFID applications and realizing the full potential of this transforming technology.

What is Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Tag Identifier (TID)?

Electronic Product Code (EPC)

The Electronic Product Code (EPC) is a standardized identification method used in RFID technology to uniquely identify specific goods, products, or assets in a supply chain. EPC assigns each object a standardized and globally unique identifier, enabling for effective tracking and management throughout its existence.

The EPC system was created to address the drawbacks of standard barcode systems, which frequently require line-of-sight scanning and may not give enough granularities for tracking specific objects. The EPCglobal Network, a collection of standards for the usage of RFID in the supply chain, includes EPC as a core component.

EPC Structure

EPC is made up of a Header, Filter, Partition, and Serial Number. Each component contributes to the identifier's uniqueness and granularity.

The Header defines the EPC's length and structure, while the Filter enables for categorization. The Partition allows for customization for various businesses, while the Serial Number ensures uniqueness.

TID (Tag Identifier)

The TID is a unique identifier issued to an RFID tag by the manufacturer. During the manufacturing TID is a short form for "Tag Identifier" in RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology. The Tag identification is a one-of-a-kind identification that is assigned to an RFID tag during the manufacturing process. The TID is stored in the memory of the RFID tag and is essential for differentiating one RFID tag from another.

TID Structure

TID consists of a manufacturer identifier and a unique serial number assigned by the manufacturer.

Identifier of the Manufacturer

The Manufacturer Identifier is a component of the TID that indicates the RFID tag's source or origin. It helps in identifying the maker or entity in charge of the tag.

Unique Serial Number

The manufacturer assigns the Unique Serial Number, which secures the RFID tag's global uniqueness. It differentiates one RFID tag from another.


Key Difference between EPC and TID

The Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Tag Identifier (TID) are two separate components of RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology, each serving a different purpose.

Here are some major differences between EPC and TID:

Serialized Tracking

EPC: EPC facilitates serialized tracking of individual products, which contributes to supply chain traceability.

TID: Enables serialized RFID tag monitoring by providing a unique identification for each tag and assisting in tag management and authentication.

Level of Granularity

EPC: Provides a high level of granularity, allowing for the unique identification of particular products or objects.

TID: Provides a basic level of identification for RFID tags, allowing one tag to be distinguished from another. Granularity is concentrated at the tag level rather than the individual product level.

Security and authentication

EPC: While EPC can help with supply chain security, it is not fundamentally built for tag-level authentication.

TID: Plays a specific role in authentication operations, assisting in the verification of RFID tag legality. That's vital in applications requiring security and anti-counterfeiting techniques.

Applications in Industry

EPC: EPC technology is widely utilized in retail, shipping, healthcare, and other areas where product visibility and tracking are critical.

TID: Used in anti-counterfeiting measures, tag management, security-focused applications, and industries where the authenticity of RFID tags is crucial.

Uses of EPC and TID for Various Industries

Uses of EPC

EPC is being used in a variety of industries to improve supply chain visibility, inventory management, and operational efficiency.

Here are some important EPC applications:

Retail and Inventory Management

Shelf Replenishment

EPC allows retailers to monitor inventory levels in real-time, automating the replenishment process and avoiding stockouts or overstock problems.

Product Visibility

Retailers utilize EPC to trace product movement from the distribution centre to shop shelves, assuring accurate and timely refilling.

Supply Chain Visibility

End-to-End Tracking

EPC enables the tracking of items from manufacturing to distribution, providing visibility into the movement and status of commodities.

Reduce Loss

EPC helps reduce loss and shrinkage by increasing inventory accuracy and recognizing possible difficulties in the logistics process by monitoring the whole supply chain.

Logistics and Distribution

Automated Sorting and Routing

EPC enables automated product sorting and routing within distribution centers, optimizing logistics processes.

Efficient Order Fulfillment

Using EPC, businesses can optimize order fulfillment operations, minimizing errors and increasing order processing speed.


Pharmaceutical Tracking

EPC is used to trace the manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of medicines, maintaining the supply chain's integrity and reducing the risk of counterfeit products.

Medical Device Management

EPC helps in the management and tracing of medical equipment, hence improving patient safety and regulatory compliance.

Agriculture and Food Industry

Farm-to-Fork Traceability

EPC allows traceability in the food supply chain, letting consumers trace the origin of food items and assuring food safety.

Cold Chain Monitoring

EPC is used to monitor the temperature and conditions of perishable items during transportation, assisting in the preservation of product quality.

Uses of TID

In RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology, the Tag Identifier (TID) serves several functions related to tag administration, authentication, and security. TID is useful in the following ways:

Security Precautions

TID plays an essential role in RFID tag authentication. By validating the TID, systems can make sure that the RFID tag is real and has not been tampered with or counterfeited.


In situations where counterfeit prevention is critical, TID is used to authenticate the authenticity of products. It is especially true in businesses like pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, and electronics.

Inventory Control

TID allows for efficient tag management within an RFID system. It enables the organization, identification, and tracking of individual RFID tags, which is especially useful in scenarios involving a high number of tags.


The TID's unique serial number enables serialized tracking of RFID tags. It can be useful for applications that require a full history or lifespan information for individual tags, such as supply chain traceability.

Warranty and Product Information

Manufacturers can use TID to manage product warranties and access detailed information about particular goods throughout their lives. It is especially true in areas such as electronics and automotive.


In summary, understanding the distinctions between EPC and TID becomes essential in the evolving world of RFID technology for utilizing all aspects of the capabilities these identifiers offer. While EPC improves supply chain visibility and efficiency, TID serves as the foundation for tag management, security, and authentication. The combination of EPC and TID improves the durability and efficiency of RFID applications across a wide range of industries, bringing us into a future where seamless tracking and identification reshape how we interact with the world around us.


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jan 06, 2024

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