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What is ISO/IEC 15693? RFID Communication Standard for HF and NFC

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Jan 19, 2024
  • RFID
What is ISO/IEC 15693? RFID Communication Standard for HF and NFC

Whether you're an industry expert or simply interested in learning the basics of RFID and NFC, RFID Communication Standards are the first thing you must know. While RFID technology is quite versatile and offers easy to use communication protocols for tag and reader communication and data capture, it has distinct wireless communication standards for UHF, HF/NFC and low frequency RFID communications. And it makes sense.

The ISO/IEC 15693 is a widely used standard for high-frequency (HF) and near-field communication (NFC) communication. ISO/IEC 15693 defines the protocols and parameters for contactless integrated circuit cards and other devices operating at 13.56 MHz.

In the RFID world, a flexible and efficient communication framework that facilitates data exchange between readers and tags is crucial to keep the cost of RFID implementation at lowest and affordable and that is why ISO/IEC and EPCGlobal have defined simple, easy to follow communication protocols. From inventory management to access control systems, these standards have paved the way for enhanced security, efficiency, and convenience across various industries.

 What is ISO/IEC 15693?
ISO/IEC 15693 is an international standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It specifies the communication protocols and parameters for contactless integrated circuit cards and devices operating in the high-frequency (HF) range of 13.56 MHz, offering a read distance of 1–1.5 meters.

 The ISO/IEC 15693 standard enables communication between readers and tags using the principle of inductive coupling. It allows for bidirectional data exchange and supports anti-collision mechanisms, enabling multiple tags to be read simultaneously. The standard also defines various commands and response formats, ensuring interoperability between different manufacturers' products.

In terms of physical characteristics, ISO/IEC 15693 specifies the modulation and coding schemes, as well as the air interface protocols. It defines the frame structure, bit rates, and data coding schemes, providing a foundation for reliable and efficient communication. These specifications make ISO/IEC 15693 suitable for a wide range of applications, including asset tracking, logistics, and contactless payments.

The ISO/IEC 15693 RFID Commendation Standard has several parts:

ISO/IEC 15693-1:

The ISO/IEC/IEC93-1 section explains the physical characteristics of the area surrounding (vicinity) RFID cards.

ISO/IEC 15693-2:

It specifies the power and communication interfaces between the reader and the smart card. It focuses on the air interface and initialization.

ISO/IEC 15693-3:

It describes the anti-collision and transmission protocols. Also, elaborate on the commands and settings used to initiate communication between the RFID card and the reader.

Key Features and Specifications of ISO/IEC 15693

ISO/IEC 15693 offer several key features and specifications that make it a preferred choice for HF and NFC applications. Some of the notable features include:

1. Operating frequency

ISO/IEC 15693 operates at the 13.56 MHz frequency band, which is a globally accepted frequency for RFID communication. It allows for efficient data transfer and ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices.

2. Anti-collision mechanism

The standard incorporates an anti-collision mechanism that enables multiple tags to be addressed and read simultaneously. Most suitable for applications like inventory management and document tracking.

3. Read range

ISO/IEC 15693 supports read ranges of up to several meters, depending on the specific implementation and environmental factors. The extended read range makes it suitable for applications where longer reading distances are required, such as access control systems or automated toll collection.

4. Data transfer rates

The standard supports data transfer rates of up to 26.48 kbps, providing fast and efficient communication between readers and tags. High-speed data transfer is essential for applications such as ticketing systems and electronic passports that require quick and reliable data exchange.

5. Data Security

ISO/IEC 15693 incorporates various security features to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the transmitted data. It supports encryption and authentication mechanisms, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure during communication.

Applications of ISO/IEC 15693

ISO/IEC 15693 finds applications in a wide range of industries and use cases. Some of the key applications include:

 1. Inventory management: ISO/IEC 15693 is widely used for inventory management systems in the retail, logistics, and supply chain industries. With the ability to read multiple tags simultaneously, the standard enables efficient tracking and identification of items, streamlining inventory management processes.
2. Access control systems: The standard is commonly employed in access control systems, such as those used in offices, parking lots, or public transportation. ISO/IEC 15693 enables secure and contactless authentication, allowing for convenient and efficient entry or exit procedures.

3. Electronic payments: ISO/IEC 15693 is employed in contactless payment systems, enabling secure and convenient transactions. With the ability to read tags at a distance, the standard facilitates fast and hassle-free payments in various environments, such as retail stores or public transportation.

4. Asset tracking: ISO/IEC 15693 is utilized for asset tracking in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, or hospitality. When organizations attach assets with RFID tags that meet industry standards, they can effortlessly track and oversee important resources to increase productivity and mitigate the risk of financial loss.

Comparison between ISO/IEC 15693 and other RFID standards

 While ISO/IEC 15693 is a widely adopted RFID communication standard, it is essential to understand how it compares to other standards to make informed decisions regarding system implementation. Here, we compare ISO/IEC 15693 with two other prominent RFID standards: ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 3.

1. ISO/IEC 14443: ISO/IEC 14443 is another widely used RFID standard, commonly employed in contactless smart cards and NFC-enabled devices. While both ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 14443 operate in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, they differ in their communication protocols and target applications. ISO/IEC 14443 is primarily focused on secure, close-range communication, making it suitable for applications such as access control, public transportation tickets, or mobile payments. On the other hand, ISO/IEC 15693 is designed for longer-range communication and supports anti-collision mechanisms, making it ideal for applications such as inventory management or asset tracking.

2. ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 3: ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 3, also known as the "Active RFID" standard, is designed for long-range communication and operates at frequencies between 433 MHz and 928 MHz. Unlike ISO/IEC 15693, which relies on inductive coupling, ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 3 utilizes radio waves for communication. Data transfer rates and read ranges vary due to the differences in communication technologies. ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 3 is commonly used for applications such as vehicle identification, supply chain management, or industrial automation where longer reading distances are required.

To conclude, HF RFID, NFC, and ISO/IEC 15693 provide the essential communication standards that promote interoperability and efficiency. It ensures that devices can seamlessly communicate for diverse applications in access control, inventory management, and contactless payments.

Frequently Asked Questions on ISO/IEC 15693

Q1) What is ISO/IEC 15693, and how does it differ from other RFID standards?

ISO/IEC 15693 is an international standard that defines the air interface for communication between high-frequency (HF) RFID devices operating at 13.56 MHz. It differs from other RFID standards because it focuses on vicinity card communication, supports anti-collision protocols, and is particularly relevant in Near Field Communication (NFC) applications.

Q2) What are the key features of ISO/IEC 15693 that make it suitable for RFID applications?

The key features of ISO/IEC 15693 include anti-collision protocols, defined data coding and modulation methods, support for read/write functionality, and a focus on vicinity card communication. These features contribute to efficient and standardized communication in RFID applications.

Q3) Can ISO/IEC 15693 be used for both read and write operations in RFID applications?

ISO/IEC 15693 supports both read and write operations; bidirectional functionality allows RFID readers to retrieve information from tags and also write new data to compatible RFID tags, enhancing the versatility of applications.

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 19, 2024

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