What Is an RFID Inlay?

by Kammy Pow

Radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology provides identifying information about a person or an object, much like barcode technology does. The RFID inlay -- which can be as small as a grain of rice -- is the functional part of an RFID tag's label that encodes the identifying information. The RFID inlay uses radio frequency waves to relay information to a computer system via an RFID reader.

Components

The RFID inlay consists of two components. An integrated circuit or microchip that stores personal identifying information attaches to a small coil of aluminum, copper or silver wires called the antenna, which transmits and receives radio frequency signals. The microchip and antenna are then placed on a label, and the entire unit is encased in plastic.

How It Works

Data from the microchip passes to the RFID tag's antenna, where it is read by the antenna of an RFID reader and passed onto a host computer system for archival purposes, processing or analysis.

Types

RFID inlays are classified as "wet" or "dry." RFID inlays are considered "wet" if an adhesive is applied to the inlay to adhere it to a pressure-sensitive liner that comprises the label. Inlays are considered "dry" when the inlay is attached to the label without the use of an adhesive.

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About the Author

Kammy Pow studied biological sciences at the University of California Irvine. She spent 13 years as a programmer for the financial, medical research, and healthcare sectors. She has been freelancing since 2005 and currently writes health-care related material and pens the occasional review for Southern California altweeklies.

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