The following page is a White Paper RFID on the current RFID World and what it means.
In order to understand what Gen 2 is we first have to look at what EPC and EPCglobal means.
EPC is the new Electronic Product Code that replaces the older UPC (Universal Product Code) found on many item labels and is a set of numbers plus a bar code. Since UPC first started in 1963 it became out of date with today’s global economies and EPC is the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) modern day equivalent of the older UPC.
EPCglobal is the organization(s) that lead the development of industry global wide standards for the EPC to support the use of RFID in today’s global, information hungry trading networks. EPCglobal organizations are in every country that is working towards making the EPC the end to end supply chain standard.
Gen 2 or EPCglobal Class 1 Generation 2 defines the physical and logical requirements for a passive-backscatter, Interrogator (RFID Gen 2 Reader) Talks First (ITF), RFID system operating in the 860 MHz ~ 960 MHz frequency range. The system is comprised of Readers and Tags (also known as labels). The prior EPC Tag standards were known as Class 0 and Class 1. EPC C1 Gen 2 represents a major step in standardization, performance and quality.
If you are having trouble understanding this, we recommend you enrol in our Free RFID 6 Lesson Introduction – 1 Lesson per day for 6 days to get a complete overview on RFID.
Gen 2, EPC Gen 2, EPC C1G2 are the short names commonly used instead of “Electronic Product Code Class 1 Generation 2” standard.
Gen 2 operates in the 860 MHz ~ 960 MHz frequency range and EPCglobal readers and EPC global tags can also operate over the entire frequency range allocated. Since there are a number of Organizations and Governing bodies that regulate the frequency and power capabilities (See RFID Frequencies and Transmission Power for more information) of this frequency range, no country can legally operate over the entire bandwidth. There are two basic frequencies of operation – 860 MHz ~ 868 MHz and 902 MHz ~ 928 MHz. North America is all 902 MHz ~ 928 MHz and has the highest transmission power specifications.
In addition to operating in the 860 MHz ~ 960 MHz frequency range the Gen 2 standard also uses FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) which rapidly switches the carrier among many frequency channels during the radio signal transmission, reading tags at slightly different frequencies to get the best possible read from the tag. FHSS reads the tag on several different frequencies and then compares the results to determine if the read was successful or not.
For more detailed information about Gen 2 and the EPCglobal standards – http://www.epcglobalinc.org
Now that we have a basic understanding of Gen 2 we can look at the 2 main components – the Gen 2 Readers and the Gen 2 Tags.