RFID Standards

How important are the standards in RFID to you? This web site keeps you updated on the major changes that are taking place in RFID Standards but is that enough?

If you are involved in RFID then the standards world should be a major part of your focus. The ability to create products that don't just follow the standard but actually lead the standards is a major competitive advantage. This is why you see so many companies either actively participating or subscribing to standards reports that keep them updated on the work of the committee.

There are many ways to get involved in standards. In most countries there are groups working on RFID Standards. In the United States the mirror organization to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31 is the U.S. TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to SC 31 called ADC1.  The TAG is managed by AIM Inc. (http://www.aimglobal.org), and you can get more info on the group by emailing adc1@aimglobal.org for a membership form. Membership gives you the right to participate in all of the work of SC 31. For details of the RFID work see http://www.understandrfidstandards.com/isoiec-jtc-1sc-31/

If you do not want to actively participate in the work, but need to know what is happening, you can take advantage of the reports that are available. High Tech Aid participates in many of the RFID Standards committee.  Steve Halliday Is the convener of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31/WG 4/SG 3 (RFID Air Interface Standards) and is the co-chair of the GS 1 EPCglobal Technical Standards Committee and the Hardware Group. High Tech Aid published monthly reports on the activities of this group and others, and you can subscribe by sending an email to steve@hightechaid.com and asking for more information.

RAIN, the UHF RFID Alliance – Webinar

RAIN Hosting Webinar on State of UHF RFID and New Initiatives to Advance Gen 2-V2 UHF

Cranberry Township, Penn.  June 4, 2014 – The state of the market for the UHF RFID, and plans for new initiatives to advance this next-generation UHF technology, will be the focus of an upcoming free webinar hosted by RAINTM, the industry alliance for UHF RFID, on Tuesday, 8 July at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

The webinar, open to all interested parties, led by RAIN board members will review key technology and application benefits of “RAIN” UHF RFID (as standardized by GS1 EPCglobal™ and ISO/IEC 18000-63). The 8 July 8 webinar will also detail the benefits of joining the Alliance.

Participants will learn about RAIN member benefits including:

  • Industry research and statics and ongoing market reports;
  • Intellectual property (IP) support through a repository of expired patents and referrals to attorneys with RFID IP expertise;
  • Promotion of the RAIN standard through outreach with other industry groups, media and analysts; and
  • Education and training, and access to web-based information and data.

The organization also recently announced a special “Charter Membership” category for all new members joining before 8 September, 2014.

Registration information for this free webinar is available at www.rainrfid.org/rain-rfid-announces-webinar.

For more information about RAIN and membership go to www.rainrfid.org or contact RAIN President, Steve Halliday at Steve@Rainrfid.org or 1 412 726 3515.

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About RAIN

RAIN promotes awareness, education, and initiatives to accelerate UHF RFID adoption in business and consumer applications worldwide. RAIN delivers focused messaging about the benefits of UHF RFID to end users companies and consumers alike. Information on RAIN is available on the RAIN website at http://www.RAINRFID.org or by email at info@RAINRFID.org.

Update on RFID Standards – Sept 2013

Here is an update on the status of various standards in the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31 arena on RFID. I have only listed the standards that have changed in status in 2013. For a full list of SC 31 Standards visit http://www.hightechaid.com/standards/Current_SC31_Standards.htm:

 

WG 4

·         15961-4, Application interface commands for battery assist and sensor functionality, DIS Ballot closes October 2013

·         18000-3, Part 3:  Parameters for air interface communications at 13,56 MHz, Revision to add Security support, NWIP ballot closes October 2013

·         18000-4, Part 4:  Parameters for air interface communications at 2,45 GHz, New Work Item for Mode 3, CD Ballot closed

·         18000-6, Part 6:  Parameters for air interface communications at 860 – 960 MHz, Published 3rd Edition 2013

·         18000-63, Part 63:  Type C, PUBLISHED 2013

·         18000-63, Part 63:  Type C – Revisions to add the work of 29167-6 on Security and File Management, New Work Item Ballot closed 2011-06-23. This ballot has passed

·         18000-7, Part 7: Parameters for an Active RFID Air Interface Communications at 433 MHz, Sent to Publication

·         18046-4,  RFID device performance test methods – Part 4:  Test methods for performance of RFID gates in libraries, WD

·         24791-3, Information technology – Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques – Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for Item Management – Software System Infrastructure – Part 3: Device Management, Sent to FDIS

 

WG 5

·         18305, Real time locating systems — Test and evaluation of localization and tracking systems, WD

·         24730-62, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — Part 62: High rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, Published 2013

·         24730-61, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — Part 61: Low rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, Published 2013

·         24769-62, RTLS Device Conformance Test Methods – Part 62: High rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, CD ballot closed

·         24769-61, RTLS Device Conformance Test Methods – Part 61: Low rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, CD ballot closed

·         24770-62, Real-time locating system (RTLS) device performance test methods – Part 62: High rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, CD ballot closed

·         24730-21, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — Part 21: Transmitters operating with a single spread code and employing a DBPSK data encoding and BPSK spreading scheme
Technical Corrigendum, DCOR ballot passed

·         24770-61, Real-time locating system (RTLS) device performance test methods  – Part 61: Low rate pulse repetition frequency Ultra Wide Band (UWB) air interface, CD ballot closed

·         24730-5, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — Part 5:Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) at 2,4 GHz, CD ballot

·         24730-1, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — Part 1:Application Program Interface (API), Published 2006
Revision sent to FDIS

·         24769-2, Real-time locating system (RTLS) device conformance test methods – Part 2: Test methods for air interface communication at 2,4 GHz, Published 2013

 

WG 7

·         29167 -1, Air Interface for file management and security services for RFID – Part 1: Air Interface for security services and file management for RFID architecture, Published, Revision DIS ballot closes Nov 2013

·         29167-10, Part 10: Air Interface for security services crypto suite AES128,  To be sent to 2nd CD ballot

·         29167-11, Part 11: Air Interface for security services crypto suite PRESENT-80, DIS ballot closes November 2013

·         29167-12, Part 12: Air Interface for security services crypto suite ECC-DH, To be sent to 2nd CD ballot

·         29167-13, Part 13: Air Interface for security services crypto suite Grain-128A, CD ballot closes

·         29167-14, Part 14: Air Interface for security services crypto suite – AES OFB-like, CD ballot closed

·         29167-15, Part 15: Air Interface for security services crypto suite XOR, At Working Draft

·         29167-16, Part 16: Air Interface for security services crypto suite ECDSA-ECDH, 2nd CD ballot closes September 2013

·         29167-17, Part 17: Air Interface for security services crypto suite –  Crypto GPS,  2nd CD ballot closed

·         29167-18, Part 18: Air Interface for security services crypto suite –  Hummingbird2, At Working Draft

·         29167-19, Part 19: Air Interface for security services crypto suite –  Ramon, At Working Draft

 

For more details on the work contact the author or your local standards body.

 

Security in a UHF RFID tag

Do we need security in an RFID tag? What do we even mean by security?
 
In the UHF tags available today there really is no security, in fact in many of the RFID tags that are used in applications today, there is no security. It is not needed, and so there has been no attempts to include it.
 
The one area that this not true is in the area of financial transactions where the predominant standard is ISO/IEC 14443. This standard (the basis of NFC, Near Field Communications) is a High Frequency (13.56 MHz) standard that includes the capability for encryption of the information on a tag. This capability does not exist for UHF tags – at the moment.
 
There have been many meetings of the UHF RFID experts to talk about how to add true security to a UHF RFID system.
 
This majority of RFID applications do not need security. The unique number stored in the tag means nothing to someone reading the tag unless they have access to the databases that explain the meaning of the number. However, some applications want to have more information stored in the tag and some of that information may be sensitive. Hence the need for security.
 
There are several areas that require the use of security. These include untraceability, loss-identification and/or protection, memory-locking, and privilege-management. To allow some of these to be implemented we also need to add file-management capability.
 
In order to achieve security, the tag and the reader have to prove to each other that they are allowed to talk. This is called authentication and it is a necessary process before the tag tells the reader any information. This is the first stage of the secure process.
 
There are several parts to the Authentication process. The tag must declare and prove that it is capable of secure communications. The interrogator must declare that not only is it capable but that it is allowed to access certain information on the tag. There may be information on the tag that not all interrogators are allowed to access, and so there must be a method of creating privilege based access and hence file areas on the tag.
 
Once the tag and interrogator have authenticated each other, then the secure communication can start. By secure communication we mean the "real-time" encryption of the data that passes between the tag and interrogator. This is not the storing of encrypted data, it is the process where the tag has the ability to encrypt anything it communicates to an interrogator.
 
The implications of having an encryption engine on board a passive tag are obviously very wide. The loss of power to the tag during the encryption process means that the data does not get secured and transmitted, so a lot of work has to go into the design of these new tags.
 
One of the areas that the experts have been looking at is what encryption routines should be available.  The group has decided that there should be no restrictions as some applications may only require very simple security while others may need the power of an AES type encryption. the idea is to not include the encryption algorithm informatuon in the air interface standard but to create another document where all the algorithms are detailed.  The manufacturer of the tags would then be able to decide which encryption suite his tags will support.
 
In ISO, the air interface for UHF type C (ISO/IEC 18000-63) will be the first standard to be created for a secure RFID system. The basis for the security is already included in ISO/IEC 29167-1 which is currently in ballot.  The specific information for each type of tag is then included in the air interface standards (ISO/IEC 18000 series). The standard that will specify the security suites has not yet been decided, but there is a proposal that ISO/IEC 29167 be the home for these suites.
 
Not all tags will require security, and the extra cost for the tags will not be something that all applications can bear so these specifications will all be optional.
 
The work has begun to create the standards for this concept, but it will not be complete for a while. In fact we will probably not see the standards published until late in 2012. As the work progresses, I will update the blog with information.

The “new” UHF Standard

UHF RFID has taken off in a big way. Many of us have been saying that RFID is the way of the future and now it is starting to be real. The standard for UHF is ISO/IEC 18000-6 (equivalent to the EPCglobal Gen 2 UHF standard). This standard is one of the air interface standards in the ISO/IEC 18000 series for all of the various frequencies.
 
ISO/IEC 18000-6 is a very large standard. It is available from ISO for about $306.00 and it contains 470 pages. The standard has information and specifications on four different air interfaces (types A, B, C, and D). Type C is the equivalent of the EPCglobal standard and is now the most prevalent UHF standard.
 
The latest version of ISO/IEC 18000-6 contains enhancements to the Type C air interface that are not included in the EPCglobal version. These enhancements allow the use of sensors and provide details of battery assisted passive RFID tags.
 
So with ISO/IEC 18000-6 only having been published in 2010 why am I talking about a new standard?
 
As I explained above, the standard has grown over the years both in size and in price. This has made it difficult to use and with the new enhancements coming, the decision was taken to split the standard into several parts. The new standard will have five parts as follows:
 
ISO/IEC 18000 – General information
ISO/IEC 18000-61 – Type A
ISO/IEC 18000-62 – Type B
ISO/IEC 18000-63 – Type C
ISO/IEC 18000-64 – Type D
 
Part 63 – Type C is the equivalent of the EPCglobal Gen 2 standard and it includes the sensor and battery assist specifications.
 
The revisions to break the original standard into these parts are currently in progress. The work has just passed the first level of balloting at ISO. This means that early in 2012 the new standards should be approved and we will all be using a new number for the UHF standard.  
 
If you want to know more about the new enhancements to the standard then watch for another article on this subject.
 
If you have questions about the new standards or how you can be a part of the standards efforts then let me know.
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