Radio frequency identification or RFID has transformed the way of data transfer between two electronic machines. It basically involves a passive RFID tag which is made from electronic chip and an active RFID Reader that reads the data stored in the passive tag when brought close to a specific range. Depending upon the application they are used for, the RFID cards are designed for operating in various frequency ranges. For instance, the low frequency (LF) cards primarily operate in a range of 125 kHz - 150 kHz and need to be brought in proximity of less than 10 cm to facilitate data transfer between the card and the reader. The LF cards operate in an unregulated frequency band are used for small and general applications like data collection in a factory, animal identification in farms. These cards when compared to the HF 13.56MHz card have limited applications and uses.
The LF cards have smaller memory and hence allow small data storage. They are used for authentication/personnel identification, card payment, access control, attendance management and ticketing purposes. However, the 13.56MHz card that operate at high frequency are used for more distant communication between RFID systems and hence, are more efficient than the LF cards. These 13.56MHz HF cards operate on a regulated ISM band worldwide and allow data transfer between the ranges of 10cm to 1m. They are used for logistics and traceability applications and have numerous advantages over the LF cards. Their data transfer rate is higher than the LF cards and they can transfer the data even if the card is in motion with respect to a static reading device.
The 13.56MHz card can be used for signaling systems and transportation payments to pay for transit fares in subways, trains and buses. These cards are even used to collect the toll on highways as the driver of the vehicle just needs to wave the card while passing through the toll gate and the RFID reader detects it and collects money from it. They are efficiently being used in hospitals to monitor health care facilities. The HF 13.56MHz cards are also being used in telemetry applications as remote sensors that are used to collect and broadcast data back to the base station which is otherwise not possible to achieve using LF cards. Thus, 13.56MHz cards definitely have an edge over the LF cards.