RFID Reader Management Requirements Margaret Wasserman Thing Magic

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RFID Reader Management Requirements Margaret Wasserman Thing. Magic margaret@thingmagic. com

RFID Reader Management Requirements Margaret Wasserman Thing. Magic [email protected] com

Overview • Taxonomy of Readers • Reader Requirements for: – Configuration – Monitoring –

Overview • Taxonomy of Readers • Reader Requirements for: – Configuration – Monitoring – Control • Ongoing Reader Management Work

Fixed RFID Readers • “Pizza box” readers with ~28 antennas • Typically used in

Fixed RFID Readers • “Pizza box” readers with ~28 antennas • Typically used in supply chain applications – Dock doors and conveyor belts

Fixed Reader Systems • Wide range of system capabilities – Similar to home gateway

Fixed Reader Systems • Wide range of system capabilities – Similar to home gateway or wireless access point • Processors: – Low-end 16 -bit to mid range (~266 MHz) 32 -bit processor plus DSP or FPGA for signal processing • Operating Systems: – Proprietary, embedded, Win. CE or Linux • Networking: – Stand-alone TCP/IP network nodes running DHCP, HTTP, Telnet (or SSH), NTP, SNMP and proprietary API and/or control protocol

Integrated Reader/Antenna • Single antenna with integrated reader capability

Integrated Reader/Antenna • Single antenna with integrated reader capability

Reader/Antenna Systems • Wide range of system capabilities – Very low-end access control point

Reader/Antenna Systems • Wide range of system capabilities – Very low-end access control point to higher-end “smart antennas” • Processors: – DSP only to low-end 16 -bit CPU • Operating Systems: – Proprietary or embedded • Networking: – Low-end: no standard networking, proprietary control system perhaps based on RS-232 or USB – High-end: Stand-alone TCP/IP node, might user Power over Ethernet (Po. E), DHCP, proprietary control protocol

Handheld Readers • Handheld systems with integrated RFID reader and antenna • Sometimes integrated

Handheld Readers • Handheld systems with integrated RFID reader and antenna • Sometimes integrated into an existing barcode scanner product

Handheld Reader Systems • Handheld RFID scanner built into a handheld PC • Processors:

Handheld Reader Systems • Handheld RFID scanner built into a handheld PC • Processors: – Low-end to mid-range 32 -bit processor plus DSP or FPGA for signal processing • Operating Systems: – Typically Win. CE • Networking: – Wireless TCP/IP network nodes that use DHCP and connect to servers (perhaps intermittently) using proprietary data transfer applications

Embedded Readers • “Credit Card-sized” module, used to add RFID to a special-purpose device

Embedded Readers • “Credit Card-sized” module, used to add RFID to a special-purpose device • Examples: RFID printer/encoders, package sorters and POS terminals (AKA cash registers)

Embedded Reader Systems • Embedded reader is hosted in a special-purpose device • Processors:

Embedded Reader Systems • Embedded reader is hosted in a special-purpose device • Processors: – No general purpose CPU -- DSP or FPGA for signal processing – Host system provides general purpose CPU • Operating Systems: – None. • Networking: – None. Accessed via USB, Serial interface or PCMCIA – Host processor may have networking capability

Configuration Requirements • Networking configuration similar to any endnode infrastructure device – DHCP, configuration

Configuration Requirements • Networking configuration similar to any endnode infrastructure device – DHCP, configuration and firmware downloads • Small amount of persistent RFID-specific and device-specific configuration – Power level, active antennas, possibly some protocol and search settings – Set/get administrative status

RFID Configuration Challenges • Minimal system requirements – Lower-end “smart antennas” may not have

RFID Configuration Challenges • Minimal system requirements – Lower-end “smart antennas” may not have much processor or memory available • Needs to be configurable as a stand-alone device or as an entity within another device – Printer, cash register, handheld PC, etc. • Good fit for an SNMP MIB? – Minimal agent system requirements – Subagent and Entity MIB allow configuration of an RFID “device within a device”

Monitoring Requirements • Monitoring of network connectivity similar to any other infrastructure device •

Monitoring Requirements • Monitoring of network connectivity similar to any other infrastructure device • Monitoring of RFID-specific parameters – – Operational status Antenna connection faults RF problems/interference Perhaps some thresholding on read counts or other parameters?

Monitoring Challenges • RFID market is in early stages, so there hasn’t been much

Monitoring Challenges • RFID market is in early stages, so there hasn’t been much time for de facto standardization – Readers (even within a single category) have significantly different hardware/software capabilities

Control Requirements • Most readers do not change roles regularly – Examples of reader

Control Requirements • Most readers do not change roles regularly – Examples of reader roles: • A reader continuously reads a fixed set of protocols • A reader is set to read a fixed set of protocols, in a fixed cycle whenever the dock door is open (detected via GPIO) • A reader reads a fixed set of protocols for a defined time period whenever an electric eye is triggered • Challenge is not in controlling reader search parameters, it is in collecting, parsing and collating RFID data from multiple read points – A standard way to collect RFID “reads” from multiple readers would be useful

Control Requirement Questions • Applications are needed to control the RFID reader, but at

Control Requirement Questions • Applications are needed to control the RFID reader, but at what level of abstraction? – Individual read cycle vs. set and forget? • Where are the applications hosted? – May be hosted on workstation (reached over network), on a fixed reader, on a handheld PC or on the host processor for an embedded reader • Are there any “real-time” requirements? – Regulatory requirements demand real-time (sub-millisecond) control over RF functions – Control at a higher levels may not be real-time at all

Ongoing Related Efforts • Reader Configuration – De facto standard set of DHCP options

Ongoing Related Efforts • Reader Configuration – De facto standard set of DHCP options with bootfile and configuration file download mechanisms emerging due to network vendor/system integrator efforts • Reader Monitoring – EPC Global Reader Management Group • Defining MIBs for reader monitoring and RFID-specific configuration • Reader Control – EPC Global Reader Protocol Group • Defining an XML/Web Services interface for reader control See: http: //www. epcglobalinc. com