An Empirical Study of UHF RFID Performance

An Empirical Study of UHF RFID Performance

An Empirical Study of UHF RFID Performance Michael Buettner and David Wetherall Presented by Qian (Steve) He CS 577 - Prof. Bob Kinicki Overview Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result

Enhancement Conclusion 2 Overview Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion

3 Terms Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) UHF designates the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) radio frequency range of electromagnetic waves between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) Electronic Product Code (EPC)

EPCglobal UHF Class 1 Generation 2 in this paper EPCglobal (a joint venture between GS1 and GS1 US) 4 Characteristics Passive Radio Frequency Identification small, inexpensive computer chip remotely powered interrogated for identifiers and other

information 5 Comparison EPC Gen2 standard defines readers and passive tags that operate at UHF frequencies use backscatter communication to

support read ranges measured in meters high capability of data storage Early HF tags based on inductive coupling that only provide read ranges of centimeters active tags that

require batteries to increase range 6 * Privacy Richard Stallman at WSIS 2005 presenting his RFID badge wrapped with aluminum foil as a way of protesting RFID privacy

issues. Logo of the anti-RFID campaign by German privacy group FoeBuD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiofrequency_identification 7 Overview

Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion 8 Backscatter 1. A reader transmits information to a tag by modulating an RF signal

2. The tag receives both down-link information and the entirety of its operating energy from this RF signal. 3. The reader transmits a continuous RF wave (CW) which assures that the tag remains powered 4. The tag then transmits its response by modulating the reflection coefficient of its antenna. 5. The reader is able to decode the tag response by detecting the variation in the reflected CW, 9 UHF EPC

Physical Layer RFID tags communicate by backscattering signals that are concurrent with reader transmissions, and use a variety of frequencies and encodings under the control of the reader. MAC Layer Readers and tags use a variation on slotted Aloha to solve the multi-access problem in a setting where readers can hear tags but tags cannot hear each other. 10

Physical Layer Down-link Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) bits are indicated by brief periods of low amplitude Pulse Interval Encoding (PIE) the time between low

amplitude periods differentiates a zero or a one the reader can choose pulse durations 26.7 kbps to 128 kbps. Up-link partially determined by down-link preamble a bit field set in the

Query command frequency (40 to 640 kHz) & encoding FM0 Miller-2 Miller-4 Miller-8 11 MAC Layer

Based on Framed Slotted Aloha each frame has a number of slots each tag will reply in one randomly selected slot per frame the number of slots in the frame is determined by the reader and can be varied on a per frame basis 12 Query Round & Circle

Query Round an individual frame Query Cycle the series of Query Rounds between power down periods 13 Query Round: sequence 1. At the beginning, the reader can optionally transmit a Select command

limits the number of active tags by providing a bit mask only tags with IDs (or memory locations) that match this mask will respond in the subsequent round 2. A Query command is transmitted which contains the fields: determine the up-link frequency and data encoding, the Q parameter (determines the number of slots in the Query Round), and a Target parameter. 3. A tag receives a Query command, it chooses a random number in the range (0, 2Q - 1), where 0Q15, and the value is stored

in the slot counter of the tag. The tag changes its Inventoried flag. 14 Query Round: sequence (cont.) 4. If a tag stores a 0 in its slot counter, it will transmit a 16 bit random number (RN16) immediately. 5. The reader will echo the RN16 in an ACK packet after receiving it. 6. If the tag successful receives the ACK

with the correct random number, the tag will backscatter its ID. 15 Query Round: sequence (cont.) 7. The reader will send a QueryRepeat command to cause the tag to toggle its Inventoried flag. If the ID was not successfully received by the reader, a NAK command is sent which resets the tag so that a subsequent QueryRepeat will not result in Inventoried flag being changed. A QueryRepeat signals the end of the slot.

8. On receiving the command, the remaining tags will: decrement their slot counter respond with a RN16 if their slot counter is set to 0. The process then repeats, with the number of QueryRepeats being equal to the number of slots set using the Q parameter. 16 C1G2 Protocol 17

Overview Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion 18 Tools

Hardware Software Readers Software Alien Technologies ALR9800 ThingMagic Mercury5e Development kit

Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) platform GNURadio Tags Alien 9460-02 OmniSquiggle tags 19 Assessment

How well do commercial readers perform? What protocol factors degrade reader performance? What causes tags to be missed during a read? What can be done to improve performance? 20

Overview Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion 21 Experiment Settings

A standard office setting with cubicles of 42 inch height Experiment 1: 30 x 22 x 10 Experiment 2: 40 x 24 x 13 16 tags were adhered to a sheet of poster board in a 4 x 4 grid, with tags spaced approximately 6 inches apart. 22 Overall Performance

Read Rate - Distance 23 Overall Performance Average Cycle Time Number of Tags 24 Overall Performance Read Rate - Coding Scheme

*1 : Experiment 1 *2 : Experiment 2 25 Cycle Duration 26

Error Rates 27 Effects of Errors 28 Effects of Errors (cont.) 29

Number of Cycles the average number of cycles needed to read all tags in the set 30 Hit Rate of DR Mode for Each Tag 31

Effects of Frequency Selective Fading ThingMagic reader in the same location and setup as Experiment1. 15 minute experiment, in which each tag responds on all 50 channels at 32 Effects of Frequency Selective Fading

(conts.) 33 Effects of Frequency Selective Fading (conts.) 34 Summary Size of the tag set

affects performance, largely because larger tag sets are more efficient with respect to inter-cycle overhead. Up-link encoding Slower but more robust up-link encodings are more effective at greater distances, as the overhead is quickly outweighed by reduced error rates. Multipath environment Different multipath environments result in different error rates as distance increases, and these effects are location specific.

Errors increase both the variance and overall duration of cycles by increasing the number of ACKs and the number of slots. also result in missed tags when a reader gives up during a cycle. 35 Summary (cont.) ACKs as well as Query and QueryRepeat commands account for a significant amount of overall time the ACKs because they are long and Query* because

they are numerous. Lower down-link rate result in fewer cycles needed to read the complete tag set, likely because more tags are able to power up. Frequency selective fading is a dominant factor in missed reads, particularly at greater distances. 36

Overview Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion 37 Physical Layer Reducing Slot Times

As the Q algorithm results in many empty slots, having the reader truncate the listen time for empty slots would reduce overall cycle times. Reducing Missed Tags Due to Fading The variation in frequency response can be smoothed by channel hopping at a more rapid rate. 38

Reducing Slot Times 39 Reducing Missed Tags Due to Fading 40 Physical / MAC Layer Coordination Reducing ACKs

retrying ACKs even once is likely to have very little benefit when using these modes at larger distances a more appropriate response would be to not waste time on retries, but instead change the physical layer parameters used in the next round Hybrid Reader Modes combining the positive attributes of HS and DR mode has the potential to increase performance significantly

41 Reducing ACKs 42 Hybrid Reader Modes 43 Overview

Introduction Background Knowledge Methodology and Tools Experiment & Result Enhancement Conclusion 44 Conclusion First detailed, low-level measurement study of EPC C1G2 UHF reader technology in a real world setting.

RFID physical and MAC layers should be considered in conjunction rather than separately as is done at present. Found physical layer effects are significant factors that degrade the overal(l) performance of commercial readers. Suggests that better physical layer implementation choices can improve performance while remaining standards compliant. reducing the listen time for empty slots increasing the rate of frequency hopping 45

Thanks Q&A 46

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