Identification tags are used to identify, track and retrieve information from both inanimate and animate objects, including packages in transit, food items, animals and even people. Uses for tracking systems, of which Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the most common, include inventory control, shipment tracking, wildlife migration pattern identification, and patient monitoring in hospitals, among many others. An RFID tag is placed on the object to be tracked and can then be read by an RFID reader, at a distance that can be as far as several meters away.
There are two types of RFID tags: active (containing a battery) and passive (no internal power source). Passive tags are powered by RF energy from an RFID reader and the lower the tag’s power consumption, the further away it can be from the reader. In addition to very low power consumption, RFID tags need to operate at low voltages, be field-programmable, be very compact and retain storage information for long periods of time.
In addition to basic product identification information, ID tags may also include a product’s manufacturing history, product distribution, date received by end-product vendor and other data. Identification tagging is also used to track chips from fabrication until implementation in end products. Chip IDs enhance product and system security, as an anti-piracy mechanism, for example, and to help in identifying problem sources in case of failures.
OTP may also be used in video displays, such as HD television receivers, to store Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) information. The video source device checks the display device’s DVI or HDMI port for EDID information and uses this information to optimize the video and/or audio output format from the source.
This diagram shows an example of a passive RFID tag with data stored in OTP memory. The read distance increases as the power needed to read the tag decreases, so a very low power OTP macro, such as one of those offered by Sidense, is very important for implementing the identification tag.
OTP in a display device can store EDID information, which an A/V source uses to optimize its output for the display. This example shows a DVR connected to an HDTV.