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D7.7: RFID, Profiling, and AmI

Transmission Frequencies and Related Effects  Title:
 Electronic Product Code (EPC)


Selected Standards

Markus Hansen (ICPP) 


With respect to RFID a number of standards are in place. They cover used frequencies, communication protocols between RFID tag* and reader* and formats for storing of data on RFID tags*. For the use of RFID in supply chains especially the following standards are important: ISO 14443 for the communication between RFID tag* and reader*, and the electronic product code* (EPC*), standardising how information with respect to products is coded on RFID tags*.


ISO 14443

ISO/IEC 14443 is an international norm for contactless identificaton smartcards with a communication range of up to 20 cm. 

ISO/IEC 14443 has been established by Working Group 8 (WG8) of Subcommittee 17 (SC17) of the Joint Technical Comitee 1 (JTC1) of the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). 

The standard series ISO/IEC 14443 consists of four parts and related amendments. It is an international norm for contactless integrated circuit(s) cards with a communication range of 10 to 20 centimetres (proximity cards) used for identification purposes. A data transfer rate of up to 424 kBit/s can be established; the frequency used is 13,56 MHz. The four parts describe


  • The physical characteristics (part 1),  

  • The radio frequency power and signal interface (part 2),  

  • The initialization and anticollision (part 3), and  

  • The transmission protocol (part 4). 


ISO/IEC 14443 uses the terms PICC (proximity integrated circuit(s) card) for the contactless cards and PCD (proximity coupling device) for the readers*. It describes two types of cards, type A and type B. The main differences between these two types regard signal modulation methods, coding schemes, and protocol initialization procedures.

ISO/IEC 14443 chips are used in a variety of products. E.g. one kind of Philips’ MIFARE cards or Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) according to ICAO document 9303 are based on ISO/IEC 14443.

While the norm defines communication ranges between 10 and 20 centimetres, experiments showed that the communication between tag and reader* can be eavesdropped at higher distances up to several metres (Finke, Kelter 2004). Such eavesdropping has already been used to show that the cryptographic key used to protect the communication between chip and reader* in case of Dutch MRTDs can be broken in approximately three hours.




Transmission Frequencies and Related Effects  fidis-wp7-del7.7.RFID_Profiling_AMI_02.sxw  Electronic Product Code (EPC)
Denis Royer 40 / 43