I am evaluating RFID tags for a project, and would like to minimize the cost of the tags. We can find UHF (EPC Gen 2) tags for much less than HF (Mifare UL) tags. Unfortunately, the least expensive reader/writer module I could find for UHF tags is about $200, whereas the least expensive module for HF tags is closer to $20.

Are there any less expensive (< $50) UHF RFID reader/writer modules available? Is there something inherent in the UHF band that makes it more expensive to build an RFID reader/writer module?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Is there something that makes X more expensive" is a great question, but we're not here to provide links to today's daily deals and ebay auctions - Expect answers to focus on the 'why' without providing specific product recommendations. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Apr 12 '12 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Knowing what about UHF vs HF drives price would be great. If the modules are all expensive now because the technology is new, it might be worth designing to use a currently expensive technology that will become cheaper. If there is something inherent about the UHF reader technology that is inherently 10x more expensive, we will probably go with the HF tags. FWIW, I have been told that the HF passive tags are more expensive than UHF passive tags because more copper is required for the antenna. So, I expect the UHF tags to continue to have a cost advantage. \$\endgroup\$ – wrdieter Apr 12 '12 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shopping question. It should be closed. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Apr 17 '12 at 23:38

THe evaluation kits are more expensive because of the development costs and $100K test equipment costs. The component costs are not high in volume production, if you know what to do.

http://media.digikey.com/Photos/STMicro%20Photos/STEVAL-TDR017V1.jpg How about this one. If you need one.. make an investment on your future. Education is not cheap. Otherwise, make a cheap Tx and try to use your TV tuner as an Rx but when it comes to erro rates for detection and interference robustness, you need a great receiver/transmitter for zero error rates.

and score accordingly. :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer is consistent with other info I have found since asking the question. Basically, it looks like the UHF modules are still pretty new and prices will probably come down once module builders have recovered their development costs. \$\endgroup\$ – wrdieter Apr 19 '12 at 0:57

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