top of page

What is the difference between RFID and NFC

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID, electronic tags), Near Field Communication (NFC) are two of the more popular keywords, both belong to the tagging technology (Tagging). In essence, NFC is not different from RFID, both are used for signal transmission between two objects in close geographical proximity.


RFID is mainly used to identify and track the tags bound on objects, thus enabling the management of objects. Essentially, it is also a wireless communication technology that also transmits data through wireless electromagnetic waves. However, unlike general communication technologies it is used for purposes other than making phone calls, or sending text messages.

 RFID systems use tags (Tags) to identify objects. In addition to the tag, RFID systems also have a two-way wireless transceiver, known as the reader (Interrogator/Reader), to send signals to the tag, and read the tag feedback. The tag's identifiable distance does not change. Active RFID system generally refers to the active RFID tag, its identifiable distance will be reduced with the reduction of power.


NFC is a very common communication interface for cell phones today. It allows smart devices to exchange data by being in close proximity to each other. nfc devices can also communicate with a passive nfc tag, and this communication method is the same as RFID. nfc technology evolved from RFID technology, and in addition to the communication protocol, the nfc standard also specifies the data exchange format. The combination of an inductive reader, inductive card and point-to-point on a single NFC chip enables identification and data exchange with compatible devices over short distances.

The difference between NFC and RFID

  (1) Working frequency band

  NFC can be understood as a subset of RFID technology, using the 13.56MHz frequency band, while RFID also includes other frequency bands.

  There are many RFID operating bands, 125KHz in the low band, 13.56MHz in the high band, 433.92MHz, 915MHz in the UHF band, and 2.45GHz in the microwave band, etc.

  (2) Communication distance

  NFC is called near-field communication, communication distance is really very close, no more than 0.1m.

  There are many types of RFID, and the identifiable distance is different. Like RFID access card, the recognition distance is similar to NFC. But for ETC such application scenarios, it requires a longer recognition distance. Long-distance RFID identification distance can reach dozens of meters or even hundreds of meters.

(3) Application scenarios

  RFID whether active or passive, the main work is still used for the identification of objects, logistics, transportation, warehousing are widely used RFID technology to track goods.

  The NFC chip is more integrated and includes a reader and tag in one. In addition NFC's two-way communication capability has been enhanced. In other words, NFC can not only be used as a tag for identification, but also as a two-way communication method for data exchange. Currently NFC is most commonly used in the payment field.

For NFC technology, even though QR codes can play the role of NFC in many scenarios in the field of payment and in the field of proximity object identification, NFC is not yet a necessary communication interface for smartphones. Although it is developed on RFID technology, but for different application scenarios, relatively speaking, RFID application scenarios are still much more than NFC.

14 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page