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Case Study

Case Study: Ethernet Enabled RFID Tag Reader

by Tim Mintzer

The client had a need to provide “network interoperability” into his RFID Tag Reader. Market conditions dictated a very fast pace. Specific requirements were:

  • Design enclosure, circuitry, and firmware to provide network operability and future expansion to other network Architectures.
  • Provide upgrade functionality in the design for future hardware and software enhancements.
  • Low noise design to not interfere with the radio.
  • Provide prototypes as soon as possible.
  • Work with different engineers in various locations.
The circuitry was broken down into three parts. The first section was the Ethernet interface. A search was performed and a commercially available Ethernet to RS-232 interface product was chosen.

The second section was the Micro Controller for the interface. A Microchip Pic Microcontroller was chosen to provide that interface.

The third section dealt with the interfaces of the actual RFID radio and outside world.

Within three short weeks, the electronics design was completed and a Printed Circuit board was generated. Special care was taken during the PCB design to keep the noise low.

After 5 weeks, working prototypes had been built and firmware was undergoing testing and debugging.

Working with other engineers in various locations, this project required a very high level of communication between all locations. Working closely with the project manager, our firm was successful in meeting all of the objectives.

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