What Differences Among ID/IC/CPU/RFID/NFC Cards/Modules?


ID Card:

ID card often works on 125 kHz frequency and is made of PVC or ABS. The common ID access card is the EM Card, using EM4100 and TK4100 chips. The reading distance is 2cm to 15cm. In the ordinary access control system, there is no doubt that the EM card is the most practical kind of access card. It features a long reading distance, a high market share, and relatively mature technical practice.

IC Card:

The common IC card in the field of access control is a non-contact IC card (radio frequency card, working at 13.56M frequency). The chips are all sealed in the card base without exposed parts. Information is exchanged through the induction of radio waves or electromagnetic fields. It is usually used for access control, Bus fare, subway fare, and other occasions that need to be “flashed by”. For example, mobile phone sim cards, access control cards, employee cards, and membership cards are all IC cards.

The non-contact radio frequency IC card is also called MF1 card, the full name is mifare one card. Because the MIFARE ONE PHILIPS IC S50 produced by Philips in the Netherlands has become a similar industry standard, it is often called MF1 original card in the market, and the card compatible with the MF1S50 chip is called MF1 compatible card. Cards produced by Shanghai Fudan’s FM11RF08 chip, as well as cards produced with compatible S50 chips from Shanghai Huahong Company, Shanghai Belling Company, Hangzhou Silan Micro, German Siemens (now renamed Infineon), US ISSI Company, etc..

CPU Card:

If it is not emphasized, the CPU card is also an advanced version of the IC card of 13.56MHz. The CPU card has the function of information processing. If the wireless is not emphasized, the SIM card in the phone card is a typical CPU card.

The hardware structure of the CPU card: consists of three parts: CPU, memory, and storage. 

Security: The CPU card contains random number generators, hardware encryption algorithms, etc., and cooperates with the OS system on the chip to achieve a financial-level security level to prevent duplicate cards, imitation cards, and illegal modification of data on the card. Compared with ordinary IC cards, the security is much higher than that of ordinary IC cards. Usually, the CPU card contains a random number generator, hardware DES, 3DES encryption algorithms, etc., and the operating system is the on-chip COS, also known as SoC.

Application: finance, insurance, traffic police, government industry and other fields, micropayment industry

NFC Card:

Near-field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that enables the communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm (11⁄2 in) or less, typically an NFC tag and a smartphone or tablet.

NFC offers a low-speed connection through a simple setup that can be used to bootstrap more capable wireless connections. Like other “proximity card” technologies, NFC is based on inductive coupling between two so-called antennas present on NFC-enabled devices—for example, a smartphone and a printer—communicating in one or both directions, using a frequency of 13.56 MHz in the globally available unlicensed radio frequency ISM band using the ISO/IEC 18000-3 air interface standard at data rates ranging from 106 to 424 kbit/s.

RFID Card:

It is a wireless, contactless data transfer technology that uses tags or cards to store data, that do not need to be powered.
RFID works by placing a physical tag on an object, such as a truck. This tag uses radio waves to send data to a remote reader. The data could include location details, delivery time, and more.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver, and a transmitter — a tag, a reader, and an antenna. When triggered by an electromagnetic interrogation pulse from a nearby RFID reader device, the tag transmits digital data, usually an identifying inventory number, back to the reader. This number can be used to track inventory goods.

Passive tags are powered by energy from the RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. Active tags are powered by a battery and thus can be read at a greater range from the RFID reader, up to hundreds of meters.

Unlike a barcode, the tag does not need to be within the line of sight of the reader, so it may be embedded in the tracked object. RFID is one method of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC).

RFID tags are used in many industries. For example, an RFID tag attached to an automobile during production can be used to track its progress through the assembly line, RFID-tagged pharmaceuticals can be tracked through warehouses, and implanting RFID microchips in livestock and pets enables positive identification of animals. Tags can also be used in shops to expedite checkout and prevent theft by customers and employees.

Comparison Form:

IDThe full name of the ID card is the identification card, which is a non-writable induction card with a fixed number, no algorithm, and no data can be written. Its ID is written once at the factory, and the application personnel can only read the card number, then make use of it. In addition to the card number, the card does not have any confidentiality functions, and its “card number” is public and exposed. Therefore, the ID card is an “inductive magnetic card”.125KHzRead-onlyGenerally <150mmMainly used in access control systems and enterprise badges.

Security: The ID is not stored, and the cardholder’s authority and functional operation must be completely dependent on the network system.

Cost: Cheap cards and readers, high system wiring costs, O&M costs
ICIC card (Integrated Circuit Card) is a general term for smart cards. IC cards have a memory that can be read and written. Common IC cards are also called memory cards and logic encryption cards. The reading and writing of IC card data are all corresponding password authentication, the data can be partitioned, and different areas are used for different functions and can be protected by different passwords. The recorded content of the IC card can be repeatedly erased and written, and it is divided into contact and non-contact IC cards.Low-frequency card: 30kHz ~ 300kHz

High-frequency card: 300MHz~300GHz
Read and WrittenLow-frequency cards generally <150mmThere are two types of RF IC cards – Type A and Type B. The main difference lies in the carrier modulation depth and the encoding method of binary numbers. The second-generation ID card belongs to the type B card.

Network dependence: IC card has a recorded card number, user information, authority, consumption balance, and other information, which can be separated from the network system.

Security: The encryption and repeated reading and writing characteristics of IC, its security is far greater than the ID card.

Application: Mainly used in subway fares, campus cards, and access cards.

Cost: IC cards are expensive, but the system is relatively cheap, reliable, safe, and convenient.
CPUCPU card: also known as a smart card, the integrated circuit in the card has a microprocessor CPU, a storage unit (including random access memory RAM, program memory ROM (FLASH), user data memory EEPROM), and chip operating system COS. If it is not emphasized, the CPU card is also a kind of IC card. It is an advanced version of the IC card. The CPU card has the function of information processing. If the wireless is not emphasized, the SIM card in the phone card is a typical CPU card.Read and WrittenCPU card: also known as a smart card, the integrated circuit in the card has a microprocessor CPU, a storage unit (including random access memory RAM, program memory ROM (FLASH), user data memory EEPROM), and chip operating system COS. If it is not emphasized, the CPU card is also a kind of IC card. It is an advanced version of the IC card. The CPU card has the function of information processing. If the wireless is not emphasized, the SIM card in the phone card is a typical CPU card.
RFIDRadio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a kind of automatic identification technology. It conducts non-contact two-way data communication through radio frequency to read the recording medium (electronic tag or radio frequency card). It is considered to be one of the most promising information technologies in the 21st century to achieve the purpose of identifying objects and data exchange. A complete RFID system consists of three parts: a reader and an electronic tag, also known as a transponder, and an application software system. Its working principle is that the Reader emits radio wave energy of a specific frequency to drive the circuit to send out the internal data. At this time, the Reader will receive the interpretation data in sequence and send it to the application program for corresponding processing.Passive RFID mainly works in the lower frequency band 125KHz, 13.56MKHz, etc.;

Active RFID mainly works in higher frequency bands such as 900MHz, 2.45GHz, and 5.8GHz
Read OnlyGenerally<100mLogistics: Logistics and warehousing are one of the most potential application areas of RFID. International logistics giants such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx are actively experimenting with RFID technology, with a view to applying it on a large scale to improve their logistics capabilities in the future. Applicable processes include cargo tracking in the logistics process, automatic information collection, warehouse management applications, port applications, postal parcels, express delivery, transportation, identification, anti-counterfeiting, asset management, video, information statistics, review applications, and security control.
NFCNear Field Communication (NFC) is an emerging technology. Devices using NFC technology (such as mobile phones) can exchange data when they are close to each other. ) and the integration of interconnection technology, by integrating the functions of a contactless card reader, contactless card, and peer-to-peer communication on a single chip.13.56MHzBidirectional read

One-way Write
Generally<100mmPayment application: NFC payment mainly refers to the application of virtual mobile phones with NFC functions in bank cards, all-in-one cards, etc.

Security application: The application of NFC security is mainly to virtualize mobile phones into access control cards, electronic tickets, etc.

Tag application: The application of the NFC tag is to write some information into an NFC tag, and the user can get the relevant information immediately by swiping the NFC tag with the NFC mobile phone.

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