What Is ISO 18000?
An Introduction to the ISO 18000 Standards Family
What is ISO 18000? It is a family of standards set by the International Standards Organization or ISO.
The ISO 18000 standards family applies to RFID air interfaces for item identification, such as inventorying items within a store by sending out an RF signal and counting the number of returned IDs. ISO standard 18000 is a joint standard the International Electrotechnical Commission or IEC.
The ISO 18000 standards were developed to ensure interoperability between RFID systems. ISO 18000 is formally called "Information Technology AIDC Techniques; RFID for Item Management; Air Interface". ISO 18000-1 or ISO 18000 part 1 gives the general parameters of the frequencies to be used in RFID. This standard gives the parameters for any RFID system and applies to all other ISO/IEC 18000 standards, such as the system architecture it could use.
ISO Std 18000-2
ISO 18000-2 or ISO 18000 part 2 covers RFID systems running at frequencies below 135 kilohertz. ISO 18000-2 defines the operating frequency, required channel occupancy, data coding, bit rate and spurious emissions protocol to be used with RFID systems.
ISO 18000-2 describes the communication protocols to be used by the interrogator, the device that sends out the signal to which RFID tags respond. RFID 18000-2 outlines the method used to communicate with one RFID tag when there are others around it, a concept called anti-collision. This type of system is considered to be operating in the low frequency bands and called LF RFID tags.
ISO 18000-2 specifies two different types of RFID tags, Type A and Type B. Type A is called FDX and is powered by the interrogator all of the time. Type B is called HDX and is powered by the interrogator except when the tag is transmitting information to the tag. These two types of RFID tags use the same communication protocols and anti-collision methods. The only difference between them is the physical layer they each use.
ISO Std 18000-3
ISO 18000-3 or ISO 18000 part 3 covers systems running at a frequency of 13.56 megahertz. It also describes an anti-collision method to be used at 13.56 MHz RFID tags running at 13.56 megahertz are called high frequency RFID tags or HF RFID systems.
ISO Std 18000-4
ISO 18000-4 or ISO 18000 part 4 applies to systems running at 2.45 gigahertz. ISO 18000-4 outlines the acceptable channel bandwidth, duty cycle, frequency hop rate and chip rate.
This standard covers both passive tags that only respond when the interrogator sends a broadcast and active tags that are battery operating and originate communications with the interrogator. Systems running at 2.4 gigahertz are called microwave readers.
ISO Std 18000-5
ISO 18000-5 or ISO 18000 part 5 originally applied to systems running at 5.8 gigahertz. The ISO 18000-5 standard was withdrawn due to lack of use.
ISO Std 18000-6
ISO 18000-6 or ISO 18000 part 6 applies to systems running between 860 and 960 megahertz. ISO 18000-6 compliant systems run at any frequency between 860 and 960 MHz This standard includes two different modes using a common return link. Both of these modes rely on the RFID reader communicating first.
Type A relies on pulse interval encoding in the forward link. Type B relies on a Manchester in the forward link and binary-tree based collision resolution. They also use different collision arbitration methods. ISO 18000-6A is more commonly used in Europe. ISO 18000-6B is used in the United States by Intellitag. ISO 18000-6B tags are further broken down into Class 0 and Class 1 tags. ISO 18000-6C uses FMO/Miller reverse-link data encoding. All of these systems are considered ultra-high frequency or UHF RFID tags.
Electronic Product Classification or EPC originally classified tags in a system of tiers. This original standard is called Generation 1 or Gen-1. EPC generation 2 added data encryption to RFID tags and faster read speeds. EPC Gen-2 was incorporated into an amendment of ISO 18000-6.
ISO Std 18000-7
ISO 18000-7 or ISO 18000 part 7 applies to systems running at 433 Megahertz. This standard includes specifications for the frequency, bit rate and operating channels. It also outlines a communication protocol used at 433 MHz.
Related RFID Standards
ISO 19762 gives the general definitions of terms used for automatic identification and data capture used in the ISO 18000 standards family. ISO 10536 is used for contact-less integrated circuit cards.
ISO standard 14443 applies to proximity cards; these are contactless cards that work at distances up to ten centimeters or roughly five inches, such as fast-pass payment systems.
ISO std 15693 sets the standard for the unique identification of RF tags. ISO standard 18047 describes how RFID devices are tested for conformance with ISO standards.