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Published on Feb 15, 2016


Rendering typical RF identification (RFID) tags physically unique and hard to near-exactly replicate by complementing them with unique RF certificates of authenticity (RF-CoAs) can prove a valuable tool against counterfeiting.

This paper introduces a new robust RFID system with enhanced hardware-enabled authentication and anticounterfeiting capabilities that relies on the near-field RF effects between a 5 × 5 antenna array and the uniquely modified substrate of the RF-CoAs.

A microcontroller-enabled, low-power, and low-cost reader is used to accurately extract the near-field response ("RF fingerprint") of the certificates meant to complement typical RFID tags in the 5-6-GHz frequency range.

The RF characterization of all the reader's components, with an emphasis on the accuracy provided, has been performed. The state diagram of the fast and accurate reader operation is outlined. Rigorous performance and security test results are presented and verify the unique features of this technology