Recent Advancements in RFID/NFC/WLAN Antenna Designs and its Applications

Prof. Chow-Yen-Desmond Sim
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan


This presentation will introduce several new design trends and applications for RFID tags and NFC antennas. The recent advancements in the design of RFID tags for conductive (metal) surface will be highlighted with examples working in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) bands, and a variety of design solutions for increasing the circular polarization (CP) bandwidth and improving the reading range of a UHF RFID tag with CP radiation will be demonstrated with experimental results. In recent years, severe problems and impacts have been encountered by the mobile device industry owing to the use of metal-cover on smartphone, especially when the NFC application is now a prerequisite requirement. To allow the integration of NFC antenna into a metal-cover smartphone, this presentation will introduce a few practical examples that highlight the recent design methodologies for improving the reading range, as well as mitigating the eddy current effects induced on the metal-cover by the NFC coil. Lastly, this presentation will also feature several practical small-size WLAN antennas that can be built into the laptop and notebook with full metal-casing.

Prof. Chow-Yen-Desmond Sim received his Ph.D from the Radio System Group, Engineering Department, at University of Leicester, United Kingdom, in July 2003. He is now a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan. He is the Executive Officer of Master’s Program, College of Information and Electrical Engineering (Industrial R&D), Director of Intelligent IoT Industrial PhD Program, and Director of Antennas and Microwave Circuits Innovation Research Center of Feng Chia University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (FIET), Senior Member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, and a Life-Member of Institute of Antenna Engineers of Taiwan (IAET). He has been awarded as the Top Ten Outstanding Reviewers of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society for four years consecutively (between 2014 and 2017). He has served as the IEEE AP-S Taipei Chapter Chair (2016/01-2017/12), and he is the founding Chair of IEEE Council of RFID Taipei Chapter (since 2017/10). He is now serving as the Associate Editor of IEEE Access, IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, and International Journal of RF and Microwave Computer-Aided Engineering. His current research interests include small antenna, 5G antenna for mobile devices, VHF/UHF troposphere propagation, RFID/NFC antennas and applications, and wireless communications. Since 2016/10, he has been serving as the technical consultant of SAG (Securitag Assembly Group), which is one of the largest RFID tag manufacturers in Taiwan.



Micro-Antennas for Ubiquitous IOT Devices

Prof. Terry Ye
Dept. of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE)
Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), China


Internet-of-Things (IOT) is regarded as the next paradigm shift in technology after the Internet. Many IOT devices, such as RFID and wearable electronics, had already prevailed in people’s daily life. Future IOT devices are promised to be built into everyday objects, where “things” are connected in a ubiquitous network.

Different from traditional wireless transceiver devices, IOT devices pose many new technical challenges in its antenna designs. In this presentation, we will use RFID systems as examples to analyze the unique challenges for antenna designs from IOT deployment. First, RFID devices have to be attached, or embedded inside the host objects where the properties of the host materials will detune the RF performance significantly. Second, RFID antennas are not standalone in the air, in most cases they have to be packed tightly in close range (like a stack of books or a pallet of boxes), coupling and shielding between hundreds of closely packed IOT devices will certainly degrade each other’s transmission, special RF enhancement techniques have to be explored. Third, as the RFID tag becomes part of the object it attaches to, new materials are explored to build RFID antennas, such as fabrics or conductive inks, it not only reduces the cost of RFID overhead, the antennas can also be decomposed during recycling process to reduce the environmental hazard.

Although these challenges are coming from RFID deployment, the problems are universal to all IOT micro-antenna designs. Designers cannot only rely on the traditional antenna design techniques, they need to have a comprehensive consideration of different factors, including EM radiation, chip bonding, ambient conditions and materials and cost overhead, etc.

As cost and performance trade-off is the crucial factor in IOT adoption, the presentation will particularly focus on the balancing between cost-reduction, performance optimization as well as technical feasibility of mass-deployment of the ubiquitous IOT systems.

Dr. Terry Ye is the Professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), and by courtesy, an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also elected as the Member of the China’s National “Thousand-Talents-Plan”(国家千人计划). Dr. Ye is active in both academic research as well as industrial development and applications in many engineering areas that include IC Designs, VLSI, Internet-of-Things (IOT) Wireless Sensor Devices and Neuromorphic Computing ICs.

Dr. Ye received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003 and Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University (Beijing) in 1993. Prior to SUSTech, Dr. Ye had been the Professor of CMU-SYSU Joint Institute of Engineering since 2014, as well as the Director of Research and Technology Development of Hong Kong R&D Center for Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) since the center’s inception in 2007, He also serves as the research fellow at the University of Hong Kong. the Chief Scientist of IOT Lab of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Member of the Expert Committee of Shen Zhen Science and Technology Bureau as well as Member of the Consultant Committee of Microsystem Institute, China Academy of Science.



Smart Services and Their Implementation Using Compact UHF RFID Reader

Prof. Kam-Weng Tam
Faculty of Science and Technology
University of Macau


RFID has been invented for decades and it has a wide scope of applications, such as electronic payment, asset management and retail sales, transportation and logistics, and so forth. Driven by latest UHF RFID technologies, lots of smart services are developed in the past few years, namely unmanned supermarket, unmanned library, electronic toll collection (ETC) etc. Nevertheless, RFID still has a tremendous potential in the topics of Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart city. In this talk, we will focus on the handheld RFID reader from typical RFID system and present the recent advance of antenna for low profile handheld RFID reader design. The proposed antenna can radiate its main beam in parallel with its plane meanwhile maintaining a planar configuration, which is advantageous for low profile RFID handheld reader as a welcoming tool for emerging smart services.

Prof Kam-Weng Tam is a Professor and the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) with the Faculty of Science and Technology of University of Macau. From 2000 to 2001, he was the Director of the INESC, Macau, developing different informatics system including smart postal box for Macau Post. In 2001, he co-founded the microelectronic design house Chipidea Microelectrónica, Macau, where he was the General Manager until 2003. His current research interests include multifunctional microwave circuits, radiofrequency identification, and ultra-wideband for material analysis. Dr. Tam was a member of the Organizing Committees of 21 international and local conferences including the Co-Chair of the APMC2008, the Technical Program, the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Workshop Series on Art of Miniaturizing RF and Microwave Passive Components in 2008, and the ISAP2010. He was the Interim Secretary for the establishment of the Macau Section in 2003. He supervised two IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Undergraduate Scholarship recipients in 2002 and 2003. He was a Founder of the IEEE Macau AP/MTT Joint Chapter in 2010 and the Chair in 2011–2012. Prof. Tam is also vice-president (conference) of IEEE Council on RFID and associate editor of IEEE Journal of Radio Frequency Identification. Prof. Tam is also a Chartered Engineer (CEng). In addition, he was the recipient of Young Scholar Award of University of Macau in 2001 and third class prize of Technological Invention Award of Macao Science and Technology Awards in 2012. Recently, he also was the recipient of Champion of “IEEE Mega-challenge 2017: Smart Cities” competition.