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Multi-standard readers address RFID migration

Posted: 26 Mar 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:access regulation  RFID  NFC  transponders  SPI 

One of the security measures that every company takes most seriously is access regulation. Large organisations that have to secure sprawling premises and large buildings are currently working with access solutions that come with RFID as standard.

However, there are a number of reasons to question existing identification solutions: Security concerns over ageing RFID standards, the use of chip cards for expanded functions and the question of whether NFC should be used or not.

But how is it possible for access control solutions to migrate data efficiently in large companies that have a vast number of reader points and hundreds or even thousands of transponder cards? Solution providers can score points in this department if they show flexibility when it comes to the transponders that they use and when installing reading devices.

It is no longer advisable to use just any RFID standards for security-critical solutions. Experts have warned against 125kHz transponders particularly, as they are insecure. They also recommend replacing older generations of RFID.

There are also scenarios where it would still be a good idea to replace them, even though modern standards are being implemented: One such scenario is the standardisation of isolated applications for physical access control, identification and permissions management. Another migration scenario would be, for example, when systems for access control, time management and payment are to be merged onto a card with cryptography tokens for IT authentication.

Access control system providers should be prepared for these kinds of scenarios. In the case of smaller companies, it might be practical to suggest a cut-off date by which the client should exchange all of the cards. However, if there are hundreds or thousands of cards, it would not be possible to avoid using both old and new systems simultaneously. Elatec RFID Systems are touted to be in a position to tackle this particular challenge faced by system manufacturers head on: Multi-standard readers give manufacturers huge flexibility in terms of RFID standards.

But where's the problem?
The vast number of old and current RFID standards give rise to a huge amount of different possible combinations. It is not possible to have access control terminals in place for every combination of both old and new standards. Manufacturers either have to deal with a huge number of exchangeable chips of the same size or will need to obtain a reader that is geared up for all eventualities. In the past, most of the chips that Elatec offered were the same size, but the company has increasingly come to rely on a slimmer and cost-effective multi-frequency/multi-standard reader in the shape of the TWN4.

Provide flexibility
The TWN4 multi-frequency/multi-standard reader from Elatec exhibits a range of special features, which make it particularly attractive to system manufacturers, since it allows the development of future-proof and extremely versatile reading devices. The TWN4 combines practically all previous and current standards, including NFC, on one PCB, making it well-equipped for almost all imaginable applications and migration projects.

The TWN4 connects 125kHz, 134.2kHz and 13.56MHz technologies and is available in two versions, the TWN4 Mifare NFC and the TWN4 Legic NFC. The MIFARE DESfire transponder-platform module family was the focus of particular attention during the development stage as it is currently being used in a wide range of security applications. To this end, Elatec provides a comprehensive API that makes it much easier for developers to implement DESfire communication.

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