Overview of EPC and RFID Technology

The EPC system is a very advanced, comprehensive and complex system, the full name of which is Electronic Product Code. EPC technology aims to build an “Internet of Things” through the Internet platform, using radio frequency identification (RFID), wireless data communication and other technologies to achieve real-time information sharing of global items. EPC aims to establish a global and open identification standard for each single product, and realize the tracking and tracing of a single product on a global scale, so as to effectively improve the supply chain management level and reduce logistics costs.

In 1999, a genius professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed the concept of an EPC open network, which was successfully implemented in the International Barcode Organization (EAN.UCC), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Nestle, British Telecom SUN, PHILIPS, With the support of 83 multinational companies such as IBM, this development plan was started. On November 1, 2003, the International Article Numbering Association (EAN-UCC) officially took over the global promotion and application of EPC and established the Electronic Product Code Global Promotion Center (EPC Global), marking that EPC has officially entered the stage of global promotion and application. At that time, developed countries such as Europe, the United States, and Japan all made every effort to promote the application of electronic tags that conform to EPC technology. China Article Numbering Center (ANCC) is the only authorized representative agency of EPC Global in China.

Overview of EPC and RFID Technology (1)


An EPC Internet of Things architecture should be mainly composed of EPC codes, EPC tags and RFID readers, middleware systems, object name resolution (ONS) servers, and EPC information services to achieve global Internet of Things. EPC codes  have enough coding capacity, from the total population of the world to the total number of rice grains in the world, EPC codes have enough space to identify all these objects. In order to ensure the uniqueness of EPC codes, EPC Global assigns national EPC codes through global coding organizations and establishes corresponding management systems.

The EPC code is composed of version number, product domain name management, product classification part and serial number. At present, the encoding types used in the EPC system mainly include 64-bit, 96-bit and 256-bit. For example, the 96-bit EPC code can be assigned to 268 million companies, each with 16 million product categories and 68 billion individual product codes per category. 96-byte codes will probably be the most versatile, as they meet the data needs and are moderately expensive.

What rules must the EPC follow?

EPC must follow the following principles:

1. Universal, open and neutral.

2. Royalty free in terms of intellectual property rights.

3. RFID tags  and readers with low price and high performance.

4. Keep the RFID label   as simple as possible and keep the ID information in the network.

The EPC code is divided into four parts, consisting of a series of numbers, which can identify the producer, product, definition, and serial number of a specific object. EPC is the only information stored in the RFID tag, which can keep the low cost of the RFID tag, and the unlimited amount of dynamic data can make the tag have greater flexibility. In addition to its ability to identify objects with global standard codes, it can also provide additional information about products through the electronic product code network, such as origin, product history, etc. These data play a key role in the historical tracking of specific products in the supply chain.

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Overview of EPC and RFID Technology (2)

Post time: Mar-31-2023