by on July 19, 2022

After more than 20 years of hard development, UHF RFID technology has become one of the core technologies of the Internet of things, with an annual shipment of 20billion. In this process, China has gradually become a major producer of UHF RFID card/tag products. With the strong support of the state for the development of the Internet of things, the industrial application and the whole ecosystem have developed very rapidly.

The development of wireless technology is not only related to the technology itself, but also to the promotion of the whole market and industry. Due to the lack of support from the ecological chain, countless excellent technologies and products failed to form a joint force and finally withdrew. However, in the past 20 years, UHF RFID technology has become an indispensable part of the Internet of things. Analyze the whole UHF RFID industry chain, including the upstream and downstream ecological conditions of the whole industry chain, cost analysis, core enterprises, and analyze the main application fields. The UHF RFID industry market will be analyzed, including industry shipments and development trends.

Analysis of UHF RFID industry chain

UHF RFID technology is a typical Internet of things technology, so it has the characteristics of application fragmentation. Enterprises in the whole industrial chain also build their own products and core competitiveness around the final application. Therefore, some enterprises in the whole industrial chain are 100% engaged in UHF RFID products and projects, while some enterprises only have a small part of their business related to UHF RFID. When analyzing the UHF RFID industry chain, we should not only analyze the industry chain driven by upstream and downstream enterprises, but also analyze the industry chain driven by industry applications.

Upstream and downstream analysis of UHF RFID industry chain

With the rapid development of China's economy, China has gradually become the main producer of UHF card/tag products since 2010, followed by the gradual shift of the UHF RFID industry chain to the Chinese market. Coupled with the state's support for the development of the Internet of things, a large number of UHF RFID R & D and manufacturing enterprises have taken root in China, and at the same time, they have given birth to the development of industrial applications and the whole ecosystem, thus establishing a complete industrial chain ecosystem.

1. Industrial chain classification

We divide the whole industrial chain into three parts: upstream, midstream and downstream:

Upstream of the industrial chain: label chip companies, label antenna companies and packaging equipment companies form the label part of the upstream of the industrial chain; Reader chip companies and electronic component companies form the reader part of the upstream of the industrial chain.

Midstream of the industrial chain: midstream enterprises use the products provided by upstream enterprises of the industrial chain to develop the final hardware that can be used directly and provide it to the market. Special label company provides special labels realized by SIP packaging of label chip; The label production company provides dry inlay produced by the label chip and label antenna through the packaging equipment at one time. It can also use the packaging equipment to further process dry inlay into wet inlay, white label and finished product label; Reader companies develop reader modules and fixed readers by using special reader chips or other solutions; Handset manufacturers develop handheld readers by combining reader modules with reader antennas; Reader antenna manufacturers provide a variety of reader antennas to match industry applications.

Downstream of the industrial chain: solutions companies integrate products in the middle of the industrial chain, cooperate with software to form solutions, which are provided by integrators to end users for implementation.

Although it seems from the figure that enterprises in the industrial chain perform their respective duties, in fact, many enterprises have carried out "cross-border" integration. For example, a large number of enterprises in the midstream of the industrial chain participate in the solution and integrate downward. Some enterprises in the upstream of the industrial chain will also penetrate into the midstream or downstream of the industrial chain to realize the integration of the whole industrial chain. The main reason is that whoever masters the downstream of the industrial chain can decide the type selection of products, thus affecting the enterprises in the upstream and midstream of the industrial chain. There are also cases of downstream to midstream and upstream expansion in the industrial chain, mainly because it is convenient to control management and reduce costs. For example, logistics companies set up their own handset departments, power companies set up their own chip design departments, etc.

In terms of technical difficulty, chip companies in the upper reaches of the industrial chain have the greatest technical difficulty, followed by reader module development. Special tags and customized reader antennas also need a certain amount of technical strength, and the solution requires system experience and software development ability. The production and manufacturing of ordinary tags in the whole industrial chain has relatively low requirements for technology.

Card/tag products and reader products in UHF RFID (860-960mhz card) market are two completely different industrial chains. Ordinary label products have low cost, high degree of standardization, and pay attention to production links. The reader and writer products are characterized by high technical threshold, high degree of customization and focus on solutions.

Posted in: Business, Technology
Topics: uhf rfid
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