What is happening with RFID technology and what role does it play for companies?

There is a technology such as RFID that is experiencing a special moment due to the development of the pandemic, the crisis in logistics and the lack of supply of chips in the world. Although we do not realize it at the consumer level, smart labels mean a lot for companies, whether in a store in their inventory or in logistics for parcel traceability.

What is RFID technology?

RFID comes from the English ( Radio Frequency Identification ) and is a system that incorporates the labels or cards associated with a target where the information of this is transmitted.

One of the advantages of RFID is its flexibility, since it can be attached to very small targets. Fast information reading, this technology is wireless and is used in a wide variety of businesses, from personal identification, contactless card transactions, to the tracking of merchandise, from retail clothing to manufacturing parts, etc. .

What has happened to these systems from 2020 until now?

Now, this industry has suffered ups and downs since the outbreak of the pandemic until now. According to experts, in this period the sector has proven to be resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. According to IDTechEx market research report “RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2022-2032 ”, the coronavirus has affected the entire RFID business in 2020, especially those that require physical labor on site. However, the market picks up nicely from 2021.


For the UHF RFID business in retail apparel and footwear labeling – the largest UHF RFID market by tag volume as well as market value – the market rebounded from the second half of and 2020 continues to grow with strength ever since. Several major UHF RFID tag providers told IDTechEx that they expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future, as more and more companies will need to improve the accuracy of their inventory and business processes.

Success in the textile sector catapults the momentum of RFID

UHF RFID in the retail clothing and footwear tagging business has proven very successful, and major players are looking to extend this success to other business sectors. Retail, beyond clothing and footwear, food (for example, the quick service restaurant business), and supply chain and logistics are the three sectors most frequently mentioned by companies interviewed by IDTechEx . The organization expects the retail sector in the UHF market to continue to grow and dominate, with the clothing and footwear retail sector being the most dominant growth driver. Other sectors, such as supply chain and logistics, are expected to expand in the coming years.

For the HF/NFC business, contactless payment remains the dominant sector and will continue to do so in the medium-long term. In the long term, the largest market in the HF/NFC sector identified by IDTechEx is for NFC applications beyond payments using flexible integrated circuits.


Today, although the HF/NFC industry beyond payments is expanding, most applications in this industry remain relatively low-volume deployments in many projects, such as Bluetooth pairing, gaming, billboards informative, etc. Smart packaging is believed to be the application with the greatest volume opportunity in this sector. However, the high cost of rigid ICs and the lack of unique business cases are the two bottlenecks hindering strong growth.

New technologies, such as flexible integrated circuits, can help lower the price in the long run. IDTechEx continues to monitor the R&D development and scale-up opportunities of the company (PragmatIC) that is developing this technology (full company profile is included in IDTechEx RFID Market Research Report).

The challenge of the shortage of chips in the world

Despite the RFID industry returning to growth from 2021, IDTechEx forecasts that the global chip shortage challenge will persist into 2022 and possibly 2023. Initially, the chip shortage crisis had little effect on the RFID industry. Many companies had stockpiled in anticipation of this crisis, which has helped larger RFID companies meet consumer demands. However, as of the fourth quarter of 2021, what companies have experienced in some cases is that supply may be insufficient, and have had to adjust their prices to reflect this.


IDTechEx has studied the RFID market for almost 20 years. Our latest version of the RFID market research report, “RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2022-2032”, provides a comprehensive overview encompassing Passive RFID (for UHF, HF and LF frequencies), Assisted Passive RFID battery, active RFID and chipless RFID technologies, players and markets.

This report presents an unbiased analysis of the raw data collected through our interviews with key players across the value chain (many of whom supply us with data under confidentiality agreements that allow us to aggregate the data into a total) , as well as secondary data from all available sources, and is based on our experience in the RFID industry. This report offers broad forecasts and depth that no other source can match.