NeWave and the Wave Antenna Solutions FAQ

What makes the Wave antenna better than a patch antenna?

The patch antenna was originally designed for medium range communication systems, not for RFID.

  • For example, the Patch is used today as a microwave link with a range of say 3 to 5 miles, not an ideal design for RFID applications.
  • The patch works like a powerful flashlight, illuminating in a conical pattern in one straight ahead direction. RFID must work at much shorter distances, fully illuminating the targeted space or zone for item-level applications.
  • The patch has just one main beam that only covers two of the three fundamental orientations of the RFID tag. A Patch antenna may not see the tag even 4' away because of the tag’s orientation, but see the one at 30' ( an extraneous tag read) which is not desirable for locating an item.
  • Thus, Patch RFID solutions have a reputation of less than optimal tag read rate accuracy, inhibiting the growth of RFID.

The Wave antenna - was specifically and uniquely designed as an RFID item-level antenna.

  • NeWave created the Wave antenna with five radiating beams to provide complete and uniform coverage along the antenna’s entire vertical axis of ether 3ft, 5ft or 7ft, to read all tags within the desired zone regardless of their orientation.
  • The Wave creates five beams that emanate from the full length of the antenna that criss-cross and fill the complete 2x2X2 ft to a 10X10X10 ft zone surrounding the antenna to read a tag in any position and orientation. A Patch solution cannot do this.
  • The Wave design eliminates missed tag reads due to fading or environmental scattering and blockage that causes signal drop-out positions within a region of coverage, much like a cell phone drops a call. Thus the Wave employs maximum beam diversity with its five beams versus one main beam for a Patch.
  • For a fixed application, like a metal retail shelf item-level case, four Wave antennas will completely cover the RFID Zone as well as for portal applications, for any “choke point”.
  • The Wave solution has been proven to read 99+% of the associated tags within the desired Zone while minimizing extraneous tag reads (outside the desired Zone).
  • The Wave antenna is not recommended for RFID applications requiring long-distance tag reading. The maximum effective range is a Zone of 2X2X2 ft to 10X10X10 ft with reader output power between 20 and 30 dBm, which is considered to be an optimal RFID read rate Zone.
  • A head to head study of the Patch and the Wave by a major University stated, “the RF coverage of NeWave is very uniform, the individual read rates of Wave are higher than patches” . As a result, the Wave antenna fully covers the optimal RFID Zone as defined by the user by providing all three polarizations.

See the comparative chart below:

Comparing The Wave and the Patch for RFID Solutions:

Comparing The Wave and the Patch for RFID Solutions

  Wave Patch
In RFID Zone Read Rate 98.3% 94.0%
Extraneous Reads Out of the Zone at 30 Ft 1.7%** 34.0%
Designed for RFID Yes No - Far Field Antenna
Easily Embedded in Many Situations Yes No
Installation Plug & Play Complex***
Minimizes Hardware Yes No
Installation Plug & Play Extensive Adjustment***
Return on Investment (ROI) Consistently Positive Highly Variable

These results were obtained at a reduced reader output power level of 27.5 dBm (32.5 dBm is the maximum), at full power the NeWave antenna read rate is close to 100%. It is possible to nearly disable a patch antenna by placing plastic or paper containers of liquid in front of it.

**The patch antenna, if not blocked by items on the shelves, will read other items at a large distance from the shelving unit.

*** It was necessary to determine the optimum configuration of patch antennas, there are infinite possibilities e.g. installation complexity.

Does NeWave provide any other Services?

Yes. NeWave has proven expertise in designing RF solutions. Our CTO is the former Director of The Ohio State University’s ElectroSciences Laboratory (ESL). The ESL is the world’s largest such lab with nearly 40 PhDs that specialize in creating RF solutions.

Examples of NeWave’s RF innovation are the Wave Antenna, our Smart Solutions that requires no item tagging and our unique Plug and Play portals. NeWave has consistently designed and created solutions that were not previously possible. The majority of these solutions are proprietary and have been patented. Contact us with your problem and see for yourself.

Why does your system utilize UHF versus HF range frequencies?

There is a fundamental term that characterizes the antenna size needed for each frequency. It is known as the wavelength, which is nearly 100' at HF and about 1' at UHF frequencies.

HF Characteristics - An HF radiating system has enormous size. HF systems are based near field coupling, that must be located close to the tags, within 1' or 2', so tags are properly excited. HF systems can work even through water and dense materials and tags can be small.

UHF for RFID - A UHF radiating system can be of smaller antenna size. As a radiating system, it has great range of coverage, approximately 10' to 100'. NeWave’s Wave antennas were uniquely designed to uniformly cover a Zone that ranges from 2X2X2 ft to 10X10X10 ft. This Zone size is optimal for RFID item-level applications since the tag’s location is well defined and it is cost efficient. The Wave antenna can be used on metal shelving systems and cover a complete 8' length, front and back as one such Zone; this cannot be done using HF.