Long distance wireless power pioneer joins UHF RFID alliance

June 03, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Powercast has joined the RAIN RFID Alliance to use UHF signals to power devices at a range of up to 24m
Long-range, power-over-distance wireless charging technology company Powercast has joined the RAIN RFID Alliance, a non-profit organization to promote and support UHF RFID technology, to use UHF signals for wireless power up to 24m away from the reader.

Wireless power chip designer Powercast has joined the RAIN RFID Alliance to power RFID systems at long distance.  

The RAIN alliance has 160 members promoting the universal adoption of ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID technology, aiming to emulate the success of the Wi-Fi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG in driving adoption.

Powercast’s Powerharvester RF-to-DC converter chips harvest RF from 10MHz to 6GHz and allow RAIN RFID systems to use power from the RFID readers at a distance as much as 24m. The Powerharvester PCC110 and PCC114 chips can harvest RF from existing UHF RFID readers with conversion efficiency up to 80 percent to power applications over the air. RFID readers emit a similar RF signal to Powercast’s PowerSpot and Powercaster RF wireless power transmitters, enabling RAIN RFID systems to be source of RF wireless power.

A receiver chip embedded in an electronic paper display (EPD) tag such as a retail electronic shelf-edge label (ESL), an environmental sensing or logistics tag, or a secure ID card can harvest RF when it comes within range of a UHF RFID reader. That range is application dependent; most can function up to 9m from a reader, while some can work up to 24m away. RFID tag or label devices can be designed with batteries that Powercast either recharges or manages, or without batteries because the embedded Powerharvester chip can harvest enough power from UHF RFID readers to operate perpetually.

Several applications developed with partner E Ink and deployed over the last two years enable companies to use RFID infrastructure to wirelessly update E Ink’s ePaper screen over the air, as well as UHF sensors. These include ViewTag’s electronic bag tag and the Retail Price Tag, a batteryless display which harvests RF from retail RFID readers to send over-the-air price updates to its ePaper screen.

“We are delighted to join the RAIN RFID Alliance and look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast. “RAIN provides an

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