A number of organizations have set standards for RFID, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ASTM International, the DASH7 Alliance and EPCglobal.
We will focus on the standard developed by EPCglobal as this applies to the use of passive RFID. The current standard is known as EPC GEN2, short for EPCglobal UHF Class 1 Generation 2.
While there are many aspects to this standard, at the heart is a standard format for the encoding, storage and administration of information. This standard has been adopted universally by governments and industry alike.
Large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, require their vendors to pre-tag all shipments using RFID complying with this standard, as does The United States Department of Defense.
Accordingly, RFID tag and device manufacturers are highly motivated to align with the standard. It is advisable to only deal with vendors who comply with the standard in order to avoid the risks associated with purchasing and deploying a proprietary system.