Overview of RF Code Technology, Air Protocol and Security Concerns
RF Code employs intelligent sensor technology designed to “broadcast-only” to RF Code Readers. The
Readers are “receive-only” devices. They do not broadcast or “interrogate” their surroundings. RF Code’s
technology has been at times mistakenly described by the misnomer “RFID”. It is not RFID, and does not
ascribe to the ITU’s ISO/IEC 18000-7:2014 specification which defines the air interface and protocol for
RF Code’s intelligent data center technology has been purpose-built for data centers. Like other IoT
technologies, RF Code’s intelligent sensors are battery-operated (CR2032 coin cell), wireless transmitters
operating in the 433MHz band.
Each device consists of an on-off keyed (OOK) radio, microcontroller, battery and sensor. The various
on-board sensors are capable of measuring temperature, humidity, dry contact status, air pressure and
infrared signals. The Readers’ function is to receive broadcast data of short duration, manage collisions,
eliminate redundancies, and report change-only information to the CenterScape software platform. The
Readers do not broadcast or interrogate wirelessly. The wireless system is exceptionally secure.
The operational settings on the Readers are password protected and the data once received is
encrypted. The Reader passes the encrypted data to the CenterScape platform via SSL (Secure Sockets
Layer) - the data received cannot control or impact the behavior or configuration of the Reader. Data
received is only sent to CenterScape and is never broadcast or otherwise sent to arbitrary destinations.
The device is not, and cannot be made to act as, a bridge or wireless access point, or other conduit to
access the wired LAN via the wireless interface. It is physically incapable of wirelessly transmitting any
data from the LAN outward.
RF Code’s asset management technology employs intelligent infrared emitters and sensors to identity
with near 100% accuracy where a server, network appliance or storage unit may be in the data center
using coded infrared locators. The sensors detect an infrared signal affixed to a known location point and
broadcasts that signal to the Reader collector. The network topology is a star network with the Reader
collector acting as a hub and capable of receiving approximately 2,000 sensor data packets from its
surroundings (~30-foot radius). Transmission power is strictly regulated by government - Part 1 of US
FCC Part 15 mandates that a certified wireless device may not cause harmful interference.
RF Code systems do not have any negative affect on IT equipment in a data center. Over three million
RF Code intelligent sensors have been deployed, many directly mounted on IT servers. There has never
been a report of disruptive or harmful RF interference, data loss, or degradation in any storage device.
RF Code has designed a patented time-shifted bit air protocol which decreases transmission power and
provides battery life of greater than five years. Data packet lengths vary from 8 bits in length to 24 bits
in length depending on the data being broadcast. When not broadcasting sensors remain in sleep mode.
Each sensor includes its unique ID number and a short status indication (e.g., infrared code or location,
sensor status and/or low battery condition).