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  2. NTAG213 or NTAG210µ ?

NTAG213 or NTAG210µ ?

29 April 2020   |   Buying Advice

The NFC chip

An NFC tag contains three key components - the NFC chip, the antenna and something to hold it all together. The chip is the tiny black dot highlighted in the image below. It contains both the memory to store your data and the technology that allows the NFC communication. As you might expect, different NFC chips contain different amounts of memory. Additionally, different chips also have different features and technology.

Why most tags use the NTAG213 chip

There are a large number of NFC chips on the market from various manufacturers. However, the Seritag team have supplied tags to tens of thousands of projects and we have the experience to understand what the vast majority of customers really need. Which is why we generally focus on one chip that can work for the vast majority of projects - the full featured NTAG213.

However, for larger custom order projects of 100,000 tags or more, there's also the simpler, more economical NTAG210 or NTAG210µ. This has less memory and few additional features but it can sometimes costs less and importantly the scan distance performance is the same.

Feature comparison

  NTAG213 NTAG210µ
Usable Memory 144 Bytes 48 Bytes
Lockable Data Yes Yes
UID Yes Yes
UID Mirror Yes -
Counter Yes -
Originality Signature Yes Yes
Password Protection Yes -
Data Lifespan 10 Years 10 Years


Usable Memory ▾
The amount of memory that is available for encoding. This will be less than the total memory on the chip because some memory is used for functionality.
Lockable Data ▾
The ability for the tag to be locked so that the data cannot be changed.
UID & UID Mirror ▾
A 14 character (7 Byte) Unique ID is stored in memory during manufacture and cannot be changed. It can be used to identify the tag. UID mirroring is the ability to dynamically copy the UID onto (or into) the URL/web address encoded on the tag. The mirror feature is almost never actually required as mirroring can be done dynamically while encoding anyway.
Counter ▾
An internal counter which stores how many times the tag has been scanned. It is also possible to dynamically attach the count onto (or into) the URL encoded on the tag.
Originality Signature ▾
A bit like a fingerprint, it's an advanced feature which allows the authenticy of the tag to be checked. It's complex to use and requires substantial specialist knowledge.
Password Protection ▾
A relatively simple mechanism to protect the contents of the tag using a short passphrase. Requires the use of an App (not iPhone).
Data Lifespan ▾
All NTAG series chips have a technical 10 year data lifespan. The technology behind the NTAG213 and NTAG210micro is identical.

Which chip to choose

In our experience, a tiny fraction of projects use any of the NFC chip features that set the NTAG213 and NTAG210µ apart. In reality, the choice is therefore more about memory requirements and chip availability. The scan performance of the chips is identical.

To keep things simple, if :

  • you are planning to only store a web link or just use the tag's UID
  • your link will fit on an NTAG210µ (use the memory calculator below)
  • you are ordering a larger quantity of tags in the region of 50,000 or more

then speak to us about using the NTAG210u chip as it might save you some money. 

Memory calculator

To help you assess your possible NFC memory requirements, you can use our NFC tag memory calculator. Simply enter your web link and the calculator will automatically calculate the memory used. We do not store or record any data entered.

Tag management software

If you find that your URL is too long to fit onto your preferred tag, then you might want to consider using our Ixkio NFC tag management software. Ixkio will shorten your links down to fit on either the NTAG210µ or NTAG213 and also provide full flexibility to manage and change destination links. 

Other NFC Chips

We also often stock and sell NFC tags with the ICODE SLIX2, NTAG413 and NTAG424 DNA chips. The ICODE SLIX2 chip is really only of benefit if you need long term (up to 50 year) data storage. The NTAG413 and NTAG424DNA are specialist tags used for product and object authentication.

NFC & QR Code Management
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