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NFC Tag Lifespan

An NFC tag is a physical object that is used in a physical environment and therefore has a limited lifespan. This lifespan is heavily influenced by the environment the NFC tag is in and how it is physically used. The NFC chip inside the NFC tag also technically has a lifespan, although it’s practically irrelevant. The only real way to determine the lifespan of an NFC tag is real-world testing in the expected physical environment.

Environmental Factors

The environment the NFC tag is placed in significantly affects the lifespan of the NFC tag. All environments have factors that can affect the NFC tag. These factors should be understood when deciding which type of NFC tag to purchase.

  • Moisture (direct exposure, low-humidity, high-humidity…)
  • Temperature (heat, cold…)
  • Abrasion
  • Chemical exposure (solvents, acids, cleaning agents, oils…)
  • UV light exposure (sun, fluorescent lights…)
  • Physical interaction (collisions, bending…)

Read/Write Cycles

An NFC chip has a stated quantity of read/write cycles it can endure. Typically, the threshold is about 100,000. Given the large number, it is effectively unlimited and irrelevant.  Each subsequent read or write operation does not have an effect on the chip’s performance. NFC chips do not “wear out”.

Updated on October 25, 2019

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