The biochip technology
was originally developed in 1983 for monitoring fisheries, its use
now includes, over 300 zoos, over 80 government agencies in at least
20 countries, pets (everything from lizards to dogs), electronic
"branding" of horses, monitoring lab animals, fisheries, endangered
wildlife, automobiles, garment tracking, and hazardous waste.
To date, over 7 million animals have been "chipped". The major
biochip companies are A.V.I.D. (American Veterinary Identification
Devices), Trovan Identification Systems, and Destron-Fearing
What is a microchip implant?
The current, in use,
microchip implant system is actually a fairly simple device.
Todayís, biochip implant is basically a small (micro) computer chip,
inserted under the skin, for identification purposes. The biochip
implant system consists of two components; a transponder and a
reader or scanner. The transponder is the actual biochip implant.
The biochip system is a radio frequency identification (RFID)
system, using low-frequency radio signals to communicate between the
biochip and reader. The reading range or activation range, between
reader and biochip is small, normally between 2 and 12 inches.
Note, we are only examining the implanted "biochips", there are
many other RFID microchip systems available (such as RFID tags).
The transponder: The transponder is the actual biochip
implant. It is a passive transponder, meaning it contains no
battery or energy of it's own. In comparison, an active
transponder would provide itís own energy source, normally a small
battery. Because the passive biochip contains no battery, or
nothing to wear out, it has a very long life, up to 99 years, and no
maintenance. Being passive, it's inactive until the reader
activates it by sending it a low-power electrical charge. The reader
"reads" or "scans" the implanted biochip and receives back data (in
this case an identification number) from the biochip. The
communication between biochip and reader is via low-frequency radio
The biochip-transponder consists of four parts; computer
microchip, antenna coil, capacitor and the glass capsule.
THE ACTUAL SIZE
Computer Microchip: The microchip stores a unique
identification number from 10 to 15 digits long. The storage
capacity of the current microchips is limited, capable of storing
only a single ID number. AVID (American Veterinary Identification
Devices), says that their chips, using a nnn-nnn-nnn format, has the
capability of over 70 trillion unique numbers. The unique ID number
is "etched" or encoded via a laser onto the surface of the microchip
before assembly. Once the number is encoded it is impossible to
alter. The microchip also contains the electronic circuitry
necessary to transmit the ID number to the "reader".
Antenna Coil: This is normally a simple, coil of copper wire
around a ferrite or iron core. This tiny, primitive, radio antenna
"receives and sends" signals from the reader or scanner.
Tuning Capacitor: The capacitor stores the small electrical
charge (less than 1/1000 of a watt) sent by the reader or scanner,
which activates the transponder. This "activation" allows the
transponder to send back the ID number encoded in the computer chip.
Because "radio waves" are utilized to communicate between the
transponder and reader, the capacitor is "tuned" to the same
frequency as the reader.
Glass Capsule: The glass capsule "houses" the microchip,
antenna coil and capacitor. It is a small capsule, the smallest
measuring 11 mm in length and 2 mm in diameter, about the size of an
uncooked grain of rice. The capsule is made of biocompatible
material such as soda lime glass. After assembly, the capsule is
hermetically (air-tight) sealed, so no bodily fluids can touch the
electronics inside. Because the glass is very smooth and susceptible
to movement, a material such as a polypropylene polymer sheath is
attached to one end of the capsule. This sheath provides a
compatible surface which the bodily tissue fibers bond or
interconnect, resulting in a permanent placement of the biochip.
The biochip is inserted into the subject with a hypodermic
syringe. Injection is safe and simple, comparable to common
vaccines. Anesthesia is not required nor recommended. In dogs and
cats, the biochip is usually injected behind the neck between the
shoulder blades. Trovan, Ltd., markets an implant, featuring a
patented "zip quill", which you simply press in, no syringe is
needed. According to AVID "Once implanted, the identity tag is
virtually impossible to retrieve. The number can never be
|THE READER or
Notice the ID number
in the LCD display.
The reader: The reader consists of an "exciter" coil which
creates an electromagnetic field that, via radio signals, provides
the necessary energy (less than 1/1000 of a watt) to "excite" or
"activate" the implanted biochip. The reader also carries a
receiving coil that receives the transmitted code or ID number sent
back from the "activated" implanted biochip. This all takes place
very fast, in milliseconds. The reader also contains the software
and components to decode the received code and display the result in
an LCD display. The reader can include a RS-232 port to attach a
How it works
The reader generates a low-power, electromagnetic field, in this
case via radio signals, which "activates" the implanted biochip.
This "activation" enables the biochip to send the ID code back to
the reader via radio signals. The reader amplifies the received
code, converts it to digital format, decodes and displays the ID
number on the reader's LCD display. The reader must normally be
between 2 and 12 inches near the biochip to communicate. The reader
and biochip can communicate through most materials, except metal.
Common Misconception About Biochip implants:
With a biochip they can track you or your petís location,
anywhere in the world.
FALSE. The current biochip and reader has a maximum range
of 12 inches. Petís are located by shelters, vets, etc. finding a
lost pet and reading itís biochip. The technology does not exist to
globally locate something as small as a biochip.
Information provided by Ervin Sanchez