RFID Module - SM130 MIFARE® (13.56 MHz)

The SMB130 is a 28 pin DIP module that includes all necessary components for a 13.56 MHz RFID MIFARE®, aside from a PCB antenna.

The module communicates over UART or I2C with simple protocols. It also has 2 general purpose inputs and 2 general purpose outputs for switches, relays, etc.

Check below for MIFARE® RFID tags.

Note: You will need an antenna or evaluation board for this module to work. Check the related product below.

  • UART interface up to 115200bps
  • I2C interface up to 400 KHz
  • Complete read/write module excluding antenna
  • 5V supply
  • 2 general purpose outputs
  • 2 general purpose inputs


RFID Module - SM130 MIFARE® (13.56 MHz) Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • -------------------- Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues --------------------

    Range Tests

    The SM130 does not seem to have that much of a range with the associated RFID Evalulation shield's trace antenna [ [https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10406(https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10406) ]. Here’s a demo [ https://youtu.be/FLjV5BT9slg?t=4m38s ] with one tag being read at a time. Depending on the RFID tag used, the read range is usually 1 inch or less.

    Other External Antennas

    Looking online, it appears that there are other antennas from the manufacturer that you can explore for options instead of using our RFID Evalulation Shield's trace antenna => [ https://shop.sonmicro.com/Mifare/PcbAntennas ].

    Protocol Standards?

    The Mifare classic 13.56MHz RFID tags listed in our catalog [ https://www.sparkfun.com/search/results?term=MIFARE+Classic%C2%AE+1K+%2813.56+MHz%29 ] use the ISO/IEC14443 Type A standard protocol. As stated in the datasheet, this is compatible with Mifare Classic 1K, Mifare Classic 4K, Mifare Ultralight RFID tags. Theoretically, the 13.56MHz RFID reader should work if the RFID tags purchased outside of our storefront use the same protocol. There were a few comments below that indicated that it works well with NFC compatible-enabled devices.


    The datasheet for the SM130 [ https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensors/ID/SM130.pdf ] provides information about anti-collision. I have not tested the SM130 but the SM130 can read multiple tags with the anti-collision feature. With some clever programming, you could read multiple tags with the SM130. Looking online, there was a customer that provided a demo with the SM130 and shield. They were able to read 5x RFID tags simultaneously => [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTI08vvN_I8 ]. They had to turn on/off the antenna to detect whether a tag has been taken off the reader. We do not have any information in our knowledge base about the maximum number of RFID tags that can be read with the SM130.

    Maximum Number of RFID Tags?

    We have not tested the maximum number of RFID tags with the MiFare SM130. I am not sure what the maximum number of RFID tags that can be read with SM130.

  • Zurgy / about 14 years ago / 4

    I've been using these modules with the Arduino for a while. They're excellent, extremely simple to use. Sample code available here:

    • circuit_breaker716 / about 13 years ago * / 1

      Thanks for posting the link to this. For newbies out there like me, buy the Sparkfun evaluation shield.

  • Trevor Johns / about 12 years ago / 3

    I left a longer comment on the page for the eval shield (DEV-10406), but I'll leave a few key notes here:

    • The SM130 will read MiFare cards. This means that it's compatible with NFC-enabled Android phones, such as the Galaxy Nexus!

    • The RFIDuino library is compatible with Arduino 1.0, whereas the example code provided for the eval board is not. You can grab the RFIDuino library here: https://github.com/marcboon/RFIDuino

    Overall, this was very easy to get working. One evening and I had a functional RFID reader!

  • Member #19868 / about 12 years ago / 2

    Why to use this chip (SM130) ? Look at PN532 (from NXP) - while SM130 can work only with Mifare Classic, PN532 can read (and write) almost anything that operates on 13.56 MHz. UART, I2C, SPI ... Just Google it, there are even breakout boards and Arduino shields, complete with antenna on the PCB, true plug and play. It is a pity Sparkfun did not create a breakout board for this amazing chip.

  • Member #334027 / about 12 years ago / 2

    Hi guys, so I've been having a problem with the UART on the SM130. For some reason I can't get it to communicate with me. All I'm trying to do is send the command to read the firmware version (FF 00 01 81 82 --from datasheet) but no response. I also tried other commands but again, no response. Whenever I reset the module's power I receive this message: FF 00 08 81 55 4D 20 31 2E 33 64 in which the payload data is "UM 1.3d" which I assume is the current firmware version. This makes me think that my UART is connected correctly (at the default 19200 baud). Has anyone else had any issues like this? Thanks!

  • akbsteam / about 12 years ago / 2

    Try as I might, I cannot get this to do anything. I've got the evaluation board, to which I have soldered headers, to connect it to the arduino board. Everything is plugged in and seems to be making good connections. I have tried a number of different code samples (for both

  • Member #218372 / about 13 years ago / 2

    Would this work with a DesFire chip?

  • The RFID shield listed in the related products (DEV-10162) has a PCB antenna built in for everyone who is interested.

  • jaqpepe / about 14 years ago / 2

    Is the external antenna needed? If it is needed, why don't you sell it?

    • phalanx / about 14 years ago / 3

      As per the product description, you need an antenna. Why isn't one available on Sparkfun? Perhaps because this module is supposed to be integrated into your own design which would include your own PCB antenna. Perhaps SONMicro didn't want to sell their PCB antennas through SparkFun. Either way, it isn't hard to make your own or buy one through SONMicro.

      • Andrew17 / about 14 years ago / 2

        SonMicro has a $69 minimum purchase. Which is annoying for a $3 antenna. Anyone found somewhere to get the antenna from?

        • Hey Everyone, I'm sorry for this issue. I will look into why we don't have antennas for this product. It makes a lot of sense that we would carry it as well. However at this time, it looks like we don't have one. I'll get to the bottom of this, and hopefully be carrying those sooner than later.
          Technical Support

          • ChrisCrewdson / about 14 years ago / 1

            I'd really like to start working with one of these, but PCB antenna design seems a bit daunting. I don't normally etch my own PCBs. Is there somewhere I can get a compatible antenna?

            • TechChimp / about 13 years ago / 1

              I have a few of the antennas laying around...I had to make a large purchase to fall into the minimum purchase range. I have the smallest and the largest sizes.
              techchimp at gmail

          • Gerg9014 / about 14 years ago / 1

            Has there been any progress on stocking an antenna? Thanks

    • Here is the antenna board, sorry for the delay. It's also in the related items now.

  • frustin / about 9 years ago / 1

    Is there anyway this could be used in a car door persay, so when i walk up to it with my phone in my pocket it unlocks the door. Like the newer cars.

    Only this is a 2003 Bonneville Any way to make it so it recognizes my phone and outputs a signal i can tie to the unlock mechanism

  • Member #615870 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Dear fellows, I want to design my own RFID tag reader. I want the range of at least 10 meters by using arduino board. Any can help me please.

  • What enclosure do you recommend for this product?

  • Member #533062 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Does anybody know if this is compatable with libnfc? The chip doesn't look like a PN53x.

  • Member #427833 / about 11 years ago / 1

    anybody get this working with Raspberry Pi and can share some insights ?

  • scottnla / about 11 years ago / 1

    Anyone familiar with a large (8" - 15" square) 13.56 MHz antenna that can be used with this? I can't find one on digikey or sonmicro's website.

  • Member #400513 / about 11 years ago / 1

    I am trying to use this reader without the evaluation shield. I have gotten the reader to communicate with the arduino but i cant get my antenna to work. I am trying to use an antenna made of coiled wire. The module has 4 pins for the antenna but if my antenna is coiled wire how do i get the antenna to work any help would be appreciated.

    • It's not easy. You need to tune the coil to 13.56MHz using a filter. I'd suggest following the eval board schematic and layout as much as possible. However, if you are using a different coil than what is on the PCB, then the values of the caps will need to be changed. The way I tuned the PCB antenna was that I used adjustable caps. I simply moved the capacitor values around until I got a good read. Then I measured the capacitance off of adjustables and used those values. Also, the module has two pins for the antenna (pins 24 and 26), which connect to each end of the coil, and two ground connections that just need to be connected to the main ground.

  • Member #203482 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Would it be possible to amplify the output and build a larger antenna for greater read range with this module... say 1 meter?

    • Member #38182 / about 11 years ago / 1

      I too need longer operating range, but I only need 4 to 6 inches. The range I am getting now is about 1 inch.

  • stevenblake / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'd like to make an RFID scanner that can sense when someone with a tag walks through a doorway and read an ID off that tag. Is that something that this module can do? If not, anyone have a suggestion for one that would work? Thanks!

  • Member #355581 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'm interested in reading multiple tags in a field (say 6 tagged books) and detect when and which own ha been removed. Is that possibl with the firmware upgrade that was described by IDfun?

  • Vadim Smakhtin / about 12 years ago / 1

    How much of this modules can be connected into one i2c network or how much individual i2c addresses i can set?

    • MikeGrusin / about 12 years ago / 2

      From reading the datasheet, it appears that this device has a single fixed address, therefore normally you could only connect one device to an I2C bus at a time.

      There may be methods to use the reset pin to hold multiple devices in reset except the one you're communicating with, but that may not be useful in an environment where any device might encounter a tag at any time.

      You might also contact the manufacturer with this question; they could possibly provide different firmware versions with different addresses.

      • You can set the I2C address in the utility. You need to connect it via USB using something like an FTDI cable as if you were flashing the firmware. Then you run the reader/writer/config utility and under I2C address you can change it. The default setting is like 99 and most Arduino projects want it to be 42 or 46 or whatever (don't recall).

      • Vadim Smakhtin / about 12 years ago / 1

        Thank you for your help. I'm trying to build a system, that holds 30 RFID readers at one time. Which solution you could recommend?

        • MikeGrusin / about 12 years ago / 1

          If the manufacturer doesn't have any better advice (such as supplying custom firmware with individual I2C addresses), I would personally go with the RFID Shield in the below related products, along with an Arduino Pro for each location. It will increase the price somewhat, but because you'll have full access to the Arduino hardware and firmware, you can use whatever communications medium you wish (serial, I2C, wireless, WiFi, Ethernet, etc.) Good luck!

  • Member #98966 / about 12 years ago * / 1

    Does anyone know how to (or if it's feasible) to attach a coaxial RFID Antenna to this reader? I've made several 13.56MHz antennas (I can post a tutorial if anyone is interested) and would like to hook them up to the reader

    • Member #274464 / about 12 years ago / 1

      If you could post the tutorial, it would be greatly appreciated. Im trying to get my ducks in a row for my project.

    • quickbuxs / about 12 years ago / 1

      could you please post a guide to makeing a 13.56Mhz antenna. I have been looking for one and all seems like i have to spend over 70$ to get one. Thanks. I just need an antenna. I'm using the PN532 and just need an antenna.


      • Member #98966 / about 12 years ago / 1

        Sure thing! I'll have one ready next week if that's okay. I was able to make it for basically nothing, all it takes is some copper tape, some circuitry and a plastic base

  • Manu12 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hello, I used this RFID module with the RFID shield on my Arduino and it works perfectly. Now, I'd like to use it an a custom board which is 3.3V. My first intention is to use logic levell converters, but if I could save this parts, it would be great. Does anybody tried to use this module on 3.3V voltage? Thanks,

    • Manu12 / about 13 years ago / 1

      After some tries, it worked on a 3.3V system. No need logic level converters. Make sure the reset pin of the SM130 is set to 0! Otherwise, the module stay in reset state.

  • Member #271486 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'm creating an rfid door locking system. All i would need for this system to work is this reader, the tag, and the evaluation board, correct? I don't need a microcontroller or anything for this to work right?

    • SeattleAndrew / about 13 years ago / 1

      You may want a microcontroller to interpret the data that comes in from this module. That way you can say "Yes, this is a valid tag" rather than accepting any tag (that would be a big no-no). Also with a microcontroller you could get a stepper motor connected to it and control everything from there.

  • IDfun / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hi everyone,
    I'm wrinting an open online guide to using the SM130 with the arduino shield (also available on sparkfun)
    check it out if you are looking for help with the SM130 or add to the document if you haave anything to share.
    the document can be found here
    Have fun!

    • SeattleAndrew / about 13 years ago / 1

      I'm going to be working on a school project using a similar setup to what your document describes. If you wouldn't mind, could you add an email to the end of the document that I can contact you at if I have questions?

  • TECA / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'd like to know if it's possible to read more than one ID/tag at once. In my project, I will have three/four IDs near the antena, but I don't know if it's a problem. Does someone already tested reading more than one ID near the antena. Is it work? Thanks.

    • IDfun / about 13 years ago * / 1

      Hi TECA,
      I'm also looking for the answer to this question. I know that the MIFARE tags support an anti-collision function, however I do not know whether the SM130 supports that function as well..
      Has any one here successfully scanned multiple objects in the field of detection with the SM130?
      Kind regards,

      EDIT 9-11-2011 I managed to read multiple tags using the SM130 with a different firmware version provided by SonMicro. The method is described in this document

      kind regards,


  • aapris / about 13 years ago / 1

    When this is back in stock? I'd like to try to use Finnish public transport card as an access card.

  • Member #237315 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    where can i buy rfid cards that would work with this?

  • Esmo2000 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Can someone tell me what is the needed inductance for the antenna? I don't see mention of it in the datasheet and I don't know what the internal capacitance of the reader is. I also don't really see mention of the inductance of the antenna on the breakout board either.

  • dhruvil_shah / about 13 years ago * / 1

    Does this module have the anti-collision feature that allows to read from a particular tag amongst many tags that fall within the range? I'd also like to know if the output of the module is TTL compatible.

    • TECA / about 13 years ago / 1

      Hello. I have the same question, about reading some tags in the antennas range, possible just with the anti-collision feature. Did you got an answer?

  • emihackr97 / about 13 years ago / 1

    does this work with the Tag-it Transponder Inlays ?
    can this be used toRead/write or just read?

  • SparkEd / about 13 years ago / 1

    Will this Module allow for multiple tags to be scanned simultaneously? I was looking at the ID-20 RFID Module (125 kHz), but I know that it cannot do multiple tags. The posts on the ID-20 page state that in order to do multiples you would need a HF unit. I'm assuming HF means "high frequency". Is this SM-130 (13.56 MHz) "high frequency" enough? Thanks.

    • IDfun / about 13 years ago * / 1

      I managed to read multiple tags using the SM130 with a different firmware version provided by SonMicro. The method is described in this document.

      kind regards, Josh

    • TECA / about 13 years ago / 1

      Hello SparkEd. I have the same question. Reading th SM130 datasheet, I found it:
      5.4 SEEK FOR TAG
      This command seeks and selects a Tag as soon as the tag presents in the field. On receiving the command, the module executes an Anti-collision and Select command sequences. As soon as the tag enters into the RF field, then module selects the tag and sends the serial number of the tag as response.
      It seems that this anti-collision system allows multiple tags readings. Did you already got the answer? Thanks.

  • Nick Johnson / about 13 years ago / 1

    For those who want to flash the SM130 with I2C firmware, I've written a blog post about how to do so from platforms other than Windows: http://blog.notdot.net/2011/03/Using-the-SM130-RFID-NFC-reader . That post also links to the beginnings of an Arduino library for using the reader.

  • SCleaver / about 13 years ago * / 1

    I finally managed to obtain an antenna off SonMicro, the SM130 it states that it has an I2C interface however it doesn't ship with that firmware installed by default. It only ships with the UART firmware, you apparently have to contact SonMicro to find out how to reflash it, anyone manage to do this?

  • Yugs / about 13 years ago / 1

    Here are the Antenna design documents from NXP's website. I am still trying to build this, will give feedback if I succeed.

    • SCleaver / about 13 years ago / 1

      A good step by step guide to making an antenna for this can be found here:

  • mbonnin / about 13 years ago / 1

    Any idea what range is reasonably reachable using this module and a standard antenna ? 4cm ? 15cm ? more ?

  • davr / about 13 years ago / 1

    If you buy the modules direct from sonmicro, they're only $20 instead of $30, and you can buy the required antenna for $3 as well -- only problem, they have a minimum order of $70, and shipping is another $30.
    If you want a module with an antenna, google "seeeedstudio 13.56Mhz RFID module - IOS/IEC 14443 type a" for a place to buy it. It's the same price as this one, but includes an antenna.

  • OzmotheCat / about 13 years ago / 1

    Recently purchased. Would like to be able to buy the antenna from Sparkfun. This unit cannot be used without one.

    • SCleaver / about 13 years ago / 1

      I second this motion. I'm currently trying to create my own but with no previous "antenna" experience its proving quite troublesome. Even if you provided a simple video as to how to make a simple DIY one (tuned to 13.56MHz) that would be better than nothing!

  • Youradept / about 13 years ago / 1

    We all want antenna!

  • Any update on an antenna for this module?

  • JWRM22 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Storing personal data is a bad idea, MIFARE are pretty easy to hack. With a RFID reader and ubuntu (Linux), and some spare time.<br />
    <br />
    Here you can all read how to "analyse" (hacking sounds illegal) the MIFARE data. In this case the dutch public transport card.<br />
    http://www.ov-chipkaart.org/<br />
    Google translate does a pretty good job...<br />
    <br />
    Maybe, just maybe i took this joke to serious.. What ever...<br />
    <br />

  • Chaotician / about 14 years ago / 1

    will this work with the Mifare 1k tokens?

    • NikitaB / about 14 years ago / 2

      If you look at the data sheet, it says that the Mifare 1k, 4k, and Ultralight are all compatible with this module.

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