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This paper presents a fully integrated single-chip UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) reader transceiver for short distance handheld applications. The transceiver integrates an OOK modulator and a power amplifier in transmitter chain, an IQ direct-down converter, two operational amplifiers, and two comparators in the receiver chain. A PLL frequency synthesizer is also integrated on the same chip to provide the local oscillating signals for the transceiver. The measured output P1dB power of the transmitter is 16.4 dBm and the measured receiver sensitivity is -60 dBm. The on-chip integer-N synthesizer achieves a frequency resolution of 200 kHz with a phase noise of -92.78 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz frequency offset and -124.4 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz frequency offset. The reader consumes a total power of 231.2 mW when the output power is 16.4 dBm. The proposed reader can communicate with commercial tags in a distance of more than 50 cm without any off-chip power amplifier. The chip has a die area of 4.5 mm*1.3 mm including pads.