STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) recently announced a fully integrated secure System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for the NFC (Near Field Communication) market. Implemented in the company’s 0.13-micron embedded non-volatile memory EEPROM technology, the new device, called the ST21NFCA, integrates all the necessary hardware and software for a complete NFC system, including support for all the NFC proximity and vicinity standards. Available in QFN32 packages, engineering samples will be available this quarter to lead customers and volume ramp-up is planned for Q4 2008. Pricing for the ST21NFCA is $3 per package in quantities of 1000.
Developed to be used in mobile devices, or within the PC environment, the ST21NFCA is a flexible fully integrated system-on-chip IC that offers a complete hardware capability for contactless communication at 13.56MHz, and is suitable to be designed into RF reader systems, as well as RF Tag or contactless smart cards. The device also integrates the necessary Host Controller Interface (HCI) functions, in addition to interfaces for both the I2Cbus and SPIbus, and is compliant with the ETSI specification for Single Wire Protocol (SWP), which describes the connection between a mobile phone’s UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card) and the NFC controller.
Based on the technology and the architectures already implemented in ST’s advanced SIM card range, the ST21NFCA includes the company’s advanced ST21 smart card microcontroller along with 36 Kbytes of EEPROM, 112 Kbytes of User ROM and 4 Kbytes of RAM. In addition, the chip includes an integrated RF analog front end (AFE) and embedded firmware that supports the existing contactless standards for proximity and vicinity. Additionally, the chip’s fully integrated firmware provides fast and easy design and implementation for leading mobile phone and portable consumer equipment manufacturers.
NFC is a fast emerging short-range wireless connectivity standard that significantly simplifies the interaction of consumer devices in a range of applications. The technology can be implemented in various devices, such as in a mobile phone, to enable secure electronic payments. While use in mobile phones is expected to be the primary driver for the deployment of the technology, other uses can include ‘contactless’ banking, transport ticketing and ‘smart poster’ applications.
More info: STMicroelectronics