Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and other similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bring them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. Established in 2004, the NFC Forum (STMicroelectronics is a sponsor member) promotes the use of NFC short-range wireless interaction in consumer electronics, mobile devices, and PCs to increase a range of benefits for the end-user. Benefits include easy connections, quick transactions, simple data sharing, versatility across the broadest range of industries, compatibility with existing technologies and standards, and security in transmission.
A remarkably diverse and ever-expanding universe of NFC use cases is being explored and brought to market all around the world. Today, both research organizations and commercial enterprises are putting NFC to work in widely diverse areas.
NFC complements many popular consumer level wireless technologies by utilizing the key elements in existing standards for contactless card technology (ISO/IEC 14443 A&B and JIS-X 6319-4). NFC can be compatible with existing contactless card infrastructure and enables a consumer to utilize one device across different systems.
Extending the ability of the contactless card technology, NFC also enables devices to share information at a distance less than 4 centimeters with a maximum communication speed of 424kbps. Users can share business cards, make transactions, access information from smart posters or provide credentials for access control systems with a simple touch.
NFC’s bidirectional communication ability is ideal for establishing connections with other technologies by the simplicity of touch. For example if the user wants to connect their mobile device to their stereo to play media, they can simply touch the device to the stereo’s NFC touch point and the devices will negotiate the best wireless technology to use.
STMicroelectronics' innovative family of Near Field Communication (NFC) Solutions Dual Interface EEPROMs provides new features and capabilities. The EEPROM memory bank can be accessed either by a low-power I²C interface or by an ISO 15693 RF interface operating at 13.56 MHz. It also features an energy harvesting and an RF status function. In addition, the family features a 32-bit password protection mechanism.
The STMicroelectronics M24LR-DISCOVERY Kit is an easy-access development platform for the innovative contactless memories (M24LR64-R) with unique energy-harvesting capabilities. The M24LR Discovery Kit contains everything engineers need to start designing battery-free electronic applications that can exchange data with ISO15693-compatible NFC-enabled smartphones or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) reader-writers. The turn-key development platform helps accelerate the creation and integration of energy-autonomous data collection, asset tracking or diagnostics capabilities in a wide variety of applications, including phone and tablet accessories, computer peripherals, electronic shelf labels, home appliances, industrial automation, sensing and monitoring systems, and personal healthcare products. The M24LR Discovery Kit consists of two boards: an RF transceiver board with a 13.56MHz multi-protocol RFID/NFC transceiver (CR95HF) driven by an STM32 32-bit microcontroller, which powers and communicates wirelessly with a battery-less board that includes ST’s dual-interface EEPROM memory IC (M24LR), an ultra-low-power 8-bit microcontroller (STM8L) and a temperature sensor (STTS75).
STMicroelectronics innovative Dynamic NFC Tags will help provide simple NFC connectivity to your application to bring new features and capabilities to your product. The M24LRxE family is an RF EEPROM memory bank which can be accessed either by a low-power I²C interface or a ISO 15693 RF interface operating at 13.56 MHz. The M24LRxE also offers a unique energy harvesting feature, which harvests the energy from the RF field and provides it to an unregulated Vout, to allow for designs which are power autonomous. The M24LRxE series also has an RF status function to help arbitrate i2c/ISO15693 memory access and security features for the RF and i2c interfaces by offering a single 32-bit password on the i2c interface and three 32-bit passwords on the RF interface. These M24LRxE devices are able to transmit information to the heart of the application with an NFC smartphone or an RFID reader/writer.
The energy harvesting function of these STMicroelectronics M24LRx Dual Access Protocol RF EEPROMs allows surplus energy from an RF signal to be used by the application, so further reducing power requirements.
M24LRxE Dynamic NFC/RFID Tabs enable users to NFC pair Bluetooth or WiFi devices, change the application parameters, store calibration data, store traceability information, program MAC addresses, update the application code, or even remotely activate electronic devices or equipment. They are thus a good fit for a wide range of applications, including:
Dynamic NFC/RFID Tags
STMicroelectronics M24SR Dynamic NFC/RFID Tag ICs are dynamic NFC/RFID tag ICs with a dual interface. These devices include embedded EEPROM memory in 2K, 4K, 16K and 64K versions. They can be operated from an I2C interface or by a 13.56MHz RFID reader or an NFC phone. The I2C interface uses a two-wire serial interface, consisting of a bidirectional data line and a clock line. They behave as a slave in the I2C protocol. The RF protocol is compatible with ISO/IEC 14443 Type A and NFC Forum Type 4 Tag.
STMicroelectronics STM32L EnergyLite™ 32-bit microcontrollers combine unique STMicroelectronics low-leakage 130nm process technology and optimized power-saving architecture to deliver industry-leading energy-saving performance. STM32L ARM Cortex-M3 based MCUs are part of the STMicroelectronics EnergyLite platform of ultra low-power products enabling designers to optimize performance, function, and battery life and meet efficiency-related criteria such as eco-design targets. STM32L MCUs consume only 0.27µA in lowest power mode and 230 µA/MHz in dynamic run mode. The STM32L151 and STM32L152 differ in that the STM32L152 features an LCD controller. These STMicroelectronics STM32L ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs feature 128Kbytes of Flash memory.