As demonstrated by NXP’s support of NFC in Android and Windows 8, NFC radios in mobile devices such as phones or tablets will open up new possibilities for the same devices to connect the physical with the virtual world. The ability to convert static data such as a URL into digital bits stored in an NFC tag will allow the mobile device to quickly retrieve the data and make it not only more useful to the consumer, but also to the merchant who can secure better analytics of the data through higher redemption rates. Existing contactless solutions such as NXP MIFARE™ smart cards have proven the convenience of a simple tap, paving the way for consumer acceptance of new NFC applications.
“Together with our customers, we analyzed market demand as well as new use cases, to enhance our portfolio of NFC tag ICs. The result is the NTAG203, an NFC tag IC that can enhance the performance of existing tags, or enable the design of smaller tags without compromising performance,” said Chris Feige, general manager, tags and labels product line, Identification business, NXP Semiconductors.
“The new product family of NFC tag ICs complements NXP’s RFID product portfolio,” comments Michael Liard, research director, AutoID & Smart Cards at ABI Research. “It will enable NXP’s customers and partners to develop NFC tag solutions and capitalize on expected NFC market growth.”
The focus of the NTAG family is to facilitate easy reuse of existing inlays and tag designs already in production to ensure quick and cost-effective deployment, while minimizing the number of product types customers need to stock. The enhancement leverages existing MIFARE-based tags shipped in the highest volumes worldwide. A specific focus was to optimize the NTAG RF performance to tune for either longer read range with existing antenna designs, or facilitate smaller tags with read range equivalent to existing solutions. Now tags as small as 12 mm in diameter can be used with respectable performance from an NFC-enabled mobile device. The results of initial RF tests show a 20-25% increase in performance compared to equivalent sized tags, which in turn allows the mobile device to read the tag with more ease.
The NTAG203 is launched as an NFC Forum Type 2 Tag, with 144 bytes of memory, and optimized RF performance. The NTAG2 family is available now in sample quantities through selected NXP partners including Avery Dennison, Identive NFC, Mikron, Smartrac, and UPM RFID. There are multiple standard-sized tags, as well as the ability to have custom versions created. On request, NXP’s partners can also facilitate the printing and programming of the tags for customers and end users.
NFC is a market-proven technology co-invented by NXP in 2002. In 2004,NXP co-founded the NFC Forumto lead the collaboration with all industry stakeholders and help standardize the technology. NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. Ranked as the No. 1contactless IC vendor by ABI Research for three years in a row, NXP is the global leader in NFC solutions, field proven in over 150 NFC trials and landmark commercial deployments worldwide. With over 4.5 billion RFID-based chips sold to date, NXP is also the world leader in the design and manufacturing of ICs used in smart labels, tags and the corresponding reader components. NXP has beenintheRFID business since 1988 and has developed the most comprehensive IC portfolio (UCODE, NFC, ICODE and HITAG) covering all relevant RFID frequency bands.