Coming on the heels of my wondering what happened to near-field communication(NFC: Still not ready), NXP turns around and responds by unveiling what it claims is the first industry standard near-field communication (NFC) controller. The controller, dubbed the PN544, lets handset manufacturers and operators introduce next-generation NFC devices and services. The device is based on the latest NFC specifications by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI). It will enable mobile phone users to access a new range of contactless applications such as mobile payments, transport, and event ticketing as well as data sharing directly from the mobile phone SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) for improved on-the-go experience.
The PN544 is fully compliant with all released NFC specifications on the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) connection with the SIM and the Host Controller Interface (HCI). In addition, NXP worked with SIM card makers to ensure SWP interface interoperability including support of the MIFARE technology. The controller is fully backwards compatible and interoperable with existing contactless infrastructure for payments and ticketing, already in place across the world.
To meet the needs of the differing handset makers, the PN544 has been designed to support the three main architectures used to secure NFC transactions, including the Secure Element within the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC), within the SD card and within the mobile handset (embedded Secure Element: PN544 plus Smart MX security chip in a pin to pin compliant solution).
The PN544 is now sampling. Mass availability is targeted for the third quarter. More information is available at www.nxp.com.