STMicroelectronics has unveiled its second-generation Near Field Communications (NFC) controller. ST says the new IC, in combination with its wide Secure Element portfolio, will speed up the arrival of a new world of secure contactless apps and services accessible through next-generation smartphones.
Near Field Communication allows smartphones and other mobile appliances to connect wirelessly over a wide range of contactless cards and devices. Mobile payment is acknowledged as a major near-term application for the technology; transactions made using NFC will exceed $30 billion globally in 2012, according to Juniper Research. With support for reader/writer, peer-to-peer and card-emulation modes, NFC can be used to deliver many additional innovative services and personalized marketing messages through customers’ smartphones.
ST’s new NFC controller IC, the ST21NFCA, supports all NFC use cases, and is able to coordinate multiple NFC secure apps stored in several secure locations, such as the SWP-SIM and SWP-microSD Card or Embedded Secure Element. The corresponding NFC software stack, running on the terminal host, supports all Google Android versions, including the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and will also be available for forthcoming Microsoft® Windows 8 OS. The controller is perfectly compatible with the wide choice of ST Secure Elements.
“Our complete and diversified NFC portfolio now gives us the unique ability to provide a technical answer to all possible NFC business models,” said Laurent Degauque, Embedded Security Business Line Manager, Secure Microcontrollers Division, STMicroelectronics. “This will maximize freedom for customers to integrate their chosen selection of applications into a smartphone or any mobile device, and thereby deliver innovative contactless services quickly and easily for end users.”
ST’s Secure Element product range is based on the Secure ARM® SC300 32-bit core, and offers a wide choice of Embedded Flash sizes, ranging from 512Kbytes to 1.2Mbytes; it meets all the latest EMVCo and Common Criteria EAL5+ security certifications. Such performance satisfies today’s most advanced Java Card 3.0.1 and Global Platform GP2.2 Secure Operating Systems, which enable shared access to a Secure Element by various service providers.
These Secure Element ICs can be used in all possible form factors, covering SWP-SIM, SWP-MicroSD, Embedded Secure Element, and an advanced System in Package solution that stacks the Secure Element together with the NFC controller.
The entire STMicroelectronics Secure Element portfolio comes with optional support for MIFARE ClassicTM and MIFARE DESFireTM technologies which allows customers to comply safely with the most popular transportation and ticketing scheme worldwide.
The ST21NFCA controller, in combination with the ST33 product family, covers the full range of NFC use cases and requirements for handset manufacturers and Mobile Network Operators, minimizing development effort, reducing time to market and ensuring its ability to meet the future demands of an ever-evolving NFC market.
All products mentioned are currently in mass production. The ST21NFCA is available in package options including 4.5 x 4.5mm BGA64 or 5 x 5mm QFN32. The custom System-in-Package with embedded Secure Element is available to special order.
Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
February 24, 2012