NXP chip makes car keys to communicate with smart phones

June 22, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Pioneering the market for 'smart' car keys, NXP Semiconductors has announced the availability of a single-chip solution for multifunction car keys – the NCF2970 (KEyLink Lite). Enhancing the functionality of car keys by supporting Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, NXP's KEyLink Lite enables car manufacturers to offer a new driving experience with keys that connect to external NFC-compliant devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

The launch of KEyLink Lite is timed to take advantage of the growing popularity and availability of NFC. Drivers will be able to simply wave their car key over an NFC-compliant mobile device to access essential and useful car data. Based on NFC standards, and utilizing the 13.56MHz frequency and cryptography such as Hitag-3 or AES-128, KEyLink Lite provides secure storage and enables communication of sensitive data. KEyLink Lite uniquely combines NFC capabilities and NXP's industry-leading Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) and Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) technologies. This allows NFC-compliant mobile devices to edit and view data stored on a car key and opens many new use cases.

New 'Smart' Key Applications:

KEyLink Lite can be deployed in five applications:

·         Car Finder – The car key records the GPS coordinates of your car's last parking position, which can later be read by an NFC-compliant mobile phone, which then uses a service such as Google Maps to download a vicinity map and help you locate the car.

·         Route Planner – You can enter your destination while sitting comfortably in front of a PC at home and transfer the data into the car key via NFC.  Once you are inside the car, your destination will be automatically uploaded to the in-car navigation system:  No more stressful finger-tapping on the car navigator screen.

·         Car Status and Service Data Management – Before stepping out from your home or office, you can find out how much fuel remains in your car for your next journey – by simply waving your car key over your NFC- compliant mobile phone.  And, you no longer need to carry your car service history on paper; the important data is saved on your KEyLink Lite-powered 'smart' car key.

·         Car Self-Diagnosis – Transfer diagnostic data from your car to a PC via the car key, then upload it to a service website and run a diagnostic analysis in