NXP extends NFC ecosystem to the car

October 30, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
NFC (Near Field Communication) is a technology for contactless payment solutions, right? Yes, but the range of potential applications is much larger. Chipmaker NXP is opening up the large field of automotive-based NFC applications - car sharing, Bluetooth and WiFi pairing, or personalisation of gadgets and settings in the vehicle. With a set of NFC products, NXP is laying the corner stone for an NFC-enabled ecosystem.

According to the chipmaker, the NFC market for cars is already experiencing rapid growth. Besides the abovementioned applications, car access and engine start could represent further use cases - the authentication to start the engine or open the car could be implemented by means of an NFC-enabled smartphone in addition to traditional keys. Automotive NFC can connect vehicles and car keys to portable devices and infrastructure, opening up the possibility for further connectivity innovations like payment services or connected displays.

With the move, NXP leverages its experience and market position in both automotive and secure payment markets to enable innovative application that benefit from both worlds. In this sense, the NFC products introduced is intended to be an enabler of such products, said Kurt Sievers, NXP executive vice president and general manager for the company's automotive business.

The centrepiece of the new family is the automotive-qualified NFC controller NCF3340. It supports the NFC Controller Interface (NCI), a specification created by the NFC Forum to provide interoperability with other NFC components, saving development time and effort. The controller, based on an ARM Cortex M0 core, is optimised for high sensitivity and low power consumption and supports all three operating modes provided by the NFC functional description: Read/Write, Peer-to-Peer and Card Emulation. NXP's automotive ecosystem is completed for the time being by NFC tags and register programmable transceivers.

The NCF3340 controller is available for sampling and will be released at the end of 2014.

Further information: http://www.nxp.com/pip/NCF3340AHN.html

Related links and articles:

Smartphone terminal combines wireless charging, antenna and NFC

NFC reader aims at payment, automotive applications

Continental, NXP to integrate NFC into cars

Car sharing as a smartphone app - the key to future urban traffic