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NXP delivers NTAG I2C solution for home appliances

18 Sep 2014

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NXP Semiconductors N.V. unveiled a complete passive solution for near field communication (NFC) interaction for a wide variety of applications such as home appliances, consumer electronics, wearable technology, and home automation.

By combining a contactless NFC interface with a contact I2C interface and onboard non-volatile memory, the NTAG I2C solution enables new kinds of NFC tag interactions, including advanced device pairing, personalisation of electronic devices, and device maintenance. While existing NTAG solutions can only interact with NFC-enabled devices, the new NTAG I2C memory can be accessed via the existing embedded microcontroller of any electronic device.

"The NTAG I2C is the most complete solution for passive NFC interactions, taking NFC beyond its traditional ecosystem and allowing an exciting new range of applications. Using NTAG I2C, appliance manufacturers and wearable device makers can offer feature-rich options to consumers, allowing them to use their existing NFC-enabled mobile phones as a remote user interface, rather than relying on expensive touchscreens or Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless data exchange on home electronics," said Rutger Vrijen, vice president and general manager, tagging and infrastructure business line, NXP Semiconductors.

"It will now become possible to use the highly intuitive UI on your smartphone to program a washing machine, exchange data with an exercise bike or wristband, and download specific cooking recipes to your microwave oven," he added.

Optimised for very low-power operation, the passive NTAG I2C solution is capable of energy harvesting from the mobile device to power external circuitry such as low power microcontrollers. It also includes a field-detect function for automatic power-up, so that the mobile device's battery is not drained during standby while waiting for a NFC phone.

As the first fully ISO 14443A / NFC Forum Compliant Type 2 Tag chip with I2C interface and energy harvesting with on board EEPROM, the NTAG I2C solution ensures compatibility with all NFC-enabled devices and allows data to be saved even if the power supply is lost. These features combined make the NTAG I2C particularly well suited for the configuration, calibration, or customisation of wearable devices.

 NTAG I<sup>2</sup>C

The NTAG I2C product features a configurable Field Detection Pin, which provides a trigger to an external device depending on the activities at the RF interface.

The new NTAG I2C features a specific pass-through mode, which allows the device to serve as an easy to integrate communication pipe for unlimited bi-directional data exchange between the feature-rich NFC device, which may have a connection to the cloud and an advanced user-interface/display, and the electronic devices. The new device is also fully supported by the recently released MIFARE SDK (Software Development Kit). Designed to provide access to all hardware features on Java level, the MIFARE SDK streamlines the development of Android apps to interact with NTAG devices. The SDK allows Android app developers to concentrate efforts on designing creative apps for a wide range of new applications that support the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technology.

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