LONDON NXP BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has said that the motivation behind the licensing of its Mifare contactless communication technology to STMicroelectronics NV is to provide multiple sources of the chips for use in SIM cards for mobile phones and in bank cards, which will into drive market acceptance.
"An essential pillar of Mifare is that it allows independent companies to build parts of the infrastructure. We're committed to providing a choice of IC suppliers, embedded cards and so on," said Henri Ardevol, general manager of the automatic fare collection unit at NXP,
Ardevol pointed out that Infineon and Renesas are both licensed to make Mifare chips. "We see a strong demand and multisourcing is essential in the mobile market," Ardevol said. "To ensure it is widely adopted you need multiple vendors."
Ardevol said the decision to license ST had been made because 2010 is set to be a tipping point. "All the mobile phone manufacturers are coming out with models with NFC, so we need to make sure on the infrastructure side that the technology can actually be used."
In the 15 years since the advent of the Mifare contactless technology NXP and its predecessors have shipped one billion ICs of which 800 million have been for ticketing applications."It is accelerating year over year. The NFC-enabled mobile phone will be an additional market and a spur to deployment of contactless infrastructure," said Ardevol.
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