LONDON – NXP Semiconductors NV has struck a licensing deal so that its 13.56-MHz Mifare contactless smart card technology to be integrated into the Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) smart card format of Gemalto NV used in mobile terminals in GSM and UMTS (European 3G) mobile communications networks.
The cooperation is aimed at spurring the use of NFC-enabled mobile devices in the Mifare infrastructure often used in transport ticketing applications, and thereby accelerating deployments of mobile contactless services. Gemalto (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) was formed in June 2006 by the merger of Axalto and Gemplus and had revenues in 2009 of €1.65 billion (about $2.2 billion).
The agreement enables Gemalto to complement its existing NFC application portfolio with Mifare DESFire and MIFARE Plus technology for its UICC security solutions. As a result, mobile operators and service providers will be able to offer a broader range of mobile contactless services. Mifare is the most widespread contactless technology worldwide and is used in public transportation, access management, event ticketing and customer loyalty programs, NXP said.
In addition to this latest license for SIM cards, NXP has licensed Mifare technology to various chip manufacturers, while hundreds of manufacturers supply Mifare reader terminals and smart cards.
"Mifare is already at the heart of contactless infrastructures around the world," said Henri Ardevol, general manager of secure transactions business for NXP, in a statement. "We are proud to collaborate with Gemalto to offer the convenience of this technology to a new target of 5 billion mobile phone users."
"Adding the Mifare capability to Gemalto's NFC application portfolio is key for the mass deployment of mobile contactless," said Remi de Fouchier, senior vice president with Gemalto, in the same statement. "We are enthused that more and more consumers around the world will enjoy the simplicity and convenience of waving their mobile phone for couponing and stored value payment and transport services."
Related links and articles:
NXP sees demand for NFC, lighting ICs
Qualcomm still sees NFC as third-party IC
Gemalto acquires mobile authentication firm