LONDON – Inside Secure SA, a fabless supplier of near field communications (NFC) chips, has signed a technology transfer agreement to provide Intel Corp. with NFC designs and technologies.
The agreement has a five-year term and gives Intel access to Inside's software, firmware and core hardware technology for development of future Intel products. In addition, Inside will provide Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group with access to scalable NFC solutions based on Inside's MicroRead, SecuRead and Open NFC products.
Intel recently upgraded its membership of the NFC Forum to take on a seat on its board of directors and now has the right to integrate Inside's technology within its SoCs.
Remy de Tonnac, CEO of Inside (Aix-en-Provence, France), said his company would make money out of the deal by way of licensing payments, royalties and development contracts with Intel but declined to say how much the deal might be worth to Inside. "It's no secret that it [NFC technology] will go into PCs and other mobile products such as smartphones and tablets."
While Intel will have the right to develop and integrate Inside's technology into its SoCs the deal is non-exclusive, allowing Inside to cut a similar deal with another company, and Inside will also continue to sell stand-alone NFC chips, de Tonnac said. "The industry has debated how and when NFC integration should happen, but both patterns will co-exist for some time."
"We are building a partnership with Intel," said de Tonnac.
You might think so but Inside Technologies SA was founded in 1995 as I remember, by escapees from Motorola and Gemplus who were leading the smartcard explosion as a result of its use in SIMs for mobile phones.
Inside subsequently went after the contactless smartcard market and changed its name to Inside Contactless, and this got them into NFC.
They are now emphasizing their security credentials and so the company name is Inside Secure...but they are a 16 year old private company waiting to IPO
Inside must be a very young company since NFC is very recent. Is interesting to see new companies can have success in very short time if they point their efforts to the right technologies.
Intel needs to be in touch with NFC experts in order to fast forward its products to be NFC capable.
The pun in the title was too easy.
As to laptop, notebook use cases, I am not sure.
But imagine NFC becomes pervasive on smartphones and tablets.
There may then come an expectation that you can transfer product details or informaton to your computer by holding the item close to the machine. In other words most equipment needs to be NFC capable just in case and to allow unforeseen business models.
What use will Intel inside laptop or desktop computers make of NFC? Typically these devices are turned off / hibernating when they are moving around. If used while traveling (train, plane), the near field (train, plane) is stationary relative to the computer even if the computer and vehicle are both moving with respect to the distant outside world. It seems that NFC credit cards, iPads, and SmartPhones are the devices where NFC can shine for payments because they are turned on as their owner walks through local shops.
[P.S. I love the pun in the article title.]
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