LONDON Ė Inside Secure SA, a fabless supplier of near field communications (NFC) chips, has announced a free, open-source NFC protocol stack that it has made available for version 4.0 of the Google Android platform that is otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
The open NFC protocol version 4.3.3 is available for download from the open Near Field Communication (NFC) website (http://www.open-nfc.org).
Version 4.3.3 is compliant with Ice Cream Sandwich release Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for NFC, and provides an Application Program Interface (API) and functionality to implement NFC independently of the underlying NFC hardware. In addition, it supports the latest Android features, which include Android Beam and Wi-Fi direct pairing connection, Inside (Aix-en-Provence, France) said.
NFC is a short-range communications channel that operates at 13.56-MHz at data rates up to about 500-kbit/s. It can support passive tags with preset information that can be powered up by the NFC reader. But it is also expected to become widely used for making financial payments by smartphone. The range of applications include: access control, transportation, healthcare, information collection and exchange, loyalty coupons and payments.
The software requires that a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) be tailored for specific hardware. An open-source HAL for Inside's MicroRead and SecuRead chips is also available for download.
Open NFC has been deployed in millions of smartphones, according to Charles Walton, COO for Inside Secure.
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