LONDON STMicroelectronics will start sampling in the second quarter of the year to lead customers engineering versions of an integrated secure SoC for Near Field Communications applications.
Implemented in the company's 0.13-micron embedded non-volatile memory EEPROM technology, the device, dubbed the ST21NFCA, integrates all the necessary hardware and software for a complete NFC system, including support for all the NFC proximity and vicinity standards.
The SoC offers a complete hardware capability for contactless communication at 13.56MHz, and is suitable to be designed into RF reader systems, as well as RF Tag or contactless smart cards.
The device also integrates the necessary Host Controller Interface (HCI) functions, in addition to interfaces for both the I2Cbus and SPIbus, and is compliant with the ETSI specification for Single Wire Protocol (SWP), which describes the connection between a mobile phone’s UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card) and the NFC controller.
Based on the technology and the architectures already used in its SIM card range, the ST21NFCA includes the company's ST21 smart card microcontroller along with 36 Kbytes of EEPROM, 112 Kbytes of User ROM and 4 Kbytes of RAM.
The chip also incorporates an integrated RF analog front end (AFE) and embedded firmware that supports the existing contactless standards for proximity and vicinity. The associated firmware provides fast and easy design and implementation for leading mobile phone and portable consumer equipment manufacturers.
Available in QFN32 packages, volume ramp-up is planned for Q4 2008. Pricing is $3 per package in quantities of 1000.