Inside Secure has released an innovative near field
communication (NFC) tag that creates virtually limitless possibilities
for interactions between NFC mobile devices like smartphones and a broad range of medical, communications, entertainment and other electronic devices.
In addition to a conventional NFC contactless interface, the new Inside dual-interface
NFC Forum Type 4 Tag also provides a unique one-wire interface that
allows the tag to provide a low-cost wireless communications bridge
between two devices, opening the door to an array of exciting new NFC applications.
With the new tags, for example, a single tap of an NFC phone to a Bluetooth wireless headset containing one of these tags can initiate the pairing operation. The tag detects the
NFC field on the contactless interface and sends a pulse over the
one-wire interface to the controller inside the headset to start the
pairing process. This same kind of field sensing could be used to
quickly and automatically establish Wi-Fi connectivity for the first
time between an NFC device, such as a tablet and a new wireless access point, or to start transferring data, through the tag, between the NFC and host devices.
The dual-interface NFC
Type 4 Tag is offered in two memory configurations. The VaultIC 151D
offers a 1.5-Kbyte file system size, while the VaultIC 161D has a
16-Kbyte file system size, the largest in the industry. Each tag
integrates a standard contactless interface with full ISO14443 Type B
protocol support for communicating with NFC devices and an INSIDE Secure
proprietary one-wire interface for connection to a host processor
(using just one GPIO). Accessing the data contained within the file
systems from either interface is performed using the standard NFC Forum command set.
The large 16-Kbyte storage capability of an embedded VaultIC 161D NFC tag makes it ideal for use in home medical monitoring
devices, where it is able to store a day's worth of medical data from
the device’s host processor through the one-wire interface. At the end
of the day, a simple tap on the device with an NFC smartphone can transfer all of the information stored in the tag through the NFC interface into the phone, which can then transmit it to the medical center.
These VaultIC dual-interface tags are actually high-security modules designed to be used as NFC
tags. They feature several hardware security protection/detection
mechanisms to prevent tampering and a variety of external attacks,
including dedicated hardware for protection against SPA/DPA/SEMA/DEMA
attacks, advanced protection against physical attacks, environmental
protection systems and secure memory management/access protection. In
addition to standard NFC Forum Type 4 Tag operations, the dual-interface
VaultIC tags can also authenticate the NDEF content stored in the tags,
which can be digitally signed using on-chip asymmetric cryptography.
Visit Inside Secure at www.insidesecure.com
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.