NXP releases NTAG 12C, a passive solution for NFC

NXP Semiconductors today announced NTAG 12 C, a complete passive solution for near field communication (NFC) interaction for a wide variety of applications such as home appliances, consumer electronics, wearable technology and home automation.

By combining a contactless NFC interface with a contact I²C interface and onboard non-volatile memory, the NTAG I²C solution enables new kinds of NFC tag interactions, including advanced device pairing, personalization of electronic devices, and device maintenance. While existing NTAG solutions can only interact with NFC-enabled devices, the new NTAG I²C memory can be accessed via the existing embedded microcontroller of any electronic device.

“Using NTAG I²C, appliance manufacturers and wearable device makers can offer feature-rich options to consumers, allowing them to use their existing NFC-enabled mobile phones as a remote user interface, rather than relying on expensive touchscreens or Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless data exchange on home electronics,” said Rutger Vrijen, vice president and general manager, tagging and infrastructure, NXP Semiconductors.

“It will now become possible to use the highly intuitive UI on your smartphone to program a washing machine, exchange data with an exercise bike or wristband, and download specific cooking recipes to your microwave oven,” added Vrijen.

“There are an increasing number of smart home, health and appliance applications in development based on LPC microcontrollers and NTAG I²C tags. The ease of use of these designs is enhanced significantly by the NFC-enabled smart interface,” said Ross Bannatyne, general manager, mass market microcontrollers, NXP Semiconductors.

Optimized for very low-power operation, the passive NTAG I²C solution is capable of energy harvesting from the mobile device to power external circuitry such as low power microcontrollers. It also includes a field-detect function for automatic power-up, so that the mobile device’s battery is not drained during standby while waiting for a NFC phone.

The new NTAG I²C features a specific pass-through mode, which allows the device to serve as an easy to integrate communication pipe for unlimited bi-directional data exchange between the feature-rich NFC device, which may have a connection to the cloud and an advanced user-interface/display, and the electronic devices.

The new device is also fully supported by the recently released MIFARE SDK. Designed to provide access to all hardware features on Java level, the MIFARE SDK streamlines the development of Android apps to interact with NTAG devices. The SDK allows Android app developers to concentrate efforts on designing creative apps for a wide range of new applications that support the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technology.

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