Slim down your wallet with NFC card emulation mode

Slim down your wallet with NFC card emulation mode

NFC, or Near field communication, has been used widely in daily life due to both substantial benefits in various touch-and-go scenarios and the increasing number of NFC-supported mobile devices in the market. A clear example is that all models of iPhones made by Apple have supported NFC for the last few years.

One important operational mode of NFC is card-emulation. In this mode, the NFC device (e.g., a mobile phone or a wearable device) emulates the contactless cards’ behavior and acts as a card itself.

This mode simplifies the lifestyle of end-users by allowing a single NFC device to operate as a collection of contactless cards. The present application heavily uses card-emulation mode, including mobile payment on behalf of credit/debit cards, transportation tickets, student cards, and access cards.

In addition, this card-emulation mode can operate as a digital car key for modern automotive according to the Car Connectivity Consortium® (CCC) digital car key standard in the near future.

The key component enabling communication between NFC devices and infrastructure equipment is the NFC reader/writer IC. This component works as an analog frontend to handle NFC communication and to support both physical contactless cards and NFC devices with card emulation. As one of the leading companies in NFC technology, Silicon Craft Technology also provides the NFC reader/writer IC that supports various communication standards as shown in the table below.

Since almost 100% of the active mobile devices will integrate the NFC in the coming years, we can envision that the NFC on the mobile phone will be used widely in new applications. For example, in the shared service equipment like EV charger or sharing apartment door lock which the internet connection is limited or only optional. Using NFC in these cases can maintain high-security data exchange and increase the ease of use with just a quick tap.

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