buy metformin online

Chip Makers: Tens of Millions of NFC Phones Expected in 2011

Major NFC chip makers predict 40 million to 50 million NFC phones or more will be on the market by the end of 2011, along with a smaller number of NFC bridge devices.

In interviews carried out by NFC Times, representatives of NXP Semiconductors and Inside Contactless say they have seen enough orders or indications of future orders from phone makers to confidently forecast the end of the drought of NFC devices by 2011, especially during the second half of the year.

Jeff Miles, director of mobile transactions worldwide for NXP, told NFC Times that more and more handset makers have made the decision that "this is a technology they are going support." These handset makers have either ordered chips or are in the process of doing so.

"It’s full (NFC) implementation with different suppliers," he said. "We feel (there will be) 50 million-plus (phones) next year, from every indication."

The projection is for phones using chips from all NFC suppliers, and it is in addition to such NFC bridge or alternative devices as contactless microSD cards and SIMs or SIM overlays with flexible antennas. These bridge devices will not be as numerous as NFC phones, Miles said.

Rémy de Tonnac, CEO of Inside Contactless, also estimated NFC bridge devices would be eclipsed by full NFC phones, accounting only for about 25% of shipments of NFC chips for next year. Of his projected total of 50 million NFC devices on the market in 2011 from all chip suppliers, three-quarters would be full NFC phones, de Tonnac said.

The definition of bridge devices would also include NFC stickers that can interact with phones via a Bluetooth connection, but not passive stickers, said Charles Walton, Inside’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He predicted most of the phones would hit the market during the second half of 2011.

"I think we’ll start to see devices that will come probably sooner than mid-year (and) then start to ramp up with bigger volume," Walton told NFC Times.

He compared 2011 for NFC phones to 2005 for contactless banking cards. That was the year banks began rolling out the cards in the United States. “This is what we’re going to see here. This is really year one (for NFC) in 2011."

NXP’s Miles said there might be a couple of NFC phones on the market before the end of 2010. That’s in addition to the Nokia C7 smartphone, which began shipping last week with an NFC chip inside. The Symbian phone requires a software upgrade for the NFC applications to work, however. And the phone doesn’t support card emulation, that is, the phone cannot act like a contactless card.

The chip makers declined to say which handset makers have ordered or expressed strong interest in their chips. But as NFC Times has reported in the past, such global phone makers as Nokia, Samsung, LG, HTC, Research in Motion and Motorola are expected to incorporate NFC in one or more models by next year, with mobile operators and service providers especially interested in smartphones. Some of the models will support Google’s Android operating system or perhaps Windows.

Apple is also working with the technology and anticipation is again running high that it will adopt NFC for the iPhone 5 due out next year. Cupertino disappointed NFC industry backers last year when the iPhone 4 did not pack NFC.

While the Nokia C7 does not support card emulation, at least not without special orders from big operators, many of the other NFC phones are expected to offer this feature.

Demand Growing for Embedded
That would require them to support at least one secure chip, known as a secure element, such as those found on SIM cards or chips embedded in the phone itself. These tamper-resistant smart card chips provide a safe place to store secure applications, including encryption keys.

NXP, Inside and a third NFC chip supplier, STMicroelectronics, all say they are seeing increased demand for NFC chips that can support embedded secure elements. The embedded chips could take the place of SIM cards on NFC phones to store payment or other secure applications. The SIM-based NFC phones would also have to support the single-wire protocol, or SWP, connection to the NFC chip.  

But the same phone might support multiple secure elements, perhaps both an embedded chip and support for the SWP standard. Or it could also support a secure element in a microSD card.

To satisfy the demand for embedded secure elements, NXP has come out with a new NFC chip, the PN65, which is bundled or stacked with its secure element. Inside also is expected to introduce an NFC chip stacked with a secure element. And ST is likely to do the same. The three chip makers already have NFC chips that support the single-wire protocol. NXP also has said its SWP chip, the PN544, can connect to a separate secure embedded chip or one in a microSD card.

In years past, the SIM had been considered the de facto secure element for NFC phones, and this option is still strongly backed by the large telco trade group, the GSM Association.

Unlike the SIM, when the secure element is embedded in the handset, it will not always be clear which party controls it. In such markets as the United States, where mobile operators keep tight control over phones, the carriers would also control the embedded secure chip. But in other markets, it could be service providers, handset makers or even platform suppliers, such as Google with Android, that control the embedded chips.

And the party that controls the secure chip will probably control the revenue from NFC, say observers. 

But payment and ticketing applications, which would be stored on the secure elements, will not be the only services offered on NFC phones, points out NXP’s Miles. Applications that use NFC’s tag-reading capability will also be popular, he said. One example would be location-based marketing.

And as the base of handsets grows, more and more third-party developers will become interested in including NFC features in their smartphone applications, he predicted.

"To me, you get 10 to 20 to 30 to 50 million phones, in a given market you’ve got enough critical mass for some of these guys to start to say: 'I can built something around that.' "

HEADLINE NEWS

Amid High-Profile Win with Apple, NXP Quietly Loses NFC Business for Samsung’s Galaxy Handsets

NFC Times Exclusive: While NXP Semiconductors won the coveted contract to supply NFC chips and secure elements to Apple for its new iPhone models, it has been cut out of the recent business for Samsung Galaxy handsets, including the Note 4.

NFC Booster Chip in New iPhones One Key to Apple Pay Performance, Though Not Yet Standardized

NFC Times Exclusive: In what is believed to be one of the first uses for NFC booster technology in NFC phones, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature an amplifier chip enabling a unique antenna design by Apple for its Apple Pay service that launched Monday.

Japan’s NFC Device Rollout Tops 20 Million, Though Still Few Places for Consumers to Use Them

Japan’s rollout of phones and tablets supporting standard NFC technology has topped the 20 million mark, with Japan’s three major mobile operators deploying the handsets with NFC chips along with domestic FeliCa technology. But Japanese consumers still have few places to use the hybrid devices.

Apple to Launch Payments Service on Monday in U.S., Shuns Support for NFC in Tablets

Oct 17 2014 (All day)

Apple’s new tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, unveiled today, will support the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to enable users to make purchases in apps with Apple Pay, but not in stores with NFC.

Despite NFC-Enabled iPhone and Watch, Hotels Appear to be Opting for BLE for Phone-Based Door Keys

NFC Times Exclusive: Several hotel chains are planning to start equipping certain properties with door locks supporting Bluetooth low energy by the early part of next year, or are seriously investigating the technology, which enables guests to enter their rooms with keys stored on their smartphones, Legic Identsystems, one of the technology vendors involved, told NFC Times.

China UnionPay Reportedly Strikes Deal with Samsung to Use Embedded Chips

Oct 9 2014 (All day)

Samsung Electronics reportedly says it has an agreement with payment network China UnionPay that would enable embedded chips in more than 3 million of its devices in China with China UnionPay’s contactless-payments service, though no banks have yet been mentioned as issuers.

NFC Forum Launches ‘Tap Into NFC’ Developer Program, Though Apple’s Platform Remains Closed

As the NFC Forum launches a new program to attract more application developers to the NFC ecosystem, the organization told NFC Times that it is encouraged by Apple’s adoption but considers it likely that the NFC developer community will focus on Android for the near future.

Taiwanese Telco Launches NFC; Implementation Issues with Mifare Limits Handset Models

Oct 2 2014 (All day)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s largest telco, Chunghwa Telecom, Wednesday announced the launch of its long-planned NFC commercial service, enabling MasterCard PayPass credit cards from four banks, along with one of the first mobile NFC services supporting a Mifare transit purse, EasyCard.

Taiwan’s No. 1 Telco Prepares to Announce NFC Commercial Launch

Oct 1 2014 (All day)

Taiwan’s largest mobile operator, Chunghwa Telecom, will announce the small commercial launch of NFC service on Wednesday, with participation from MasterCard Worldwide, four major banks and the island nation’s largest transit and retail e-purse, EasyCard, NFC Times has learned.

People on the Move: Visa Europe’s Director of Mobile Joins Apple

Apple has hired Visa Europe’s director of mobile, Mary Carol Harris, as the tech giant gears up for its expected launch of Apple Pay in Europe later next year.

Makers of NFC Accessories Targeting iPhone Contend Their Market is Not Lost

NFC Times Exclusive: Despite the announcement by Apple of its first NFC-enabled iPhone, released Friday, promoters of NFC-enabled attachments targeting the iPhone contend they will not lose business.

NFC Forum Adds Long-Awaited Analog Testing to Its Device Certification Program

The NFC Forum has added the final major component to its device certification with the addition of analog testing, but the impact of the development on handset makers’ willingness to submit their devices for certification remains to be seen.