buy metformin online

Major Wireless Chip Supplier Broadcom Announces First NFC Chip

U.S.-based chip maker Broadcom, a top supplier of wireless chips to the smartphone industry, today is announcing its first NFC chip, shaking up an already crowded field of chip vendors.

As NFC Times reported Sept. 9, the Broadcom offer will be a standalone chip using 40-nanometer technology. Broadcom touts the chip as the smallest and most power-efficient on the market.

The chip, the BCM2079x, could be used for device pairing and content sharing between smartphones and other devices and also to support payment and ticketing.

Broadcom’s announcement said the chip supports both a single-wire protocol connection–enabling applications on SIM cards–as well as interfaces for embedded secure chips. It also said the chip is the “only NFC controller to integrate transaction-based Application ID routing for simultaneous support of multiple secure elements within a single device.”

That apparently would enable such applications as contactless credit cards or ticketing to run on more than one secure element in the same phone.

Broadcom was not immediately available for comment. Craig Ochikubo, vice president and general manager in Broadcom’s wireless and personal area networks, was planning to announce the chip today at the large PT/Expo Comm telecom and IT show in Beijing.

Broadcom, the largest supplier of Bluetooth and WiFi chips to the smartphone industry, also touts the chip as easily linking up with its combo chips supporting Bluetooth, WiFi and FM radio in the same device. This could then enable quick pairing of devices to transfer data to other devices, for example, touching a smartphone to a tablet or television to transfer data.

“Broadcom is committed to making NFC as ubiquitous as Bluetooth and WiFi are today,” Ochikubo said in a statement, adding that Broadcom’s experience with Bluetooth and WiFi “influenced the architecture of these new chips to meet the performance required by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), allowing them to more easily add NFC to their designs.”

Broadcom was originally thought to be planning to introduce NFC first as part of a combo chip, combining NFC with such other wireless technologies as Bluetooth and WiFi.

The chip maker more than a year ago finalized its $47.5 million purchase of UK-based Innovision, which supplied Broadcom and other chip makers with intellectual property for incorporating NFC in combo wireless chips.

Combo chips, which also can variously include such wireless technologies as FM radio and GPS, are used in a variety of smartphones and the expectation is that smartphone makers will eventually order the chips supporting NFC, as well. The combo chips save both space and money compared with separate chips covering the different wireless technologies.

But as Ochikubo told NFC Times earlier, handset makers are looking for standalone NFC chips for the next 12 to 24 months.

They are expected to eventually order combo chips incorporating NFC. But in addition to the weak demand so far for the combo chips by handset makers, some observers believe the technology to combine NFC with other wireless technologies is not yet ready.

The Innovision acquisition also gave Broadcom an NFC-tag unit. The chip maker is no doubt using IP it acquired from Innovision in the standalone chip, said observers.

As NFC Times reported earlier, Mark Hung, research director for wireless at U.S.-based research and consulting firm Gartner, said that while Broadcom is late in entering the already congested market for standalone NFC chips, it has a couple of advantages. Its chip would be based on 40-nanometer architecture, much smaller than the designs other chip makers are working with at present, he told NFC Times. This would save space and power consumption in the phones, he said.

Also, in addition to smartphones, Broadcom supplies non-NFC chips for televisions, PCs, set-top boxes and peripherals, which could help it provide NFC for these devices, as well, Hung said.

Broadcom’s standalone chip could roil an already crowded market. Such other major chip makers as Samsung Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, Renesas Electronics and STMicroelectronics have developed standalone NFC chips.

But they aren’t shipping them in volume yet. The main rival for the Broadcom NFC chips, therefore, will be NXP Semiconductors, which owns by far the largest share of the budding market. NXP is either supplying NFC chips or has announced design wins for such handset makers as Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei. France-based Inside Secure is also shipping NFC chips in volume. NXP recently said it is working with 15 device makers on 70 phone models and 10 tablets in the pipeline.

NXP supplies its own embedded chips, stacked with its NFC chips, including those in Google’s Nexus S Android phones.

It’s not clear whether Broadcom is working with a particular supplier of embedded secure chips. Broadcom itself does not have the smart card chip technology to offer its own secure elements.

Broadcom’s announcement didn’t mention when the new NFC chip would be available for sampling and volume production, but Ochikubo earlier told NFC Times the company doesn’t announce products long before it is ready to ship them. One report said the chips would be in devices launched by mid-2012.

“One of the big things for us is not to do (product) preannoucements that don’t reflect the reality,” he said.

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.