NFC reader IC designed to solve certification problems in PoS equipment

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Panthronics, a fabless semiconductor company specialising in high performance wireless technology, has announced the launch of a new near-field communication (NFC) reader IC.

The PTX100R implements a radical new RF architecture to produce valuable improvements in output power and sensitivity while reducing the total area occupied by the system, including its antenna.

It is designed to solve the problems that arise from using NFC readers in challenging environments. For example, in point-of-sale terminals where the noisy display couples interference into the NFC antenna mounted close to it. Or in mobile point-of-sale (PoS) equipment, in which space for the antenna is restricted and the metal enclosure hampers the propagation of RF signals.

Mark Dickson, Chief Marketing Officer of Panthronics, commented, “The NFC market is ripe for disruption – designers of PoS and mobile PoS equipment have been frustrated for a long time by the limitations of legacy NFC architectures. The PTX100R marks a breakthrough in NFC system performance, power and size, which is why we are so excited to be bringing it to market now.”

The PTX100R implements the company's patented DiRAC technology which enables the NFC reader to drive output power of up to 3W directly to the antenna while achieving sensitivity of -80dB. This means that PoS terminal and mobile PoS manufacturers can achieve EMVCo 3.0 compliance (for contactless payments) with an antenna of just 900mm2. That is around four to five times smaller than required when using existing readers.

The new IC also makes use of ultra-precise wave shaping, on-chip dynamic power control and an onboard EMVCo hardware accelerator speed proximity coupling device (PCD) processing time. This can simplify system integration and provide greater margins for time-critical functions.