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First UWB-enabled Android device comes to market

NXP Semiconductors has announced that its Secure Ultra-Wideband (UWB) fine-ranging solution, embedded SIM (eSIM) as well as Near Field Communication (NFC) and Secure Element (eSE) unit are deployed in Samsung’s Galaxy Note20 Ulta.

NXP and Samsung are two of the founding members of the FiRa Consortium, which was established in 2019 to foster interoperability in the development and widespread adoption of UWB.

“For the first time in a Galaxy device, Samsung is integrating NXP’s UWB technology into our latest Galaxy Note20 Ultra to make sharing photos, videos and files easier,” said Inkang Song, Vice President and Head of Technology Strategy Group of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to introduce future UWB functionality in our Galaxy devices that will help locate items more accurately with AR technology and unlock your home as a digital key that will make life easier for consumers.”

UWB technology delivers much greater accuracy in both line-of-site (LoS) and strong localisation in non-line-of-sight (nLoS) scenarios, such as crowded, multipath signal environments with numerous walls, people, and other obstacles.

It also uses angle-of-arrival (AoA) technology to indicate the direction of a signal for added precision, and to locate and identify other devices or objects at centimetre level.

“NXP offers a comprehensive suite of UWB chipsets that span best-in-class security, automotive, IoT and mobile architectures for real-time, precise, localisation capabilities across market applications; this has never been more important with mobile devices driving the digitization of identities so people can interact contactless with the world around them,” said Rafael Sotomayor, Executive Vice President and GM, Connectivity and Security at NXP. “In addition to UWB, eSIM is also a new use case enabled in our mobile wallet that provides connectivity options beyond traditional SIM.”

The precision sensing of NXP’s Secure UWB technology includes localisation that will make it possible for mobile devices to communicate with connected doors, points of entry, and cars for completely hands-free access control; UWB can also be part of a system that quickly and securely initializes communication. With NFC onboard, devices can continue to perform contactless transactions even when they ran out of battery.

Unlike traditional SIM cards that must be removed and replaced in new devices, NXP’s GSMA-compliant eSIM solution is integrated permanently into a device, making remote SIM provisioning radically easier and providing over-the-air SIM updates. The external SIM slot plus eSIM allow end users to have two or more phone numbers on a single device.

Author
Neil Tyler

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