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STMicroelectronics introduces a cost-efficient NFC transceiver

STMicroelectronics has introduced the ST25R3918, a multi-purpose NFC transceiver supporting passive peer-to-peer functionality and NFC card-emulation mode as well as NFC reader operation.

The ST25R3918 enables use cases such as accessory identification for a wide range of applications including power tools and personal healthcare devices where the ST25R3918 interacts seamlessly with ST25 tags. Its close relationship to the company's existing ST25R3916 simplifies hardware design and certification.

Supporting NFC-A and NFC-F card emulation, the ST25R3918 can be used as an NFC-A/B (ISO 14443A/B) card reader up to high bit rates, and as an NFC-V (ISO 15693) reader up to 53 kbps, as well as ISO 18092 passive initiator and target. The card emulation mode allows support for the newest features available on mobile phones.

End customers can use their phones to interact easily with applications that utilize the ST25R3918, including using a simple tap to start apps on the phone. Device programming and simple NDEF data transfers are also permitted. In addition, users can leverage special stream and transparent modes of the analog front end (AFE) and framing system to implement other custom protocols in card-reader and card-emulation modes.

Combined with the reader mode, the ST25R3918 has a feature set that allows scanning for tags nearby for tasks such as replaceable detection and parameter setting, or simply reading an access card. The user can also interact with the mobile phone while collecting valuable data on customer behaviour and accessories used, which adds an additional stream of information for product development.

With high sensitivity and the added benefit of ST’s Noise Suppression Receiver (NSR) technology, the ST25R3918 provides an extended and reliable read range and can be operated with output power around 0.5W in noisy and harsh environments. It also includes a low-power card-detection mode to scan for the presence of a card by measuring the amplitude or phase of the antenna signal. A low-power RC oscillator and wake-up timer automatically reactivates the ST25R3918 after a selected time period to check for the presence of a tag.

Additional features to maximize the performance and value from this transceiver include support for Dynamic Power Output (DPO), which automatically controls the field strength to meet the required limits. On top of this, Active Wave Shaping (AWS) smooths the waveform for better signal integrity.

The ST25R3918 operates from a wide power-supply voltage range of 2.6V–5.5V between
-40°C and 85°C, and 2.4V-5.5V in the temperature range from -20°C to 85°C, with a peripheral-I/O voltage range of 1.65V-5.5V.

Neil Tyler

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