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Samsung Unveils New NFC Chip

Thu, 12/02/2010 - 6:54am
Andrew Berg

It looks like Samsung Electronics is getting in on the NFC action recently stirred by the Isis joint venture between Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T.

Samsung yesterday announced a new Near Field Communications (NFC) chip with embedded flash memory.

"As momentum builds for adoption of NFC technology in next-generation/upcoming smart phones, we look forward to securing a competitive footing in NFC-based solutions with our new NFC technology," said Tae-Hoon Kim, vice president of DDI and C&M marketing, System LSI Division for Samsung Electronics, in a statement.

NFC is the short-range (up to 10cm or 4inches), high frequency wireless communication technology that carriers hope to employ in their aspirations for a nationwide mobile banking network. The technology allows devices such as smart phones to collect or transmit data to another NFC-enabled device without manual configuration to identify devices. Carriers hope to see the technology eventually integrated with point-of-sale (POS) systems across the United States.

Samsung's new NFC chip uses flash for the embedded memory, which allows device designers to more easily upgrade software or firmware. Samsung says it also provides a software protocol stack and technology services for antenna design and tuning, which the company says will decrease time to market.

According to market research firm, IMS Research, the mobile phone market is forecast to grow from 1.4 billion units in 2011 to 1.8 billion units in 2015 at a compound annual growth rate of seven percent. In 2011, NFC-enabled phone models are expected to gain pace and the ratio of mobile phones with NFC capabilities is expected to reach 26 percent in 2015.

Samsung says the new NFC chip is scheduled for mass production in the first quarter of 2011.

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