Silicon Craft Technology, having successfully marketed the NFC product worldwide, has recently introduced and will soon launch the NFC Enabler (SIC4310), a dual-interface NFC tag that is compliant to ISO 14443A.
The SIC4310 is designed to be a protocol converter in relaying signals between RFID and the embedded world through UART interface. This device avails system designers to make existing UART devices NFC- enabled and provide a full bi-directional communication between them.
The SIC4310 is a fully integrated dual-interface NFC tag that is accessed by NFC/RFID devices and implantable with an external UART device. This transponder is intended to perform not only as a bridge of communication between NFC and UART in that it also provides a protocol converter that enables seamless data transfer from UART-enabled embedded device to NFC device or vice versa. Furthermore, the SIC4310 can operate as both an ordinary passive RFID, where the power source is extracted from the RF field; and also as a peripheral device, where the embedded system supplies the power. The transponder employs power-harvesting mode where the LDO provides a stable source depending on available power in order to supply an external UART device. The SIC4310 is incorporated with a 224-byte EEPROM memory allocated into 56 pages of 4 bytes each and is entirely compatible to NFC Forum Tag Type-2.
The SIC4310 is used for various types of applications for home appliances and personal healthcare, sports and fitness devices, to name a few. The key challenges in developing this type of application were to deploy a low-cost NFC tag, instead of an expensive full functional reader IC, and to use smartphones as a hub of information. The resulting concept will enable a tremendous number of NFC applications on smartphones. For instance, by embedding the SIC4310 tag into a treadmill, the user can touch his or her smartphone and transfer personalized information to a given device (e.g. the user’s preferred speed and incline to an exercise machine). Moreover, the user’s statistics can be saved and visualized on a smartphone through NFC.
By the end of July 2013, the SIC4310 samples will be ready to distribute, along with Software Development Kits for Android, ARM Cortex M0, Arduino, and Windows platforms.