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By Beth Bacheldor

NFC Forum Announces New Technical Specifications

The NFC Forum has announced a new specification to ensure interoperability between Near Field Communication (NFC) devices and existing RF infrastructure and cards based on the ISO 14443 and ISO 18092 standards, as well as four candidate technical specifications.

The newly approved Analog 2.0 Technical Specification is particularly relevant for transportation, payment and internet-of-things applications, according to the forum. It delivers new capabilities designed to improve RF communication and ensure interoperability between standard NFC devices, independent of antenna size, and existing RF infrastructure and cards. The specification also adds NFC-V technology and Active Communication Mode.

Active Communication Mode is an alternative to the Passive Communication Mode defined in previous NFC Forum specifications. This mode is compatible with the Active Communication Mode of ISO 18092, the NFC Forum indicates, and thus enhances interoperability with other NFC devices that use this communication mode. In Active Communication Mode, each peer device, in turn, generates a field when sending information to the other end of the link, thereby balancing power consumption between the devices and enhancing link stability. NFC-V technology supports reading ISO 15693-based cards and NFC Forum Type 5 tags, further enhancing NFC device interoperability, the organization adds.

The NFC Forum Type 1-4 tag candidate specifications, currently open for industry comment, allows for enhanced communications between an NFC-enabled device and different existing tag hardware. Examples of use cases for the tags include opening a website, initiating a telephone call, SMS text or email communications, opening a video or social-media link and reading a URL, as well as reading and storing business card data within an NDEF message when an NFC-enabled device is held near the embedded tag. NFC Forum Type 1-4 tags are all based on existing contactless products, the NFC Forum reports, and are commercially available.

The NFC Forum Type 1 Tag candidate specification defines how an NFC-enabled device in reader-writer mode detects, reads and writes an NDEF message on an NFC Forum Type 1 Tag, which communicates via NFC-A Technology, based on the ISO 14443A standard.

The NFC Forum Type 2 tag candidate specification defines how an NFC-enabled device in reader-writer mode detects, reads and writes an NDEF message on an NFC Forum Type 2 tag, which communicates via NFC-A technology.

The NFC Forum Device Type 3 tag candidate specification defines how an NFC-enabled device in reader-writer mode detects, reads and writes an NDEF message on an NFC Forum Type 3 tag, which is compatible with the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 6319-4.

Finally, the NFC Forum Device Type 4 tag candidate specification defines how an NFC-enabled device in reader-writer mode detects, reads and writes an NDEF message on an NFC Forum Type 4 Tag, which communicates either by NFC-A or by NFC-B, which is based on the ISO 14443B standard.

All five specifications are available at the NFC Forum website.

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