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By Beth Bacheldor

Toshiba Announces New RFID Chip Compliant With NFC Forum Type 3 Specification

Toshiba has announced the T6NE7, a tag IC compliant with the NFC Forum's Type 3 specification for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The Type 3 tag spec is based on the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 6319-4, also known as FeliCa (most other NFC tags on the market comply with the NFC Forum's Type 2 specification, which is based on the ISO 14443A standard).

According to Toshiba, because standard NFC-enabled mobile phones are compliant with the NFC Type 3 spec, it can communicate with the T6NE7 RFID chip. The new chip comes with a wired interface that communicates with a host microprocessor, and can connect with wireless products by writing and reading the necessary data onto embedded non-volatile memory in the tag. This, according to the company, avoids the complicated data input and operation previously required. The chip can be integrated into standalone products that typically have no communications interface, Toshiba reports, such as calculators, clocks and health-care products.

The small chip integrates 2 kilobytes of non-volatile memory that it can allocate to the available memory area in the wired mode, Toshiba says, and that can also be used as an external memory to store information to control the host microprocessor in the wireless device. It supports three communication modes: tag standalone wireless communication mode, wired mode, and through mode to connect the host from wireless.

Security features include mutual recognition using the Triple DES Message Authentication Code (MAC). Various wired interface options (UART, I2C and SPI) are available. The T6NE7 will be marketed worldwide, the company reports. Sample shipments are available now, as is sample software to control the host microprocessor, with mass production scheduled to start in August 2014.

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