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Alien Technology offers new passive UHF RFID readers ••• Metalcraft intros tiny tag with long read range ••• AsReader device turns smartphones into RFID reader-writers ••• Smartrac releases new RFID and IoT solutions for retail ••• New RFID label from Checkpoint Systems boosts merchandise visibility ••• Swatch Group creates mini Bluetooth chip for Internet of Things ••• STMicroelectronics unveils new NFC RFID tag ICs for long-range contactless communication.
By Rich Handley

STMicroelectronics Unveils New NFC RFID Tag ICs for Long-Range Contactless Communication

STMicroelectronics' new ST25DV dynamic tag ICs are the latest addition to the company's ST25 Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID product family that come with a contactless RF interface and an I2C bus. The dual-interface enables untethered interaction between an NFC-capable smartphone or an RFID reader and the host microcontroller located inside nearby equipment, such as smart meters, Internet of Things devices, and professional or consumer products.

The ST25DV ICs support data exchange with an extended communication range, enabling in-the-box programming of electronic equipment at the point of production, as well as Fast Transfer Mode operation for software updates in the field with the help of any NFC-enabled mobile device. The ST25DV dynamic tags are compatible with any existing ISO 15693 RFID infrastructure, with no additional investment required.

The ST25DV series supports the NFC Type 5 and ISO 15693 RFID specifications. It includes native NFC NDEF message support, ISO 15693 long-range RF connectivity with Fast Transfer mode enabled by a 256-byte buffer, and EEPROM density of 64 Kbits, with multiple 64-bit passwords to offer enhanced data-protection capabilities.

The devices are tailored for industrial applications, with high write-cycle endurance of one million cycles at 25 degrees Celsius and 40 years of data retention. They operate over a supply-voltage range of 1.8 to 5.5 volts and consume minimal energy in all modes, the company reports, including the sub-1µA standby mode, allowing use in power-conscious or battery-operated devices. They can also offer energy-harvesting capabilities that, according to STMicroelectronics, make them suitable for zero-power applications.

Samples of the ST25DV tags are available now, with volume production scheduled for May 2017. Pricing is expected to start at $0.38 apiece (for ST25DV04K in SO8 or TSSOP8 packages) for orders of 1,000 or more tags.

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