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STMicroelectronics Releases NFC Controller With Built-in Secure Element

The company's system-on-a-chip also includes an eSIM so that a single die can offer NFC and HF RFID functionality, as well as security and built-in memory.
By Claire Swedberg

STMicroelectronics is working with operating system provider partners that will be building the technology into their own devices. Ultimately, Vignes says, "For consumers, the user experience is improved." By summer 2019, the company expects to see the technology commercially available in solutions and products.

The firm has also released a tag IC known as the ST25DV-PWM NFC Dynamic, which utilizes RFID transmission to program presets for products on the production line or in use by consumers, in order to simplify the setup process. The NFC and HF ISO 13693 chip will work with any Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)-based controllers, such as lighting products, motorized appliances, fans and thermostats, with an NFC-enabled smartphone or HF 13.56 MHz RFID reader.

Combining STMicroelectronics' NFC technology with PWM logic, the dynamic tag ICs generate control signals using an embedded pulse-width/period mechanism based on settings received via the RFID interface (which complies with the NFC Type 5 and ISO/IEC 15693 standards) and stored in on-chip electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM). The PWM outputs work as soon as the device's PWM block is powered up, and operate independently from RF activity. To provide further convenience, the PWM configuration can be modified via the NFC interface on the fly, while the device is operating.

The new chip is being offered in two versions: the ST25DV0K-W1 and the ST25DV02K-W2. The former offers single 4mA push-pull PWM outputs for dimming control of an LED light or motor, while the latter feeds up to two LEDs or two motors independently. The chips use the PWM parameters to make changes to a product's settings during manufacturing, distribution, installation or maintenance.

Samples of the single-output ST25DV02K-W1 and dual-output ST25DV02K-W2 are available now, priced at $0.37 and $0.45 each, respectively, for orders of 1,000 pieces or more. The new products follow the company's announcement last year of its ST53G system-in-package die that had a built-in secure element and an RF booster, but without the eSIM, for use in watches and other wearable devices (see New System-in-Package Brings NFC Payment to Wearables).

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