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RFID News Roundup

FEIG Electronic releases new firmware to support NXP products ••• RFID4U intros new asset-tracking module ••• European Molecular Biology Lab uses HID Global RFID system to track cryogenic research equipment ••• Sonitor Technologies spins out Forkbeard as subsidiary, establishes new corporate structure ••• Darwin selects Telensa for smart street-lighting project ••• ProGlove unveils ergonomic IoT BLE wearable ••• AIM North America honors Professional of the Year.
By Rich Handley
Apr 03, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: FEIG Electronic, NXP Semiconductors RFID4U; the European Molecular Biology Lab, HID Global; Sonitor Technologies, Forkbeard; Telensa; ProGlove; and AIM North America.

FEIG Electronic Releases New Firmware to Support NXP Products

FEIG Electronic, a global supplier of RFID readers and antennas, has announced the release of firmware version V.01.05.00 for its CPR74 NFC reader module. The new firmware supports the high-level, cryptographic encryption functions of NXP Semiconductors' MIFARE DESFire EV2 and NTAG 424 DNA product protocols.

Version V01.05.00 is directly supported in the CPR74, which includes MIFARE DESFire EV2, MIFARE DESFire Light and NTAG 424 DNA authentication chips, as well as contactless ICs designed for solution developers and system operators building contactless solutions. The CPR74 is a small, board-level OEM reader module measuring 50 millimeters by 68 millimeters, designed for embedded integration into terminals, kiosks, vending machines, turnstiles and other devices that target smart-card solutions in identity, access, loyalty and micro-payment applications.

The module outputs 450 milliwatts of RF energy, providing greater read distances compared to a typical low-power NFC reader, according to the company. MIFARE DESFire EV2 offers an improved operating distance, the firm reports. Because the MIFARE DESFire chip becomes energized at a greater distance from the reader, command execution times begin milliseconds faster, thereby improving transaction speed. FEIG's API Command Queue helps to improve transaction times, allowing multiple APDU commands to be issued to the reader in a single command packet. The module executes the series and returns a status of the execution. This technique eliminates the latency associated with issuing a single APDU.

"We have feedback from our customers who tested the CPR74 and found that the transaction speed was twice as fast reading MiFARE DESFire cards and three times faster reading other MIFARE transponders, in comparison to a competitive card reader," said Klaus Schoeke, FEIG's VP of technical sales, in a prepared statement.

All cryptographic functions established in the secure messaging scheme of the MIFARE DESFire EV2 and NTAG 424 DNA are performed by the CPR74 firmware, making application development for the card reader faster and more straightforward, since a developer is not required to have an understanding of the lowest-level functions of the protocol's challenges, authentication and encryption. The CPR74 has an integrated onboard antenna, as well as an external remote antenna port that is multiplexed with the onboard antenna. The antenna functionality is configurable and may be used as addressable individual read points.

The CPR74 reader supports the complete range of MIFARE ICs, as well as the new NTAG 424 DNA line. The NTAG 424 DNA is an attack-resistant, certified chip platform that provides AES-128 cryptographic operation for security and privacy in NFC smart-product applications, to fight against counterfeiting and grey-market activities. The NTAG 424 DNA TagTamper variant is used to detect product tampering. The CPR74 supports the recently introduced MIFARE DESFire Light, a lightweight version of the MIFARE DESFire family designed to simplify the introduction of single application contactless services.

The MIFARE DESFire EV2 IC allows for secure data transmission and flexible memory organization, the company reports, and is interoperable with existing contactless infrastructures. "Future MIFARE IC releases will incorporate the advanced encryption standard," said Martin Liebl, NXP's senior director of product management for smart mobility and retail, in the prepared statement. "FEIG customers' are able to 'future proof' their RFID enabled products and extend their product life cycle through FEIG's firmware releases that extend support to the latest silicon releases brought to market by NXP."

Companies that use the CPR74 as their card reader platform can update existing deployments of the FEIG module to the latest silicon releases. The firmware is available for download at no charge to FEIG's customers.

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