NFC makes inroads to automotive-bound applications

NFC makes inroads to automotive-bound applications

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

This technology will enable secure interactions between smartphones and smart cars such as complementary car access, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing, personalization and payment.

NFC continues to gain momentum with consumers fueled by the popularity of NFC-enabled mobile phones and wearables. NFC devices can interact within smart city infrastructures to provide secure access to hotel rooms, health clubs, public transport, parking entry, stadiums and other smart cars.

The NXP NCx3320 is an automotive-grade NFC frontend IC optimized for secure car access that enables the next level of capabilities for secure convenience. The NCx3320 complements the previously launched NCx3340 NFC controller family that is popular and well established in the automotive market.

The NCx3320 sets new benchmarks for low-power operation and phone/card detection distance, making it an ideal choice for exterior car applications like smart car access. Qualified over -40°C up to 125°C, it comes with a generic software library, which is easily portable across different MCUs, reducing significantly application development times.

The NCx3320 is accompanied by a door handle reference design to lower entry barriers for successful integration of NFC. The door handle reference design combines the NCx3320 with the automotive qualified MCU S12ZVL on a single PCB. Offered in a small form factor to meet the strict constraints imposed by space limits inside car door handles, the IC can be easily installed inside real automotive applications. A dedicated software tool demonstrates key use cases such as secure car access, and driver authentication for engine start, using a smartphone, or smart card.

In automotive applications, NFC enables a broad range of smart services and can:

  • Grant and revoke access to a vehicle on a secure, restricted basis for multiple users such as family and friends;
  • Provide flexible fleet management and car sharing solutions;
  • Secure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing;
  • Conduct Point-of-Interest transfer from a smartphone to the car’s navigation system;
  • Enable in-car purchases;
  • Alert the driver of maintenance status via over-the-air updates;
  • Adjust the car’s personalized settings such as seats and mirrors.

“Our deep expertise in NFC, security and automotive has made us the trusted advisor to automotive OEMs on applications that securely connect smart cars and smartphones,” said Rainer Lutz, Director New Business, Secure Car Access, NXP. “The NXP NCx3320 further extends our portfolio and the corresponding reference design makes us the competent sparring partner for Tier 1s to build robust solutions even in the most challenging environments.”

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