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NXP plans IP licensing program for Mifare

Posted: 06 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mifare platform? NXP plans? IP licensing?

NXP Semiconductors is looking seriously at licensing to other semiconductor companies its Mifare contactless chip card platform technology for use in SIM cards and NFC applications such as ticketing, payment and access management.

"We are preparing a technology licensing program. This will take some time to evolve as it involves both the Mifare hardware and operating system and the crucial over the air management protocols and interfaces with Mifare4Mobile," Heikki Huomo, VP and general manager for the NFC business at NXP, told EE times Europe.

"We are making a very clear statement that NXP wants an open industry specification in this area. We are talking to several other chip manufacturers and have indicated that we would not be seeking 'tens of millions of dollars' in fees and the arrangement would also have a numbers based elements so as not to disadvantage smaller players."

Huomo stressed the "important" initiative will have no impact with the work NXP is doing with Sony in the Moversa joint venture to create a secure chip for contactless smart card applications in mobile phones.

The chip will support both Mifare and FeliCa OS and applications, as well as other contactless card OS and applications.

NXP is also working with smart card provider Gemalto on NFC solutions in connection with SIM cards. The project focuses on applications that use the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) and the Mifare contactless payment technology.

Huomo also said in a keynote at last week's European NFC Developers Summit in Monaco that, separately from the IP licensing initiative, NXP is developing Mifare Plus, an addition to the company's existing platforms for mobile integration that it has been offering for nearly a decade.

The latest version will be targeted at automatic fare collection and access management applications that require relatively high security elements, and sit at about half way between four offerings (Ultra Lite, Classic, DESfire and SMX) "that are continually shifting as regards secure element authentication for different uses."

The Classic, Plus and DesFire versions will also be offered as embedded secure elements , but this will not happen for about 18-24 months. "We need to develop these as they mean modifications at chip level, changes to the operating system and Common Criteria certification."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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