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NFC reader IC boasts up to 6.8Mbit/s data rate

Posted: 04 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC reader? HF reader? payment? automotive application?

austriamicrosystems AG has announced a near field communications (NFC) and high frequency (HF) reader IC. The AS3911 has on-chip capacitive sensor, requires only 5?A of current and can wake in the presence of a tag. According to the company, this unique feature allows for the lowest current consumption in the industry.

The device touts unique capabilities not available in the market and enables many applications such as Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) payment, access control, automotive, NFC infrastructure and ticketing. The IC also provides automatic antenna tuning to eliminate manual tuning while providing 1W of output power, eliminating the need for an external booster circuit. This is an important feature for the 650mW of power needed to read credit/debit cards. Competing solutions require a complex external booster circuit. The AS3911's high level of integration and exclusive antenna management means halving typical system cost, the company stated.


The AS3911 has on-chip capacitive sensor and requires only 5?A of current.

austriamicrosystems claimed that the AS3911 is the only chip on the market with on-chip error handling for EMV applications. Alternative reader ICs perform error correction on the host MCU. In addition, the AS3911 includes the analog front end (AFE) and a highly integrated data framing system for handling ISO 18092 (NFCIP-1) initiator, ISO 18092 (NFCIP-1) active target, ISO 14443 A and B reader (including high bit rates) and Felicity Card (FeliCa) reader. Other standards and custom protocols can also be accommodated by adjusting the AFE and implementing framing in an external MCU. Additionally, the device is the first reader IC on the market that supports the very high bit rate (VHBR) draft amendment to the 14443 standard, allowing for data rates up to 6.8Mbit/s.

The AS3911 includes features that make it very well suited for low power designs, noted the company. In addition, it can detect a card by performing a measurement of amplitude or phase of the signal on the antenna. It also contains a low power RC oscillator and wake-up timer to wake the system after a defined time period and check for a tag. Moreover, this IC is qualified for automotive applications so it can be used for car access, ignition and diagnostic functions.

The AS3911 operates in a power supply range from 2.4-5.5V and in a temperature range of -40�C to 85�C. It is housed in a 32-pin QFN 5 x 5mm package and is available immediately in sample quantities only.

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