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ST, ams deliver compact boostedNFC design

Posted: 02 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC? contactless transaction?

STMicroelectronics and ams developed an NFC system reference design for mobile transactions. The boostedNFC Analog Front End is 20 times smaller than the average antenna. It can also turn a product's metal frame into an antenna.

The reference design's advanced analogue circuitry delivers outstanding NFC performance even in devices with room for only a tiny antenna, which is typically adjacent to metal surfaces or shielded by the user's hand, and mounted in a location hostile to RF transmissions.

By combining the new AS39230 analogue front end (AFE) with boostedNFC technology from ams, along with the ST21NFCC controller and ST33G1M2 Secure MCU from ST, consumers will have easy, quick and reliable contactless transactions, whether for payments in shops, ticketing in metro/urban mass transit infrastructure or access control. OEMs will also benefit from market-proven worldwide certification, including for Common Criteria, EMVCo, GlobalPlatform and Visa, Mastercard, Amex and PBOC.


The boostedNFC Analog Front End is 20 times smaller than the average antenna, can turn a product's metal frame into an antenna.

ams' new AS39230 boosts the signal on the antenna, increasing the signal strength up to 10 times when compared with conventional passive load modulation (PLM) methods of transmitting a signal from an NFC tag, card, or card emulator to an NFC reader. In space-constrained designs, the size of the antenna can thus be reduced by as much as 20 times, down to 100mm2 or less, while maintaining the same signal strength. The AS39230 even allows for the device's metal casing to be used as an antenna, reducing the board space required for the NFC antenna and its related costs to nothing.

Paired with ams' boostedNFC chip, ST's ST54E System-in-Package (SIP), which contains the ST21NFCC controller and the ST33G1M2 32bit secure microcontroller for Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC), embedded Secure Element, and microSD-card applications.


The ST33G1M2 Secure Element, which supports the latest Global Platform GP2.2 OS and the complete MIFARE portfolio including MIFAREClassic and MIFARE DESFire, offers best-in-class performance for banking and digital-access applications along with full compatibility with major worldwide transportation schemes. Based on the ARM SecurCore SC300 32bit RISC core, the ST33G1M2 delivers Common Criteria-certified security features, together with a large and flexible embedded eFLASH, which allows OEMs and service providers to plan for future implementations with proven TSM (Trusted Service Management) infrastructure compatibility.

The AS39230 and ST54E support all important NFC standards governing card emulation, including ISO14443 type A/B, FeliCa at data rates up to 424kbit/s, active peer-to-peer bit rates of 212kbit/s and ISO18092 communication at up to 424kbit/s.

The AS39230 NFC analogue front end is available in production volumes now from ams, and the ST54E is available for sampling from ST. Pricing, reference designs, datasheets and an evaluation board are available on request from the appropriate supplier.

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