SAMSUNG'S semiconductor arm has announced what it claims is the industry's smallest stand-alone near field communication (NFC) integrated circuit (IC) chip, which will feature for the first time in its upcoming Galaxy Note 4 phablet.
Named the S3FWRN5, Samsung says the chip is the industry's only NFC IC built using a 45nm e-Flash process, meaning it offers easier and more secure firmware updates without having to redesign the architecture.
The S3FWRN5 has a package size of just 2.4x2.4mm and features high radio frequency performance, which Samsung claims doubles the range in both reader and card emulation modes when compared with its predecessor, the S3FNRN3.
"The e-Flash portion can be safely modified through firmware updates when new features need to be added to the chip," the chipmaker explained. "This enables mobile device makers to reduce the development time in comparison to solutions based on read-only memory."
Samsung said that its shiny new NFC IC offers mobile device designers a more flexible and efficient printed circuit board layout, so smartphone manufacturers, for example, can use the chip's pin-to-pin compatibility for a more convenient application as a stand-alone NFC IC or NFC system-in-package with embedded secure element.
"With each new generation of mobile devices, including smartphones, designers are challenged to develop products that provide greater convenience to users and keep them more connected," said Samsung's System LSI Business VP, Dr. Kyushik Hong.
"To assist with those parameters, Samsung will continue to offer advanced NFC technology solutions to those tasked with developing exciting, next-generation mobile devices."
The S3FWRN5 is also equipped with Samsung's low power sensing (LPS) technology, a newly optimised algorithm to sense the signals at the lowest possible level of power consumption.
Samsung said that this technology minimises the NFC IC's energy consumption when it sends out continuous signals to recognise other NFC-enabled devices or NFC tags.
By adopting LPS technology, the firm claims that the chip's power requirements are reduced by around 25 percent when compared with previous NFC products.
Samsung started mass producing the 45nm e-Flash NFC IC during the second half of 2014 and revealed that it features in its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, due for launch on 17 October. µ
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