Dynamic NFC Tag memories add NFC capability to any kind of device

November 18, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics has introduced the M24SR family of devices complements the existing M24LR dual-interface memory devices and expands ST’s NFC portfolio; use cases include easy Bluetooth pairing with an audio device or rapid fault diagnosis on any NFC-enabled appliance.

The “dynamic NFC tag” memories make it easy to add NFC capability to any kind of electrical device, from loudspeakers and printers, to cookers and washing machines, to electricity, gas and water meters. ST says that NFC connectivity is about to appear in many other kinds of electrical or electronic devices.

ST’s “dynamic NFC / RFID tag memories” contain three key blocks:

(1) a non-volatile memory (NVM), which is an electronic memory that retains its stored data even when its power supply is switched off;

(2) a wireless interface for communicating with other wireless devices;

(3) a wired interface (industry-standard I 2C) for communicating with the controller of the host equipment.

In the M24SR family, the NVM is implemented as EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) in sizes ranging from 2 to 64 kbit. The wireless interface is fully compatible with the ISO14443-A protocol that enables data rates up to 106 kbit/sec, while the I 2C interface operates at speeds up to 1MHz, ensuring fast data transfer between the smartphone and the target equipment.

The EEPROM memory bank is preformatted for NFC operation, supporting the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF), and uses the latest and most reliable EEPROM technology, with data retention guaranteed for 200 years, one million write-erase cycles, and 128-bit password protection for maximum security. Offered in compact and cost-effective SO8, TSSOP8 and MLP8 packages, the M24SR devices are now available in samples for OEM customers.

The M24SR family of “dynamic NFC tag” memories allow any device to feature built-in NFC connectivity, thereby allowing it to communicate with a smartphone that almost touches it. The devices can then be designed to offer all the features that would be possible if they had keyboards, graphic displays and Internet connections, without actually having to incorporate these expensive and space-consuming features into the equipment itself; the user’s smartphone already has them and can ‘lend’ them.

Examples include resetting the