Linux kernel 3.9 release includes support for NFC functions

April 15, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Inside Secure's MicroRead Near Field Communications (NFC) controller chip is now supported in the Linux kernel 3.9 release. The new MicroRead Linux kernel driver was developed by Intel at its Open Source Technology Center with support from Inside and other community members.

It significantly simplifies and speeds the integration of the MicroRead chip into a broad range of Linux-based TVs, set-top boxes, GPS devices, in-vehicle infotainment systems, electronic toys, industrial machines and medical devices by effectively eliminating the need for manufacturers to write any software to use it.

“We worked closely with Intel and the Linux NFC project to improve this core component of the Linux kernel, which will help encourage the development of NFC-enabled devices and improve NFC interoperability among them,” said Loic Hamon, vice president of product management for the NFC division at INSIDE Secure. “This MicroRead driver simply plugs into the Linux NFC subsystem, enabling designers to integrate the chip without the need to port any software stack or write any software interface.”

The MicroRead Linux kernel driver is Host Controller Interface (HCI)-based and supports two physical interfaces – I 2C and the Intel Management Engine Interface (Intel MEI). NFC tag read, write and format, as well as several peer-to-peer mode functions are currently supported. Additional functionality such as card emulation and secure element access will be implemented when they are supported by the Linux NFC subsystem.
The goal of the Linux NFC project is to provide complete open source and hardware independent NFC support for Linux. Manufacturers are looking to NFC for an increasing number of applications beyond mobile phones as a way to simplify data exchange between two devices, quickly establish Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections and many other functions. As a result, this technology is now starting to find its way into a broad range of consumer and commercial electronic products, many of which are based upon the Linux operating system.

Inside Secure; www.insidesecure.com