The demonstration and development board is based around the NXP LPC11U37 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and the NXP NTAG I²C tag IC. It comes with firmware and sample Android applications, and source code is provided under GPL (the General Public License for the GNU operating system). The Louvre board is also equipped an Arduino connector interface to facilitate connection to an external platform and has an integral 2.7-inch, e-ink display.
The ArchiTech Louvre board connects to a smartphone or other NFC enabled device for upgrading firmware, reading sensors (without consuming power) and exchanging data with the MCU. The ARM-based MCU uses 85 µW/MHz, suiting the board for development of low power devices, such as sensor nodes for the Internet of Things (IoT). The e-ink display only consumes energy when it is being refreshed.
The NXP NTAG I²C is compliant with the NFC Forum type-2 specification. It has two interfaces. The first, a passive wireless port, is accessed via an NFC interface. The tag harvests energy from the wireless signal of the smartphone, which acts as the active reader. A second port gives system access via I²C when external power is provided to a USB connector. The tag has a configurable field detection pin for triggering an external device, depending on the activities at the RF interface.
Engineers no longer need to rely on touchscreens or WiFi for wireless data transfer. Instead, they can use the Louvre board to build embedded applications that use NFC-enabled mobile devices as remote user interfaces.
Silica partners with NXP for identification products and Louvre is part of the company's ArchiTech Software Support strategy. This gives developers a single software platform, with training and engineering support.