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Other wireless protocols

Near Field Communication Overview

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short range technology which operates at 13.56MHz. It’s based on the following standards, ISO14443A/B, ISO15693, FELICA.

NFC is an RFID technology which has 3 main operating modes:

Read/Write (reader to passive tag)
Peer-to-Peer (reader-to-reader)
Card Emulation (Apple Pay, Android Pay etc.)

The maximum data rate is 424kbps (P2P), but there are propietery readers on the market which can offer up to 6.8Mbps. Tag rates are generally between 27kbps and 106kbps.

There are 5 different “Tag Types” of NFC. A tag defines the specific functionality and capabilities.

Tags 4 and 5 are the most common used today.

NFC Type 4 tag
This tag gives the most flexibility and memory of all the tags. It comes with a higher cost, which increases as you increase the amount of memory. This tag includes security features that are missing in other tags, authentication.

This is the only tag that supports the ISO 7816 specification. It will also allow for self-modification of NDEF content.
Common usecase:

  • transit ticket applications.

NFC Type 5 tag
This tag supports the ISO/IEC 15693 specification. The type 5 tag has data transfer perfomance similar to RF technologies supported by the NFC Forum, this is due to the Active Communication Mode.

Common usecase:

  • Library books, products, and packaging
  • Ticketing (such as ski passes)
  • Healthcare (medication packaging)

ISO/IEC 15693, is an ISO standard for vicinity cards
ISO/IEC 7816 is an international standard related to electronic identification cards with contacts
NFC Forum is the certification body for NFC

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