NFC: Near Field Communication


Near Field Communication is an RFID-based, standardized contactless communication interface between two devices located in the near field range. The standard was jointly defined by NXP Semiconductors and Sony in 2002 and has since been continuously developed with the help of other companies such as Nokia.

The aim was to establish an internationally valid transmission standard for fast and uncomplicated exchange of data between two end devices. The first NFC-capable mobile phone was launched in 2006. Today, most mobile phones, as well as many other electronic items, are already delivered with integrated Near Field Communication technology.

The technology works with a frequency of 13.56 MHz and the standards ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 15693 and is therefore fully compatible with most RFID transponders and RFID readers on the market. For communication it is sufficient if one of the devices is live. The ranges are limited to a few centimetres and are therefore optimally suited for targeted and safety-relevant applications.

Due to the intuitive handling, the advanced safety standard and the meanwhile high distribution, the technology is suitable for many applications.

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Communication methods at a glance


Read/write mode

An NFC device (e.g. mobile phone) reads or writes data to a passive NFC transponder.

Peer-To-Peer mode

Two NFC devices communicate directly with each other via the NFC interface.

Card-Emulation mode

An NFC device can be an NFC transponder and thus be used, for example, for contactless payment.

NFC chip types at a glance