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Dual-interface NFC tags connects smartphones to any device

March 14, 2013 // Julien Happich

Dual-interface NFC tags connects smartphones to any device

Inside Secure has released an innovative near field communication (NFC) tag that creates virtually limitless possibilities for interactions between NFC mobile devices like smartphones and a broad range of medical, communications, entertainment and other electronic devices.


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In addition to a conventional NFC contactless interface, the new Inside dual-interface NFC Forum Type 4 Tag also provides a unique one-wire interface that allows the tag to provide a low-cost wireless communications bridge between two devices, opening the door to an array of exciting new NFC applications.
With the new tags, for example, a single tap of an NFC phone to a Bluetooth wireless headset containing one of these tags can initiate the pairing operation. The tag detects the NFC field on the contactless interface and sends a pulse over the one-wire interface to the controller inside the headset to start the pairing process. This same kind of field sensing could be used to quickly and automatically establish Wi-Fi connectivity for the first time between an NFC device, such as a tablet and a new wireless access point, or to start transferring data, through the tag, between the NFC and host devices.


The dual-interface NFC Type 4 Tag is offered in two memory configurations. The VaultIC 151D offers a 1.5-Kbyte file system size, while the VaultIC 161D has a 16-Kbyte file system size, the largest in the industry. Each tag integrates a standard contactless interface with full ISO14443 Type B protocol support for communicating with NFC devices and an INSIDE Secure proprietary one-wire interface for connection to a host processor (using just one GPIO). Accessing the data contained within the file systems from either interface is performed using the standard NFC Forum command set.

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