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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

TI introduces industry’s lowest power NFC transceiver

The TRF7970A evaluation module 
By Nick Flaherty

TRF7970A NFC platform speeds designs with easy-to-configure software

Texas Instruments has launched what it claims is industry’s lowest-power contactless short-range communication transceiver. Aimed at infrastructure devices, the TRF7970A extends battery life through eight selectable power modes ranging from under 1µA in power-down mode to 120mA in full-power mode. This gives it twice the battery life of competing products, says TI.
The transceiver comes with easy-to-configure software to help developers get started quickly. Royalty-free stacks are compatible across a broad range of ultra-low-power MSP microcontrollers. Additionally, developers are able to directly access all control registers, allowing for easy fine-tuning of various parameters for the highest performance in every application.
The new transceiver builds on TI’s platform of RFID products by supporting peer-to-peer communication and card emulation in addition to reader/writer capability while maintaining pin-for-pin compatibility with the previous TRF7960. Peer-to-peer communication continues to increase in popularity in applications including medical equipment, secure pairing and payments. This allows users to more easily take advantage of continuously evolving features and apps. For example, NFC devices can configure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology sessions between devices without consumer interaction, share and interact with feature- and content- rich data such as coupons at point of sale, and allow consumer devices to easily exchange files and contacts.

Features and benefits:
  • Eight selectable power modes (Power modes range from <1 µA to 120 mA)
  • Supports peer-to-peer communication, reader/writer capability and card emulation
  • Supports two crystal oscillator frequencies: 13.56MHz or 27.12MHz frequencies give engineers more flexibility in speed and cost options for their designs
  • Large 128 byte FIFO buffer for NFC communications allows developers using microcontrollers with low MHz to create products capable of handling large data transfers
  • Compliance with ISO/IEC 18092 and ISO/IEC 21481 standards gives developers the ability to create globally interoperable products
  • NFC software stack libraries and an innovative RF field detector allow for easy development efforts and robust, cost effective designs
  • NFC Peer-to-Peer Initiator as well as Active and Passive Target Operation are available for MSP430™ microcontrollers
  • Supports multiple reader/writer protocols and includes demo software stacks for reader/writer mode ISO/IEC 15693, ISO/IEC 18000-3, ISO/IEC 14443A/B and FeliCa
With more than 1 billion RFID tags and more than 100 million RFID reader devices manufactured, TI’s RFID technology is used in a broad range of applications worldwide. Designers can accelerate time to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings and technical support.
The TRF7970A NFC development kit is immediately available for order at and priced at USD $99.
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