INSIDE Secure, a leader in semiconductor solutions for secure transactions and digital identity, today announced it has shipped more than ten million MicroRead and SecuRead NFC solutions to date this year to multiple manufacturers of a broad range of mobile NFC devices. This milestone heralds the imminent arrival of mainstream NFC smartphones and devices to global markets as the industry achieves liftoff in 2011, and means that devices with INSIDE NFC solutions will soon be in the hands of millions of people who will use them to enjoy the rich consumer experiences of new mobile services.
“Our MicroRead and SecuRead NFC solutions are contributing to the current market acceleration because they offer clear, demonstrable advantages over competitive offerings for a range of applications,” said Charles Walton, chief operating officer at INSIDE Secure. “INSIDE’s NFC chip shipments indicate that this market is achieving significant penetration as more and more mobile device and other consumer electronics device makers begin to integrate NFC functionality into their product offerings. It also means that device makers recognize the numerous advantages the MicroRead and SecuRead products offer in terms of performance, efficiency, cost savings and flexibility.”
“If there was ever tangible evidence needed that NFC is no longer science fiction, but a technology that is about to hit the streets, this is it,” said Nick Holland, senior analyst at Yankee Group. “Clearly, NFC is here and now.”
According to Walton, MicroRead and SecuRead offer a number of compelling advantages to NFC device makers. The MicroRead NFC microcontroller features the lowest standby current in the industry, more than four times lower than other commercial products, resulting in a power-friendly implementation for mobile devices. Device implementations with MicroRead and SecuRead also require significantly fewer external components, resulting in the smallest footprint in the industry at less than 70 mm squared. Further, MicroRead achieves EMVco card emulation compliance with a minimal 40 x 15 mm antenna size – more than 30 per cent smaller than any other commercial product.
With the same exact package size and pin-out as MicroRead, the INSIDE SecuRead system-in-package today offers 25 per cent more secure applet and data storage capacity – 106K bytes – than other commercially available secure elements, and will be expanded to 144K bytes in a first half 2012 release. Based upon an internal benchmark of Visa mobile applet performance, SecuRead is 20 per cent faster than other available NFC implementations, proving most suitable for open bank card payments in emerging transit systems. Support is uniquely provided within SecuRead for over-the-air (OTA) updates of OS functionality, providing the greatest flexibility over the life cycle of NFC devices.
SecuRead features the most substantive applet library in the industry — from payment to transit to ID to retail applications—and is unique in supporting mobile device-based HID iClass physical access control applications within the NFC market.
A third-generation product that sets a new standard for ease of integration, the award-winning MicroRead NFC controller offers the broadest range of NFC options and provides the capacity to implement any secure element, including SIM, SE or SD card, to support any business model. When incorporated into cell phones, PDAs or PCs, MicroRead chips enable them to operate both like RF readers and contactless smart cards or RFID tags. The SecuRead solution started shipping earlier this year, and integrates the MicroRead NFC controller with a high-performance secure element and a GlobalPlatform-compliant Java Card(TM) operating system. Both products are integrated with the INSIDE Open NFC protocol stack to provide best-of-breed solutions within multiple device ecosystems. INSIDE operational capacity now exceeds five million units per month for NFC chip shipments and will increase in 2012 to meet the demands of this rapidly growing market.
Several leading handset makers have introduced smartphones integrating NFC capabilities already this year, and the number of NFC phones introduced is expected to accelerate in 2012. At the same time, mobile operators, banks and other service providers in the U.S. and Europe have started forming associations or more formal joint ventures to prepare for NFC rollouts next year, and are building interoperable platforms for mobile wallets and over-the-air provisioning and management of applications.
INSIDE Secure has long played a leading role in NFC technology innovation, including the ownership of several important NFC patents. The company has been an active member of the NFC Forum since its formation, and sits on the board of directors. INSIDE was instrumental in developing the ETSI NFC standard, working with other industry leaders to co-author the specification, with the result that INSIDE now enjoys early implementation of this standard.