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STMicroelectronics Facilitates Contactless Communication between Mobile Phones and Other Electronic Devices

ST’s NFC and EEPROM chips interact through passive RF technology reducing power consumption in electronic devices

Live demo at CARTES 2010 - Booth 3E036

Geneva /
The latest secure microcontrollers and non-volatile memory technologies from STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) open new possibilities for interaction between mobile phones and other electronic devices. Equipped with ST’s NFC chip, a mobile phone can easily upload and download data over the air from any equipment fitted with ST’s industry-unique RF-enabled EEPROM memory, from personal health monitors to TV sets and washing machines, without consuming any on-board power.

“The powerful combination of wirelessly accessible non-volatile memories and Near Field Communication is set to change the way users interact with all kinds of electronic devices using their mobile phone,” said Sylvain Fidelis, RF Memory Marketing Manager, STMicroelectronics. “The only company to provide both NFC and Dual-Interface EEPROM solutions, ST enables simple and power-stingy contactless data exchange in a wide variety of applications, including diagnostics, parameter update, remote activation and asset tracking across medical, consumer, and industrial fields.”

ST’s Dual-Interface EEPROMs enable RF access to parameters stored in electronic devices using passive RFID  technology that does not consume any on-board power. For example, in various health-monitoring devices, these EEPROMs store patient information and other important data. With mobile phones that integrate an ISO 15693-capable NFC router, such as ST’s ST21NFCA, it is possible to download the data and either display the information on the handset or send it to the doctor for real-time diagnosis--even when the monitoring device is turned off.

The combination of the NFC and Dual-Interface EEPROM technologies can also greatly simplify programming or servicing of consumer electronics and home appliances. Users just need to place their cellphone close to a TV set or a washing machine to read and send traceability information or operating data to the service center. Similarly, they will be able to re-program or re-calibrate the equipment using a code sent to their phone by the service provider.

ST’s M24LR64 EEPROM memory device integrates both a standard digital I2C and a passive radio frequency (ISO 15693) interface. In RF mode, the memory requires no power as it gathers both the energy and the data from the system. This enables on-board energy savings and provides an easy and convenient way to remotely program or update electronic products, anytime and anywhere.

ST’s ST21NFCA System-on-Chip solution integrates all the necessary hardware and software for a complete NFC (Near Field Communication) system, supporting all existing contactless standards for proximity and vicinity, including the ISO 15693 RF technology. This solution combines flexible microcontroller architecture with embedded non-volatile memory for easy firmware and functional upgrade and multiple connectivity channels able to address different phone system architectures.

ST will soon expand both its Dual-Interface EEPROM and NFC product lines to allow a greater range of applications and possibilities.

A live demonstration of innovative contactless interaction using NFC and Dual-Interface EEPROM technologies will be showcased on ST’s booth (3E036) at CARTES and IDentification 2010, the annual international event for digital security, smart technologies, payment and mobility held in Paris on December 7-9, 2010.

Notes to Editors:

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity protocol for peer-to-peer communication over a distance of up to 4 inches. Primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones, NFC operates within the globally available and unlicensed 13.56 MHz radio frequency band.

ISO 15693 is an international standard for contactless smart cards, which uses the 13.56 MHz frequency and offers a maximum read distance of 1-1.5 m. As a passive RFID technology, it uses energy transferred from the reader to power the tag.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2009, the Company’s net revenues were $8.51 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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