Qualcomm Atheros launches low power NFC solution with 50% smaller footprint

Telecom Lead America: Qualcomm Atheros has launched a low power near field communication (NFC) solution that will enable mobile devices with contactless communications and data exchange, including mobile payments.

The QCA1990 power system-on-chip (SoC) with 50 percent smaller footprint than current NFC chips offers platform-level integration with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and processors and modems to enable NFC on Qualcomm’s OEM partner smartphones and tablets.

When paired with Qualcomm Atheros’ WCN3680 1-stream, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0/FM chip, the QCA1990 will enable seamless user experiences in the mobile, computing and consumer electronics markets.

In addition, the QCA1990 software stack complies with the NFC Forum Controller Interface (NCI) and is fully integrated to enable faster time-to-market for customers. Its radio frequency (RF) performance exceeds requirements established by EMVCo and the NFC Forum. With supported antenna form factors that are eight times smaller than current market offerings, QCA1990 offers significant cost savings for OEMs to integrate NFC at a significantly lower price point.

The QCA1990 employs low-power polling algorithms to prolong battery life. The QCA1990 also offers a wide range of secure element options, both embedded and SIM-based, while supporting multiple secure elements concurrently, including support for a dual-SIM configuration.

“Qualcomm Atheros believes NFC will be another key element of an enriched experience for smartphone and tablet consumers. As consumers continue to adopt functions like mobile payments and contactless data exchange, Qualcomm intends to be at the forefront of delivering simple, easy-to-use solutions to OEM partners,” said David Favreau, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Atheros.

The QCA1990 is pre-tested to meet the requirements from payment schemes, mobile operators and OEMs globally. The QCA1990 will sample to customers starting in the first quarter of 2013, with commercial designs with leading OEMs expected in the third quarter of 2013.

editor@telecomlead.com