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February 2, 2010

Inside Contactless unveils open-source NFC protocol stack

Offers NFC middleware for mobile phones, embedded products and other devices

By CBR Staff Writer

Inside Contactless, a provider of open-standard contactless chip technologies, said that it is making its Open NFC commercial-grade NFC protocol stack (formerly MicroRead Software Foundation) a free and open source edition under the Apache License Version 2.0.

The company said that the Open NFC 3.4 offers an API across all NFC hardware, faster time to market for OEMs and ODMs and is available for WinCE 6.0 (compatible with Windows Mobile 7) and Linux 2.6 platforms and an Android implementation will premier with the planned release of Open NFC 3.5 at the end of March.

According to Inside Contactless, the Open NFC protocol stack provides a NFC middleware offering for mobile phones, embedded products and other devices. It supports several levels of functionality, from low-level RF control to high-level NFC forum tag handling, communications, bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing, interactions with single-wire protocol SIMs and other compatibility with smart cards and RFID tags based on Felica, Mifare and ISO 14443 standards.

The Open NFC was developed for the company’s third-generation MicroRead NFC chip that provides a range of NFC options, enabling new contactless applications.MicroRead suite combines third-generation silicon, a full set of interfaces, NFC software libraries and APIs.

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Philippe Martineau, executive vice president of the NFC business line for Inside Contactless, said: “Our decision to release Open NFC under the Apache license demonstrates our willingness to lead the way in bringing high quality, well documented NFC software into the open source arena.

“Open NFC fits right in with the trend toward open platforms in the mobile industry, and will benefit device makers as well as software developers and others in the mobile ecosystem in several ways, providing greater impetus to implementing NFC solutions across a broad range of consumer products.”

The Open NFC protocol stack and the WinCE 6.0 and Linux 2.6 reference implementations are available under Apache license. The Android reference implementation is expected to be available by the end of March 2010.

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