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NFC Universal Device from STMicroelectronics Introduces a New Performance Standard for NFC Readers

Innovates to ease EMVCo 3.0 compliance and adds an enhanced feature set for NFC applications

The STMicroelectronics ST25R3916 NFC Universal Device contains innovative features to simplify the design of payment terminals and ease compliance with new EMVCo 3.0 contactless interoperability tests for cards, mobiles, and wearables.

ST’s new NFC Universal Device builds on features of the preceding ST25R3911B, which was the first reader offering Dynamic Power Output (DPO) to keep the field strength within EMVCo limits and avoid damage to cards and phones from overpowering in zero distance. The NFC Universal Device adds Active Wave Shaping (AWS) that manages the energy continuously to improve waveform robustness versus antenna detuning. Together, DPO and AWS help new terminal designs pass the latest EMVCo 3.0 certification faster, easing the tests performed with dissimilar-reference Proximity Integrated Circuit Cards (PICCs) that emulate card, wearable, and mobile devices.

The STR25R3916 adds an industry-first Noise-Suppression Receiver (NSR), offering unmatched sensitivity that prevents the terminal mistaking noise from its own LCD as a load-modulation signal from the payment device. Designers can select their preferred LCD model for best user experience. They are no longer bound to use shielded low-noise LCDs, thereby easing display selection and lowering cost of their products.

In addition, the ST25R3916 delivers an output power of up to 1.6W, using the internal LDO, or higher with an additional external regulator, ensuring adequate field strength to connect reliably even in setups with small antennas.

In addition to payment terminals, the ST25R3916 delivers superior performance in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications, such as access-control systems, gaming terminals, IoT devices, and brand-protection and supply-chain use cases including product configuration, authentication, and traceability.

Also featuring Automatic Antenna Tuning (AAT), automatic EMD (Electro Magnetic Disturbance) handling, power-saving capacitive and inductive wake-up (CWU), and support for reader/writer, peer-to-peer, and card-emulation modes, the ST25R3916 provides all the features designers need to ensure fast time to market and compliance with relevant NFC specifications.

The ST25R3916 is supported by a comprehensive and free software tool. This PC-based software allows access to the registers and features of the ST25R3916 and offers a complete RF/NFC abstraction (RFAL) for all major technologies including complete ISO-DEP and NFC-DEP layers, covering the whole ST25R product series. A free EMVCo L1 software package is also available.

The ST25R3916 is in production now, available in a 5mm x 5mm 32-pin QFN package.

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