The second Nexus phone is out, and rather than being built by HTC
, the new Nexus S is built by Samsung and Google
. The highlights have already been covered, and it's bound to do well in sales. Those who prefer a pure Android experience won't do much better, and if you can't wait for Android 2.3 to ship, it's the fastest way to get into Gingerbread. But there's one major hardware upgrade associated with the Nexus S as well: NFC.
That's short for Near Field Communications, and it's a type of technology that enables short range transfers to take place. Globally, the most common usage for NFC is contact-less payments. At gas stations, grocery stores, subways, etc. Simply tap your phone, which is connected to your credit card, and pay. It basically enables mobile payments with just a tap. That kind of lifestyle has yet to really catch on in America, but the introduction of the Nexus S may change that.
NXP Semiconductor has announced that their PN544 NFC
controller is within the phone, and the NFC stack will be fully integrated and validated on Gingerbread. This not only brings the promise of mobile payments into reality, but also enables Android developers to possibly develop new apps to take advantage of a new near-field protocol. Hopefully this chip will also make it into even more Android phones as time passes, but it looks like the Nexus S will be the one leading the way.
Google and NXP integrate NFC in Android 2.3
NFC now available in Nexus S
London, United Kingdom, December 6, 2010 – Today NXP Semiconductors N.V.
(Nasdaq: NXPI) announced a strategic collaboration with GoogleTM
(Nasdaq: GOOG) to provide a complete open source software stack for Near
Field Communications (NFC). The NFC stack will be fully integrated and
validated on Gingerbread, the latest version of the AndroidTM platform.
Google also integrated NXP's NFC controller (PN544) into its newly
launched Nexus STM phone, co-developed by Google and Samsung, offering
users access to compelling NFC based services and applications. These
game-changing moves immediately bring the richness of NFC to the
consumer and developer and device manufacturing communities around the
With over 100,000 applications and an extensive community of developers
Android is a growing player in the smartphone and mobile device world.
With developers now able to access an open source NFC implementation,
NXP will help drive the development of new, exciting and creative
applications that extend the touch interface of mobile applications
beyond the devices screen. It also enables manufacturers to develop NFC
enabled mobile devices with a faster time to market and lower
implementation and development costs.
"Android's openness has provided a great platform for accelerated
innovations," said Eric Chu, Mobile Platforms Program Manager, Google.
"We are always looking for creative ways to enhance and extend the
utilities of mobile devices with new technologies. With NXP's
contribution, the introduction of NFC in Android provides developers,
service providers, and device manufacturers a game-changing opportunity
to deliver new services while enabling users to interact with each other
and the physical world in ways previously not possible."
"Although only two years old, industry analysts are already suggesting
that Android will be the number two mobile platform by 2014. Google's
adoption of the technology will be a catalyst for the industry to drive
the further adoption of NFC at both the handset and application levels,"
said Ruediger Stroh, Executive Vice President and General Manager,
Identification Business, NXP Semiconductors. "Open source development
environments will push the boundaries of innovation and drive
revolutionary new services and applications for mobile devices."
Today, NFC offers consumers a high level of convenience, interactivity
and security with their mobile devices, and further enhances their
smartphone experiences by linking the virtual world of applications with
the physical environment. Using natural touch gestures NFC devices can
easily pair with accessories, interact on a peer-to-peer level to
exchange data, and connect to a huge installed base of reader and tag
infrastructures. Nexus S will offer consumers immediate access to read
NFC is a market proven technology co-invented by NXP in 2002. In 2004
NXP co-founded the NFC Forum to lead the collaboration with all industry
stakeholders and help standardize the technology. NFC technology
evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and
interconnection technologies. Ranked as the number one contactless IC
vendor by ABI Research for three years in a row, NXP is the global
leader in NFC solutions, field proven in over 150 NFC trials and
landmark commercial deployments worldwide.
For more information on NFC please visit www.nxp.com/nfc
Features of the PN544 – NFC Controller
Launched in 2009, the PN544 is the world's first truly industry standard
NFC controller, delivering a fully compliant platform for handset
manufacturers and operators to introduce next generation NFC devices and
services. The NXP PN544 chip is fully compliant with all released NFC
specifications on the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) connection with the SIM
and the Host Controller Interface (HCI).
· Small footprint for size optimisation
· Optimized for low power consumption
· Optionally working in Battery Off and Battery Low modes
· MIFARE 1K/4K Reader/writer functionality enabled in host
· Optionally available with an modular, generic and platform
independent software stack
· Optimized antenna designs for best-in-class RF performance
About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Nasdaq: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed
Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF,
Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing
expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive,
identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile,
consumer and computing applications. Headquartered in Europe, the
company has approximately 28,000 employees working in more than 25
countries and posted revenue of US$ 3.8 billion in 2009. For more
information, visit www.nxp.com