Broadcom's New NFC Modules Cut Power Consumption, Offer New Features

NFC has officially hit the big-time. How do we know? Because Broadcom just put out a press release introducing the first NFC chips in 40nm, which would have probably been chuckled at by the public even a decade ago. But now, NFC is on the tip of every tongue in tech, particularly now that Google Wallet is rolling out in select cities to those with a Nexus S 4G.

The new BCM2079x solutions are the industry's first near field communications (NFC) chips manufactured in 40 nm CMOS process for smaller size and the industry's lowest power consumption, and they support multiple embedded secure elements and/or SIM cards for contactless payment and secure applications.

Device-to-device data/video transfer, pairing and connections is also in the cards, and the new family slashes power consumption by more than 90 percent, uses 40 percent fewer components and has a 40 percent smaller board area. The NFC controllers are platform agnostic with support for multiple secure elements or SIM cards – or both at the same time. In addition, Broadcom's advanced Maestro middleware allows new NFC applications to utilize Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities in the device to spur new innovations in user interface and media sharing.

There's no indication of what handsets will pick up the technology just yet, but given the craze surrounding NFC in general, we bet that it won't be long before just about everyone catches on.