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NFC Technical Knowledge: NFC Architecture And Standards Involved
Jan 27, 2019

In recent years, with the development of smart phones, some emerging technologies have also come out, such as early Bluetooth, infrared and recent fingerprints, voice control, etc., once launched, they have been praised by consumers, but there are also some unpopular technologies. Since its launch, it has been tepid in the following years. Although major manufacturers have promoted it, they are unable to display it in the face of this market. Speaking of this, I believe that some users have already guessed what technology the author is talking about. Friends who have not guessed, don't be disappointed. Maybe, your mobile phone does not support this technology, or it does not open and let you pass this technology. That is NFC, the full name of NearFieldCommunication, that is, short-range wireless communication technology. NFC Technology A non-contact identification and interconnection technology developed by Philips and Sony to provide close-range wireless communication between mobile devices, portable electronics, and PC and smart control tools. It can be understood as a Bluetooth-like function, but compared to Bluetooth, NFC is simpler in terms of function implementation, allowing consumers to exchange information and access content and services simply and intuitively. However, in real life, what functions NFC can achieve is believed to be the most concerned by consumers.

      NFC development history

The NFC function is mainly used by mobile phones and has become popular in recent years, but its origins have to start from 2003. At the time, Philips and Sony planned to develop a compatible wireless communication technology based on contactless card technology. Therefore, Philips sent a team to Japan and Sony engineers to retreat to develop this technology. In three months, the two companies jointly released research and development results, a wireless communication technology compatible with the current ISO14443 contactless card protocol, and named NFC (NearFieldCommunication).

In order to promote the development and popularization of NFC, in 2004, Philips, Sony and Nokia jointly created a non-profit industry association, NFCForum, to promote the implementation and standardization of NFC technology and ensure the cooperation between equipment and services. NFCForum has hundreds of members around the world, including: NOKIA, SONY, Philips, LG, Motorola, NXP, NEC, Samsung, Atoam, Intel, among which Chinese members have Meizu, BBK, vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi, China Mobile, Huawei, ZTE, Shanghai Tongyao and Taiwan Zhenglong and other companies.

NFC principle information

In principle, NFC exchanges data between devices using non-contact point-to-point data transmission (within ten centimeters). This mode is similar to infrared, and can be used for data exchange, but the transmission distance is short, the transmission creation speed is faster, the transmission speed is faster, and the power consumption is low. In terms of specific use, users can link two NFC-enabled devices to achieve data point-to-point transmission, such as downloading music, exchanging pictures or synchronizing device address books.

On the technical side, NFC is very similar to Bluetooth, and is a short-range communication technology that is integrated into mobile phones. But NFC does not require complicated setup procedures. Therefore, NFC can also simplify the Bluetooth function. But its speed is not as good as Bluetooth. The maximum data transmission capacity of NFC is 424kbit/s, which is much smaller than BluetoothV2.1 (2.1Mbit/s).

NFC officially used

Since the advent of NFC in 2003, it has been favored by many companies for its excellent safety and ease of use. Therefore, in 2005, the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Visa and Philips began. Collaborate on major NFC testing. Subsequently, France and Taiwan also conducted related application tests in the same year.

Until 2007, the NFC test project was officially launched in China, and the test sites included several cities including Beijing, Xiamen and Guangzhou. The test equipment is Nokia's 6131i model with built-in NFC chip. The phone is pre-downloaded with a transport card that can be used in the municipal transport system, which allows users to purchase tickets and shop at certain stores with a pre-paid account. Due to the huge potential of the Chinese market, NFC has joined tens of millions of consumers during the Chinese testing period. Therefore, this year is also known as the "application start" year of NFC.

After NFC is popular in China and successfully promoted, related NFC equipment is also emerging. In addition to NFC-enabled mobile phones, in 2011, BlackBerry manufacturer RIM and security access card and card reader provider HIDGlobal announced that part of RIM is new. The BlackBerry will be equipped with HIDGlobal's iCLASS digital certificate. NFC's BlackBerry Bold and Curve models are compatible with HIDGlobal's iCLASS readers, which are widely used in building access control systems, student ID readers, tracking employee sign-in and attendance.

NFC tag

Although NFC is very functional, it is inseparable from the help of tags. Currently, there are four types of tags that support NFC, and they are identified by "1" to "4". Different tags have different formats and capacities. . Let's take a look at the differences between the four labels.

Type 1 tag (Tag1Type): This type is based on the ISO14443A standard. Such tags have the ability to be read and rewritten, and users can configure them to be read-only. The storage capacity is 96 bytes (up to 2K bytes), which is used to store URL URLs or other small amounts of data. The communication speed of such NFC tags is 106 kbit/s. These tags are simple and therefore cost effective and suitable for many NFC applications.

Type 2 tag (Tag2Type): These tags are also based on ISO14443A and are readable and re-writable, which users can configure as read-only. Its basic memory size is 48 bytes, but can be expanded to 2k bytes. The communication speed is also 106kbit/s.

Type 3 tags (Tag3Type): These tags are based on the SonyFeliCa system. It has a memory capacity of 2k bytes and a data communication speed of 212kbit/s. Therefore, such labels are more suitable for more complicated applications, but the cost is higher.

Type 4 tag (Tag4Type): These tags are defined to be compatible with the ISO14443A, B standard. The manufacturing time is preset to be readable/rewritable or read-only. The memory capacity can reach 32k bytes, and the communication speed is between 106kbit/s and 424kbit/s.

It can be seen from the definitions of the above different tag types that the first two classes and the latter two classes are quite different in terms of memory capacity and composition. The first and second types of tags are binary and can be read/write or read only. Classes 3 and 4 are read-only, data is written at production or written by a special tag writer.

NFC utility function

Since the mobile phone is a rigid electronic device for the user, and because its intelligent system is powerful for the NFC function, the NFC main device is a mobile phone product. After the major manufacturers have joined the NFC ranks, such as the use of NFC. Endless. However, in general, the use of NFC features are mainly divided into five categories:

. Touch and Go, such as access control, tickets and tickets, users can store the ticket or gated device close to the card reader, and can also be used for logistics management.

Second, contact payment (TouchandPay), such as contactless mobile payment, the user closes the device near the POS machine embedded with the NFC module can pay, and confirm the transaction.

Third, contact connection (TouchandConnect), such as connecting two NFC devices, Peer-to-Peer data transmission, such as download music, picture transfer and exchange of contacts.

With TouchandExplore, users can connect NFC phones to NFC-enabled smart public phones or posters to browse traffic information.

Five download contacts (LoadandTouch), users can receive or download information through the GPRS network, for payment or access control and other functions, as mentioned above, users can send a specific format of text messages to the housekeeper's mobile phone to control the rights of the housekeeping staff to enter and exit the house.

Not long ago, some netizens broke the news, saying that the mobile phone supporting NFC function can easily read part of the bank card information and the recent withdrawal amount of the card user without the password after the function is turned on. After the news broke, it caused a lot of consumer users to care.

For this matter, the author used the NFC-enabled mobile phone and the bank card for the actual test. The test results confirmed that the NFC function of the mobile phone can indeed read the user's bank card information and the withdrawal amount. From a functional point of view, it is really convenient for users to check the bank card access information at any time, but from the privacy point of view, it is safe, I believe it is also the user's most concerned.

For this problem, experts have already explained that NFC reading bank cards do have certain security risks. Bank card numbers and transaction records may indeed be read by others, but the possibility is not great because NFC has higher requirements on distance. However, it does not rule out the existence of high-power NFC equipment, which can be read at a long distance. After the bank card information is read, the main hazard is that the criminals will use the multiple mobile phone numbers, ID cards and other information to steal money. Therefore, try to avoid close contact between bank cards and other people's mobile phones. Even if the bank card number is read, there is no sensitive information such as mobile phone number and ID card number, and it is difficult for lawless elements to achieve stolen printing.

Summary: Through the above introduction, I believe that everyone has a comprehensive understanding of NFC, although this function is still a high-tech product, but in fact it has been more than 10 years since its birth. In terms of practical applications, NFC is gradually expanding its scope. It is believed that NFC will spread to a wider range of fields in the future and develop into a trend that will penetrate people's life applications.