Qualcomm preps NFC payment chip

Qualcomm preps NFC payment chip


Peter Clarke   12/7/2012 6:42 AM EST

LONDON – Mobile chip company Qualcomm has developed a near field communications IC that will support mobile payments as well as contactless communications and data exchange.

Qualcomm Atheros, subsidiary company of Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif.), said that the QCA1990 has been tested to ensure it meets the requirements of payment schemes, mobile operators and OEMs globally and that it will sample to customers starting in the first quarter of 2013, with commercial designs with leading OEMs expected in the third quarter of 2013.

Qualcomm Atheros said the QCA1990 is intended to be paired with its WCN3680 combo chip, which provides dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM radio communications.

The chip also offers "platform-level" integration with the Snapdragon S4 application processor to enable NFC on smartphones and tablet computers.

The QCA1990 software stack complies with the NFC Forum Controller Interface (NCI) standard while its radio performance exceeds the requirements of EMVCo and the NFC Forum.

EMVCo represents the major credit card companies Europay, Mastercard and Visa.

Qualcomm Atheros also claimed that the QCA1990 only requires an antenna that is eight times smaller than current market offerings allowing cost savings for OEMs to integrate NFC at a significantly lower price point.

The QCA1990 also offers a range of secure element options, both embedded and SIM-based including support for a dual-SIM configuration.

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Qualcomm joins NFC Forum board
Intel takes a seat on board of NFC Forum
Google joins NFC Forum as ‘principal’ member

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