Reflecting a clear and growing trend in the mobile industry, Inside Contactless, a leading provider of advanced, open-standard contactless chip technologies, today announced it is making its Open NFC commercial-grade NFC protocol stack (formerly MicroRead Software Foundation) available in a free and open source edition under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
Offering a consistent API across all NFC hardware, faster time to market and greater flexibility for OEMs and ODMs, INSIDE's Open NFC 3.4 is available now for WinCE 6.0 (compatible with WindowsTM Mobile 7) and Linux 2.6 platforms, and an AndroidTM implementation will premier with the planned release of Open NFC 3.5 at the end of March.
"Our decision to release Open NFC under the Apache license demonstrates our willingness to lead the way in bringing high quality, well documented NFC software into the open source arena," said Philippe Martineau, executive vice president of the NFC business line for INSIDE Contactless. "Open NFC fits right in with the trend toward open platforms in the mobile industry, and will benefit device makers as well as software developers and others in the mobile ecosystem in several ways, providing greater impetus to implementing NFC solutions across a broad range of consumer products."
Martineau anticipates that the availability of an open source NFC protocol stack should also improve the interoperability of NFC devices, and thus accelerate market adoption.
The Open NFC protocol stack provides a complete NFC middleware solution for mobile phones, embedded products and other devices. Open NFC supports several levels of functionality, from low-level RF control to high-level NFC Forum tag handling, peer-to-peer communications as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing, interactions with single-wire protocol SIMs and other secure elements and compatibility with smart cards and RFID tags based on Felica, Mifare and ISO 14443 standards.
"Having an open-source NFC stack like Open NFC is a game-changing development, providing greater flexibility in sourcing NFC controllers and a consistent programming interface," said Gary Koerper, vice president of Engine Systems, Motorola Mobile Devices. "We congratulate INSIDE Contactless for their contribution to the open source movement."
"Orange believes Open NFC will be a catalyst for change in the NFC marketplace by reducing market fragmentation and removing barriers to adoption of this promising technology," said Yves Maitre, senior vice president, Mobile Multimedia and Devices at Orange. "INSIDE Contactless has made a major contribution to the advancement of NFC."
"Qualcomm understands the increasing importance of open source and community-driven software to the mobile industry, particularly as customer demand for open and flexible software coupled with powerful mobile hardware platforms continues to increase," said John Elliott, Senior Director of Emerging Connectivity Technologies at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "It is a great pleasure to see NFC move closer to the open source community, and INSIDE Contactless is one of the visionary companies making this happen."
Qualcomm now offers two complete NFC handset reference designs, one based on an HSUPA Mobile Station ModemTM(MSMTM) chipset and one based on a Qualcomm Single ChipTM (QSCTM) solution for CDMA2000TM. The two reference designs leverage INSIDE Contactless' NFC solution enabling device manufacturers to bring next-generation NFC handsets to market more quickly and at significantly reduced development cost.
Open NFC was originally developed for INSIDE's third-generation MicroRead NFC chip that provides the broadest range of NFC options, enabling numerous new contactless applications, and was the first NFC solution to support the single-wire protocol (SWP). The award-winning MicroRead suite combines third-generation silicon, a full set of interfaces, NFC software libraries and APIs, a field-proven reference design and robust standards support to provide a turnkey contactless reader solution.