Imside Secure, a leader in semiconductor solutions for secure transactions, today announced the availability of the latest version of its award-winning, open-source, open NFC protocol stack for the new Google Android 4.0 release, aka Ice Cream Sandwich.
Available for download from the open Near Field Communication (NFC) website, the open NFC version 4.3.3 for Google Android 4.0 is compliant with the Ice Cream Sandwich release Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for NFC, and provides the NFC ecosystem with consistent NFC Application Program Interface (API) and functionality to implement NFC independently of the underlying NFC hardware. It supports all the latest Android NFC features, including Android Beam and wi-fi direct pairing connection. In addition to these new Android services, open NFC provides access to unique features such as card emulation and access to multiple secure elements.
"The Ice Cream Sandwich release brings even greater NFC functionality to the android operating system, and INSIDE is making our latest version of open NFC available to give connectivity chip vendors, smartphone and tablet manufacturers and software developers a head start in achieving NFC hardware independence," said Charles Walton, COO for INSIDE Secure. "Once again, INSIDE is offering the Android community a complete, open-source NFC stack solution that can be used to greatly speed development and time to market, requiring only that the small Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) portion be tailored for specific hardware."
The complete open-source HAL for INSIDE's MicroRead(R) and SecuRead(R) is also available for download. The HAL allows the open NFC protocol stack to be used immediately with INSIDE's MicroRead(R) and SecuRead(R) NFC chip platforms, and provides a convenient model for developing HALs for NFC chips from other manufacturers. It brings consistency across multiple platforms and devices as well as improved interoperability. According to Walton, open NFC has already been deployed in millions of smartphones, and INSIDE anticipates this latest version of open NFC will be incorporated into android-based smartphones and tablets that will ship in 2012.
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.
Since it was introduced in 2009, the open NFC protocol stack has become recognized as a cost-effective, open-standards NFC middleware solution, and has received significant industry support from a broad array of participants in the NFC ecosystem. INSIDE's open NFC received a prestigious Sesames award for software at Cartes & Identification 2010 because it offers a genuine breakthrough that brings significant benefits to OEMs and ODMs.