The NFC Forum stated the public availability of new versions of nine technical specifications, following approval by the Board of Directors. The new versions deliver greater interoperability, faster read and write performance, mediated handover, and lower power consumption, as well as additional functionality for products incorporating NFC technology. The revised specifications comprise an integrated and streamlined set designed to be used together, bringing greater efficiency to the process of developing standards-based NFC products.
To date, the NFC Forum has completed 21 technical specifications, as the momentum for Near Field Communication devices and services continues to grow. ABI Research estimates that over 500 million NFC-enabled devices will reach the market this year.
The new set of specifications supports compatibility among NFC devices implemented with previously released versions. The revisions deliver on the Forum’s commitment to developing and maintaining technical specifications of the highest possible accuracy and usefulness. The specifications are available at no charge from the NFC Forum website after completion of the Specification License Agreement.
The updated specifications are:
- NFC Activity Technical Specification version 1.1– This specification describes the building blocks, called Activities, for setting up the communication protocol between NFC devices or between an NFC device and an NFC tag. This version includes updates that address comments made on the previous version.
- NFC Connection Handover Technical Specification version 1.3– This specification defines the structure and sequence of interactions that allow two NFC-enabled devices to establish a connection using other wireless communication technologies, combining the simple, one-touch set-up of NFC with high-speed communication technologies such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. With the new version of the specification, a high-speed connection can be established between two distant NFC-enabled devices by using another NFC-enabled device as a handover mediator. For example, a smartphone can serve as a mediator to securely connect the living-room TV to the Wi-Fi router with just a tap on each device.
- NFC Controller Interface (NCI) Technical Specification version 1.1 – The NCI specification defines a standard interface within an NFC device between an NFC controller and the device’s main application processor. This version incorporates comments received on the previous version, as well as the addition of:
— Logical Link Control Protocol Low RF Interface, for power savings on idle LLCP links
— Aggregated Frame RF Interface, for faster tag reading and writing
— NFCID2-based listen mode routing, which provides more flexibility to emulate Type 3 Tag applications on different secure elements directly connected to the NFC controller (such as SIM cards)
- NFC Digital Protocol Specification version 1.1– This specification addresses the digital protocol for NFC-enabled device communication, and it defines a common feature set that can be used for major NFC applications in areas such as financial services and public transport. Content changes include clarifications, corrections, and editorial updates.
- NFC Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) Specification version 1.2– The LLCP specification defines a protocol to support peer-to-peer communication between two NFC-enabled devices, which is essential for any NFC applications that involve bi-directional communications. Comment resolutions and editorial updates have been made in this version.
- NFC Forum Type 1/2/3/4 Tags– The operation specifications for the NFC Forum Type 1/2/3/4 Tags provide the technical information needed to implement an NFC reader/writer and the associated control functionality of an NFC device to interact with the tags. New versions of Type Tags specifications include:
— NFC Forum Type 1 Tag Operation Technical Specification version 1.2 — Comment resolutions and editorial updates have been made.
— NFC Forum Type 2 Tag Operation Technical Specification version 1.2 – Content has been aligned with the NFC Digital Protocol specification, and other editorial updates have been made.
— NFC Forum Type 3 Tag Operation Technical Specification version 1.2 – The new version includes editorial updates and alignment with the NFC Digital Protocol specification.
— NFC Forum Type 4 Tag Operation Technical Specification version 3.0 – The revised version includes extended length Application Protocol Data Unit support, and it adds an offset data object and a discretionary data object.
“Our NFC Forum specifications are living resources that must evolve to stay ahead of the changing needs of the rapidly expanding NFC ecosystem,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “These newly updated specifications demonstrate how diligently our Technical Committee and its Working Groups strive to implement and distribute revisions that deliver greater value to NFC developers and solution providers.”
The revised specifications incorporate comments received via the public feedback page on the NFC Forum website. The NFC Forum thanks the reviewers who provided feedback. Their contributions help to improve and maintain the high quality of the specifications.