STMicro ready to put high performance embedded NFC secure element into mass production

The new ST33 chip is certified by EMVCo and to EAL5+ and features the same 32-bit architecture used in the firm’s NFC SIMs, enabling handset manufacturers that build the chip into their devices to offer the same wide range of secure NFC services that mobile network operators can offer via an NFC SIM.

ST33: STMicro's new secure element chip is ready for volume production

STMicroelectronics has completed the development and testing phases for its ST33 embedded NFC secure element and is now ready for volume production to begin, the company’s NFC marketing manager Laurent Degauque has told NFC World.

The ST33 secure element chip is based on the same 32-bit architecture and silicon that the chip maker uses in its existing NFC SIM chips, enabling handset makers and other manufacturers who embed the chip in their devices to offer the same wide range of services and the same level of performance that would be offered by an operator via an NFC SIM.

It includes a top of the range, high performance 32-bit ARM SecurCore SC300 processor and offers up to 1.2MBytes of embedded flash memory as well as providing support for the Single Wire Protocol (SWP). It also carries both EMVCo and Common Criteria EAL5+ certification.

“When we first started working on NFC four years ago, we said that we wanted to be involved in the whole NFC ecosystem,” Degauque says. “We are fully committed as a silicon supplier to have the best solutions to serve everybody.”

This goal, Degauque explained, led to the company designing its solutions from the start with a view to being able to use the same architecture and silicon in multiple products. The company already produces an NFC controller, the ST21NFCA, and both the company’s NFC SIM and the embedded secure element are manufactured in the same factory. A new chip designed to meet the needs of contactless readers, the STRFNFCA, is also set to be introduced during the first quarter of 2011.

STMicro NFC positioning
ELEMENTS: STMicroelectronics provides a full range of NFC chips for mobile phones