Qualcomm and NXP team up for NFC on Snapdragon platforms

Qualcomm makes Snapdragon processors

Qualcomm Technologies is working with NXP to integrate NXP’s NFC and embedded secure element (eSE) solutions into reference designs for its Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200 processor-based platforms, mobile chipsets which already lie at the heart of more than one billion devices.

The two companies have set out a joint roadmap for future products, and marrying NXP’s NFC expertise with Qualcomm’s central position in the mobile device industry means that device manufacturers will benefit from reduced design complexity, lower design cost and time savings as they design NFC into their products.

“The agreement will enable the rapid introduction of NFC and eSE on Snapdragon-based devices to meet market demands for increased functionality in a broad range of consumer applications,” the companies explain, pointing to segments such as mobile payments, digital identity, automotive and the internet of things.

The first fruit of the collaboration is the NQ220 module, derived from the recently launched NXP PN66T, and “designed to enable service providers to easily deliver new applications by simplifying the process of deploying credentials to devices, significantly reducing design costs and time-to-market considerations for mobile wallets and additional applications such as prepaid payment, transit and access control.”

NXP’s NQ series will include standalone NFC products in the NQ210 line and combination NFC and secure element products in the NQ220 line.

Qualcomm's Neeraj Bhatia
BHATIA: “We’re solving some basic problems which cannot be either solved by NXP or by Qualcomm alone”

“If you look at it from an OEM standpoint, when they start to integrate NFC or when they try to integrate NFC and the secure element together on the platform, you can see they have struggles with issues around how the whole end-to-end system works,” Qualcomm product manager Neeraj Bhatia explained to NFC World.

“All of these changes require integration at the software level, at the hardware level, so we’re going to solve all of these problems together and, essentially, offer a turnkey solution to the OEM so that they can start from a really high bar in terms of what they can bring to market themselves.”

“If an OEM wants to work with a different provider, we’re not going to refuse that,” Bhatia continued. “Any OEM could put together an NFC product from a third party and a Qualcomm processor on their design but the reality is, they’re struggling with the whole end-to-end use case. That’s the reason why we feel the need for us to work a lot closer together and NXP, being a leader in this space, is the best partner for us.

“By working together, we’re solving some basic problems which cannot be either solved by NXP or by Qualcomm alone. We can accelerate service adoption significantly by getting over these basic hurdles. These are things that I don’t think individual NFC companies can do themselves. What makes this really exciting for us is that we have a joint roadmap together with NXP.

“One of the key value propositions of a Qualcomm reference design is that we do as much precertification as possible on the platforms, even before the customer gets that platform,” says Bhatia. “We test our platforms with multiple operators, we do end-to-end TSM testing. The joint reference designs we have with NXP, we’ll be taken them through the certifications as well. Customers can significantly benefit from the end-to-end and certifications that we do. They will have 80%-90% leverage on certification.”

“We continue to see the market use and acceptance of NFC grow daily, with new applications being created at an astounding rate,” says Rafael Sotomayor, senior vice president at NXP. “Collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies to provide full eSE and NFC functionality on it’s industry-leading platforms will further expand this growth potential.

“By working together, each company is able better to focus on its respective area of expertise, ensuring the industry receives a best-in-class, robust, tested and certified solution that can be designed in quickly by OEMs with minimal effort.”

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