STMicroelectronics to use NFC assets acquired from AMS to deliver next-generation solutions

PARTNER NEWS: STMicroelectronics (ST) will use its July acquisition of NFC and RFID products, resources, technologies and intellectual property from AMS to create a new generation of high-performance NFC solutions for both mass-market and vertical-market applications, the company’s Sylvain Fidelis and Mark Dickson have told NFC World.

STMicroelectronicsThe deal included NFC front-end booster solutions for mobiles and wearables, used in hundreds of millions of consumer devices today, and means ST now has “all of the building blocks” in place to deliver “a strong and comprehensive approach to NFC globally,” says Fidelis, the head of marketing and applications for NFC tags and readers at ST.

“The newly added products are recognised as being some of the highest-performing products on the market. They also are supported by great NFC development tools backed by a strong team organised to provide excellent technical support, along with a specially focused commercial team. That’s really adding to ST’s capability to deliver NFC solutions to the market,” he explains.

The deal was a natural evolution for ST following a joint cooperation to create reference designs for mobile NFC controllers that could include a secure element, Fidelis adds. In addition, it allowed use of a much smaller antenna designed to maintain excellent interoperability with contactless readers.

‘Natural acquisition’

“On the contactless readers’ side, we see the NFC market growing across many use cases, such as in automotive (car access, infotainment synchronisation), access control, door lock, gaming, medical and product configuration,” Fidelis adds. “We saw this coming and, after the experience of creating the reference design with AMS, it was natural for ST to make the acquisition.”

“We’ll be coming out with new reference designs and demo boards for mass market deployment and for specific applications such as EMV payments and access control,” adds Dickson, who was business line director for wireless at AMS and is now the business line manager for ST’s NFC and RFID Competence Center.

“There are significant growth opportunities here,” Dickson continues. “Now we have everything from entry-level NFC readers all the way to best-in-class NFC controllers, and high-performance infrastructure reader solutions targeting point of sale and automotive.

‘Compelling solution’

“Leveraging ST’s strong expertise in digital and security, combined with the state-of-the-art analog technology we acquired, it will bring a very compelling solution to market.

“It allows us to really broaden the scope for the business to grow and address a number of different markets, such as consumer applications and applications where you need to have ownership of the microcontroller as well. I am excited by the comprehensive portfolio of NFC solutions we will be able to provide to the market.”

“ST wants to have a strong approach to NFC globally,” Fidelis adds. “So we are accelerating the development of our portfolio of market-leading NFC products.”