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TI’s New NFC Interface Transponder

Last month, TI announced a new near-field communications (NFC) interface transponder.

The new Dynamic NFC Transponder Interface RF430CL330H is low cost, bringing a secure, simplified pairing process for Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi connections to products, such as printers, speakers, headsets, and remote controls, as well as wireless keyboards, mice, switches and sensors. It is the only dynamic NFC tag device designed specifically for NFC connection handover and service interface functions, including host diagnostics and software upgrades.

At the same time, they also announced the NFCLink software firmware library, so that developers can quickly create NFC apps.

As the Internet of Things continues to expand rapidly, and as more and more products – both consumer  (speakers) and non-consumer (medical devices) – are Internet-enabled, chips like the Dynamic NFC Transponder Interface will become increasingly more important. They’ll help application developers build products that really make WiFi setup easy and foolproof. While consumer applications have been getting easier and easier to use – a couple of months ago I blogged about the NEST thermostat, which was pretty darned easy to set up – they can still be challenging for non-technical types.  Even for technical types, it can be cumbersome and painful, as when you have to put in WiFi security credentials with strings of dozens of characters, often into an interface that’s not easy to use.

When your phone and WiFi router are NFC-enabled, you’ll just be able to tap the phone to the router and the credential information will be transferred immediately.  Your smartphone will become something of a magic wand. No more set up hassles, you’ll be able to just tap and go to introduce your phone to your stereo, your printer, your HVAC controls and they’ll make the connection for you.

Much as I like doing-it-myself – come on, I’m an engineer – the simplification of near field communications is something that I welcome with open arms.