NXP Semiconductors has announced that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system will integrate the software stack of NXP’s NFC controller, the PN544, enabling much richer user experiences and convenient interactions for mobile users. By being pre-integrated and end-to-end validated by Microsoft, NXP’s NFC technology will enable handset manufacturers to more easily deliver NFC enabled smartphones based on Windows Phone 8 quickly to market.
Multiple Microsoft OEM partners have already announced Windows Phone 8 handsets with NFC, including HTC, Nokia and Samsung.
Windows Phone 8 smartphones with NFC will be able to leverage a range of NFC applications that will provide contactless convenience and simplicity but will also be able to offer security for mobile transactions. Users can tap a tag to check in at a restaurant, tap a smart poster to access links to a website, or tap another NFC enabled device to share content such as a picture or video. With a secure element, NFC also enables a virtual wallet with credit cards, loyalty cards and coupons for mobile transactions, plus solutions for mobile ticketing and access control, where NXP has a proven leadership position in the smart card-based Identification market.
The integration of NFC into the operating system layers ensures the user convenience of accessing these functions through a simple tap. Additionally, NFC further enables interoperability by connecting Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8-based devices such as laptops, ultrabooks and tablets.
“Enabling scenarios between NFC devices is a key component of Microsoft’s shared Windows core. Thus, it was natural to work with NXP since they offer a proven complete NFC portfolio that brings a great user experience to mobile devices,” said Michael Connolly, principal program manager, Windows Phone division, Microsoft.
Commenting Ruediger Stroh, executive vice president and general manager, Identification business, NXP Semiconductors said, “NFC enables the smart mobile life with applications such as ticketing, proximity marketing, access, identity or payments across a variety of devices. What NXP drives from an applications perspective is complemented by companies such as Microsoft integrating NFC into their software, contributing significantly to bringing trusted smart life solutions into the lives of the end consumers.”