NFC Sensor interface is for mission-critical industrial IoT

The AS3956 is a dynamic NFC sensor tag IC from ams which meets industrial-grade quality standards. It is claimed to provide very high reliability in mission-critical applications and in products with a long operating lifetime.

The AS3956 dynamic tag acts as a contactless bridge between sensors and any NFC reader, such as a smartphone, through a host microcontroller. It supports the NDEF messaging protocol in full compliance with NFC Forum recommendations, guaranteeing interoperability with any NFC phones, including Apple iOS devices.

In designing the AS3956, ams conducted intensive testing in real-world applications to validate the performance and reliability of the chip in a range of demanding operating conditions. The AS3956 is suitable for industrial and IoT applications that are exposed to harsh operating conditions, including extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to +125 degree C.

It can be used for products requiring an extended operating lifetime, such as HVAC equipment, hearing aids, and wireless sensors for infrastructure such as roads, bridges and utilities. The AS3956’s internal EEPROM memory is rated for a minimum 100,000 program/erase cycles, and offers 10 years’ data retention at 125 degree C.

It can also be used for mission-critical products that require a zero failure rate, adds ams.

The AS3956 includes features that give the designer flexibility in implementing NFC-based applications. These include both an I2C interface and an SPI to a host microcontroller, and a wide supply voltage range of 1.65 to 5.5V.

In basic operation, the AS3956 acts as a stand-alone Type 2 tag conforming to the NFC Forum standards and supporting NFC communication with a reader. In addition, either of two data-transfer modes for host controller communication can be selected, extended mode or tunnelling mode.

Extended mode is a self-timed data transfer mechanism using standard Type 2 tag commands, minimising software overhead on the host controller. Tunnelling mode is used to implement ISO14443A Level 4 PICC emulation in line with EMVCo requirements or custom protocols

The AS3956 includes an energy-harvesting capability, drawing energy from the incoming RF field generated by an NFC reader, and supplying up to 5mA to an external device.

ams provides the AS3956 in a miniature chip-scale package (CSP) just 0.3mm high, and with a 1.8 x 1.4mm footprint as well as in a 3.0 x 3.0mm MLPD package. It is available for sampling now.


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