London, UK; — June 16, 2010 — Innovision Research & Technology has made version 2 of its unique GEM NFC (Near Field Communication) semiconductor technology available for licensing – further opening up the market for any semiconductor company to integrate NFC into chipsets for mobile phones and consumer electronics devices.
The move to license NFC silicon Intellectual Property (IP) in this way was pioneered by Innovision over two years ago with its original GEM IP offering, which enables semiconductor companies to develop low-voltage, low-cost NFC capability, either for stand-alone NFC solutions or as part of System-on-Chip (SoC) integrated solutions.
The GEM 2 architecture is the only 1.8V NFC solution available, and can now be implemented on 65nm and 40nm CMOS processes – vital for integration into high-volume SoC designs targeted at mobile phones, consumer electronics devices and PCs. SoCs integrating the GEM 2 IP will include wireless “combo” chips, typically combining Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and WiFi, as well as NFC; cellular baseband devices; and other microprocessors, DSPs and wireless chips at the heart of high-volume consumer products. The high level of integration enabled by the GEM 2 IP greatly reduces the cost of deploying NFC technology in consumer devices and is already speeding-up global mass-market deployment of NFC.
Innovision Research & Technology’s VP Marketing, Stephen Graham, says: “Innovision is the only company to have developed a 1.8V NFC solution, and this is now accelerating the creation of high-performance SoCs that fully integrate NFC with other complementary wireless technologies.
“We have several major global semiconductor companies who are already integrating GEM 2 into their SoCs. This is a very strong indication of the pace at which the market for NFC is developing, so with this launch our aim is to open-up the market to any semiconductor company, regardless of size and scale, that wants to develop low-voltage, low-cost stand-alone NFC controllers, or integrate NFC into SoCs for mobile phones, PCs and consumer electronic devices.”
What is GEM 2?
GEM 2 is a semiconductor IP product offering IC designers a very versatile solution for NFC Reader/Writer, Peer-to-Peer and Card/Tag emulation functionality.
GEM 2 enables high-performance NFC devices and global NFC interoperability with existing and emerging standards for contactless payment, mass transit ticketing, access control and smart objects, including ISO/IEC 18092, 21481, 14443A&B, and 15693. GEM 2 optionally supports a battery-off mode in which the NFC solution may be powered from the RF field even when the battery in the mobile phone is fully depleted; and it supports standard secure element interfaces including the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) defined by ETSI for interfacing to the SIM card in a mobile phone.
A key benefit of the GEM 2 IP is its relative ease of transfer from one silicon foundry process or geometry to another, due primarily to the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) approach to much of the analogue design. In addition, the ability to customize its features, interface, performance, power requirements and, ultimately, die area, enables a market-leading NFC chip to be developed in months rather than years.
The first version of GEM IP operated at 3.3V and was suitable for 130nm and 90nm processes; GEM 2 operates at 1.8V and is also suitable for 65nm and 40nm processes.
About Innovision Research & Technology plc
Innovision Research & Technology plc, is leading the next generation of NFC/RFID solutions. As the leading fabless developer of Short-Range Data Communication semiconductor and system solutions, with particular focus on NFC/RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and ultra low-cost Integrated Circuit (IC) and RF electronic design, IRT is pushing cost performance to enable clients to get maximum utility for minimum cost.
The company develops innovative semiconductor technologies, ICs, RF systems (HF/UHF) and complete end product applications for mass volume commercialisation and then licenses customers for its incorporation into their own products.
At the heart of the emerging Near Field Communication (NFC) market, Innovision R&T designs and develops NFC/RFID IC solutions for the global mobile handset and consumer device sectors.
Products include Topaz, mandated by the NFC Forum as the NFC number one tag type format, Jewel for mass transit ticketing applications, and io, the world's smallest standards compatible Near-Field RFID reader.
Headquartered in the UK, Innovision R&T was listed in 2001 on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (ticker symbol:INN).