NFC Forum Adds Analog Testing to Certification Program

WAKEFIELD, Mass. –Sept. 18, 2014  The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, today announced the launch of Analog testing as part of its Certification Program. The NFC Forum analog certification will be the world’s first detailed evaluation of the Radio Frequency (RF) performance of an NFC device, assuring that the certified device fulfills the RF requirements and is compliant with the NFC Analog Technical Specification.

Consistent RF performance is essential to smooth and swift NFC interactions, fulfilling NFC’s promise of a seamless experience for the consumer. The testing milestone comes at an opportune time: according to IHS Technology, global shipments of NFC-enabled mobile phones will surge four-fold from 2013 to 2018, reaching 1.2 billion units and penetrating 63% of the global mobile phone market. Transparency Market Research reports that the NFC market is expected to reach 20 billion USD by 2019.

The NFC Forum also announced the availability of Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) and Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol (SNEP) certification testing, increasing testing coverage for the communications protocol layers. LLCP is the communication protocol used in NFC’s peer-to-peer mode, and SNEP is a protocol for exchanging NFC Forum defined record structures on top of LLCP.

With the additions announced today, the Certification Program offers comprehensive testing for all of the communication layers that are needed to support NFC use cases. This means that application developers can have full confidence in the underlying layers in a certified device and focus on their parts of the NFC ecosystem.

Open to all Forum members, the NFC Forum Certification Program gives manufacturers a means of establishing that their products conform to the NFC Forum Technical Specifications, ensuring consistency in the behavior of compliant devices, and thereby setting the foundation for interoperability. The Certification Program also affords differentiation for NFC Forum members by shortening the product adoption process, lowering adoption costs, and making product implementations easier for partners to integrate.

“The availability of analog testing is a milestone in our Certification Program,” said Koichi Tagawa, NFC Forum Chairman. “When a device is certified as compliant with NFC Forum specifications — and the analog specification in particular — it provides consumers with a better assurance that NFC’s easy touch interface will deliver the comfortable and consistent experience they expect. We are grateful for the coordinated efforts of the NFC Forum members, test labs, and tool vendors that have made analog testing possible.”

The Certification Program ensures compliance with NFC Forum specifications for the lower communication layers of an NFC-enabled device, including digital protocol, tag operations, activity, and now analog, LLCP, and SNEP. In order for a device to provide a consistent user experience, all these layers must be properly implemented.

The NFC Forum has established a comprehensive program to deliver the highest levels of quality and consistency during certification testing. The multi-layered approach requires certification testing to be conducted only at authorized test labs, operating only approved test tools, and using only the latest version of the Test Case Category List (TCCL).

Certification is one part of the NFC Forum Compliance Program, which was established to encourage and facilitate development and increase market availability of products that exemplify compliance with NFC Forum specifications, thereby assuring interoperability between devices produced by different manufacturers. By participating in the Certification Program, NFC Forum members and others establish confidence and credibility in the technology for everyone in the value chain, enabling a flourishing NFC ecosystem.

The Certification Program is open to NFC Forum members only. The NFC Forum has an entry-level Implementer membership targeted to companies that plan to implement the standards and certify products. The Forum also holds Plugfest test events three times a year to advance NFC interoperability across platforms, devices, and tags. The next Plugfest event will take place in Tokyo, September 29–October 3, 2014. Plugfest events are open to non-Forum members.

About Near Field Communication Technology
NFC technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch. A standards-based connectivity technology, NFC harmonizes today’s diverse contactless technologies, enabling current and future solutions in areas such as access control, consumer electronics, health care, information collection and exchange, loyalty and coupons, payments, and transport. NFC technology is supported by the world’s leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum (www.nfc-forum.org) was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Broadcom Corporation, Google, Inc., Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, NEC, Nokia, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc

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