NFC technology providers NXP Semiconductors and Sony Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish by mid-year 2007 a joint venture to drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in cellphones.
The joint project is focused on delivering a secure chip that integrates NXP's MIFARE and Sony's FeliCa OS and applications, as well as other contactless card OS and applications.
"This joint venture signals the evolution of interoperable mobile services, regardless of technology platform or geography," said Marc de Jong, executive VP and general manager of NXP Semiconductors. "Combining MIFARE and FeliCa contactless technologies in a single chip opens a vast array of opportunities for consumers using the technologies, as well as for developers creating new applications for global markets. Soon, service providers will be able to roll out great new services to end users on a global scale, ensuring a broad range of offerings to keep customers happy wherever they are."
Combining the secure chip with an NFC chip can create a universal contactless IC platform for mobile phones. This enables mobile device manufacturers and service providers to design products and services which are compatible with different contactless IC protocols and OS deployed in different countries. The solution is touted to offer consumers with multiple applications such as payment and transport ticketing from various service providers on one device.
"With FeliCa, Sony has established a contactless IC business model where mobile phone wallet services are deployed in multi-application, multi-handset and multi-carrier modes," said Hiromasa Otsuka, corporate executive and senior VP of Sony. "The new joint venture will introduce customers around the world to a new lifestyle where simply touching a terminal with a mobile phone gives access to a wide range of services. And it will contribute to Sony's vision of a network consumer electronics entertainment world."