Dutch semiconductor manufacturer, NXP Semiconductors has released its new line of chipsets supporting near field communications for the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT)–enabled smart home products.
The IoT Journal states that the common criticisms associated with IoT-enabled products such as thermostats, security cameras, door locks are that these smart home products ‘do not work consistently’. Another concern is that the set–up of a home network and adding new components to it can be a time-consuming process.
To help address these concerns, NXP has launched a new chipset featuring a 'Near Field Communication reader IC and embedded firmware required to support the standard interface between an NFC controller and the device’s main application processor.'
Near field communications is described as a passive 13.56 MHz RFID technology, that enables short-range wireless data transmissions - 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) at most. The semiconsuctor manufacturer noted that the new chipset will enable manufacturers of IoT-enabled smart home devices to 'fulfill the promise of plug-and-play products.'
Near field communications for device pairing
For smart home devices, the peer-to-peer NFC mode in the chipset would be leveraged to make device paring with a gateway a lot easier.
Olivier Aretz, head of marketing and business development for NXP's Product Line Infrastructure & Consumer business explained: "For pairing devices to a gateway, NFC could be used instead of Wi-Fi, BLE [Bluetooth Low Energy] or ZigBee, because while most of those technologies have more bandwidth [needed for other functions, such as sending usage data], the setup of the initial system tends to be complicated. Even BLE, which is meant to be an easy way to pair devices, tends to be complicated."
Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst with market research firm ABI Research, notes that "NFC witnessed some traction initially in smart-home devices to make the set-up process easier with peripheral devices, but this is diminishing as vendors face increasing pressure to reduce device costs."
The IoT Journal states that NFC technology is generally used as a secondary wireless-connectivity option for smart-home products and 'is therefore seen as an extra cost.'
It adds however that electronics giants such as LG and Samsung have already integrated near field capabilities into products such as door locks and televisions.