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December 8, 2003
Near Field Communication Technology jointly developed by
Sony and Philips approved as ISO/IEC International Standard
Tokyo, Japan - The Near Field Communication technology (NFCIP-1) jointly developed by Sony Corporation and Royal Philips Electronics (AEX: PHI, NYSE:PHG) has received approval under standard ISO/IEC IS 18092 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Philips' MifareTM technology and Sony's FeliCaTM contactless IC card technology are included within the ISO/IEC IS 18092 standard, so these technologies are compatible.
In Fall 2002, Sony and Philips reached agreement on the development of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In order to promote NFC worldwide, the two companies submitted the draft specifications to ECMA International, the organization responsible for standardizing information and communication systems. After developing open technical specifications, NFC-IP1 was approved under EMCA-340, and subsequently submitted by EMCA International to ISO/IEC. It has now received approval under ISO/IEC IS 18092.
NFC IP-1 is a Near Field Communication technology, which utilizes the 13.56 MHz wavelength, and is composed of a physical layer and data link layer. When devices with an NFCIP-1 compatible chip are brought into proximity, they will be able to recognize each other within a certain range*1, and can exchange information. NFC IP-1 provides a new, highly intuitive method where simply bringing devices into proximity allows them to directly recognize each other and communicate. This is in contrast to previous methods where devices have identified by screen icons on computer screens or selected within wireless networks like Bluetooth and Wireless LAN. Data exchange will take place at speeds of 106kbps, 212kbps or 424kbps. It is also possible to transfer to other communications protocols with higher speeds, once devices have been connected by NFC.
It is expected to deploy the NFC chip in a range of devices (mobile phones, digital still cameras, PDAs, PCs etc.) allowing simple and intuitive identification and information exchange. This will contribute to an increase in data exchange between consumers and greater enjoyment of content.
Sony first introduced FeliCa in transportation systems in Hong Kong and it is now used widely in transport applications around the world, including JR East's "Suica®"*2 service in Japan. It is also deployed in the electronic money service "Edy", the online credit service eLIO, as well as security identification systems in companies and organizations. Philips' Mifare*3 is used in transport and access control applications around the globe.
"With the ISO approval of NFC, which represents one area of expansion for contactless IC card technology, Sony foresees the accelerated adoption of NFC chips into a range of consumer electronics devices", said Youji Tanii, President, FeliCa Business Center, Network Application and Content Service Sector, Sony Corporation. "We aim to develop the business globally enabling FeliCa*4 contactless IC card technology to be adopted into wider applications such as the financial industry as well as the public transport domain."
Building on this approval of NFCIP-1 under ISO/IEC IS 18092, Sony will work to promote the deployment of near field communication technology to a range of consumer electronics products, in addition to the contactless IC card business.
*1:About 10cm, depending on use.
*2: Suica is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway Co.
*3: Mifare is a registered trademark of Philips Royal Electronics NV.
*4: FeliCa is a trademark of of Sony Corporation.
Sony Corporation's FeliCa Home Page: http://www.sony.net/Products/felica/