ICs use next-generation security-certified NFC for IoT sensing

ICs use next-generation security-certified NFC for IoT sensing

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Single-chip NFC from NXP provides security, dual-mode tamper status detection and battery-free sensing for IoT applications.
By Jean-Pierre Joosting


NXP® Semiconductors has announced the NTAG® 22x DNA family, combining certified security with an innovative tamper status detection mechanism and battery-free sensing to measure a change in ambient conditions, such as moisture, liquid fill level or pressure. These NFC ICs allow product developers too quickly, easily and sustainably combine secure authentication with opening status detection or condition monitoring of products to help maintain both a secure supply chain and product integrity.

With the new NTAG 22x DNA family, physical products can be easily authenticated by leveraging the IC’s secure unique NFC (SUN) authentication message feature, allowing manufacturers to cost-effectively combat counterfeits and supply chain fraud. The electronic tamper status detection of the multi-functional NTAG 22x DNA StatusDetect IC devices enables manufacturers or product users to verify a product’s unauthorized opening. In addition, by measuring capacitive changes in an item’s environmental conditions such as moisture, pressure or fill level, upon a simple tag readout, it’s also possible to ensure product quality remains intact or capture digital sensing data for healthcare, retail, or industrial applications.

The new series of security-certified NFC sensing ICs power a range of consumer, retail and industrial IoT applications and further advances digitization,” said Philippe Dubois, Vice President and General Manager Secure Edge Identification. “The NTAG 22x DNA ICs introduce a new level of status awareness, turning the tag into a simple battery-less sensing device to detect a physical product’s first opening status, or a change in its specific ambient condition. This helps manufacturers protect product integrity, whilst enabling a new level of intelligence to assure product quality or correct handling.”

Key features include:

Certified security: The NTAG 22x DNA family is Common Criteria EAL3+ certified, and features a powerful, cryptographically secure authentication message that dynamically changes on every NFC phone tap, making the taps unclonable, without requiring a user application. The family is also NFC Forum Type 2 Tag and ISO/IEC 14443-A compliant.

Dual-mode tamper detection: The NTAG 22x DNA StatusDetect also includes configurable conductive or capacitive tamper detection, with once-open status irreversibly stored and protected in the IC memory without the need for a dedicated app. Whilst the conductive mode is well suited for tamper-evident labels and seals affixed onto a product or its package, the capacitive mode is a good fit for integration of the tag into a physical product, and is also harder to reconstruct by a fraudster. The StatusDetect devices also offer a capacitive sensing interface to measure specific environmental conditions and capacitive measurement with up to 64 granular steps.

Condition monitoring: The StatusDetect ICs can also be used as a passive sensing device to detect an environmental change influencing the capacitance value, interpreted with a mobile or cloud-based application. This allows new applications for trusted IoT devices, such as plaster that can detect moisture levels for smart wound care, fill level sensing for smart injectable dosage devices, consumer products refill reminders based on package fill levels and leak detection.

Further features include: 7-byte unique Identifier; secure unique NFC (SUN) message authentication using AES-128 key; IC user memory of 144 bytes or 208 bytes; user memory protected with 32-bit password or with mutual authentication with AES-128 key; and automated mirroring of UID, NFC counter, and status value into IC’s user memory as part of NFC-NDEF message, secured with SUN message code

IC products are available in sawn and bumped wafer format (120µm and 75µm), and with an internal tuning capacitance of 50 pF.


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