NFC reader IC extends range of digital car keys

May 27, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
NFC reader IC extends range of digital car keys
STMicroelectronics has added the ST25R3920 NFC reader IC to its digital car line. The device introduces enhanced features, including rapid key response and extended range.

Digital keys let drivers lock and unlock their cars using their smartphones and support added-value features including sharing and management of access privileges for other users such as friends or valets. They also enable new vehicle-ownership models, including car subscription services. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) Digital Key Release 2.0, relaying on NFC, even offers the ability to use the key while the phone battery is so low that normal device operation is disabled.

Having pioneered NFC-access roll-out in cars over the past years and currently supplying well-known US, European, and Asian automotive brands, ST as a leader in digital car-key technology is now extending the state-of-the-art with the ST25R3920. Together with unique Dynamic Power Output (DPO) and Noise-Suppression Receiver (NSR) technologies, the new device increases RF output power and offers an enhanced input-circuit design for rapid car-key response and superior user convenience.

With DPO, the device operates at up to 1.6 W continuous RF output power and 2.5 W short-term input peak, to maintain reliable connections over distance with a small antenna. NSR increases immunity to interference from noise sources and therefore simplifies electromagnetic immunity and eases certification. In addition, automatic antenna tuning compensates for changes in the RF environment to maintain the best possible connection to the user’s smartphone, and low-power key-signal detection with inductive wakeup minimizes load on the battery when the key is not being used.

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