NFC Chips for Less Than a Penny
South Korea's Sunchon National University and Paru Printed Electronics Research Institute have partnered, in order to develop a cheap way of printing NFC circuits – bringing the price down to less than a cent per unit. Until now, the cheapest that NFC tags could be produced for was closer to 15 cents per unit.
The 'rectenna' technology – a rather unfortunately named combination of an NFC antenna and rectifier, which converts current from AC into DC – can be printed onto plastic foils using electronic inks.
The inclusion of NFC technology, even in smartphones, is currently spotty at best, and cost is commonly cited as one of the factors holding back widespread adoption. It will be telling whether manufacturers respond by adopting the rectennas and including NFC in a wider range of handsets.