INSIDESecure Updates Open NFC Stack for Android Gingerbread

INSIDE Secure has launched an updated version of its open-source Open NFC protocol stack, geared to Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android OS. The company says this makes Open NFC the first truly hardware-independent, open-source NFC protocol stack for the OS.

Originally developed for INSIDE’s third-generation MicroRead NFC controller and SecuRead solution with embedded secure element, the Open NFC protocol stack brings proven, high quality, well-documented NFC software into the open source arena.

INSIDE Secure says that Open NFC version 4.2 for Android 2.3 simplifies interoperability and provides the NFC ecosystem with a consistent NFC application programming interface (API) and functionality, offering chip vendors, smartphone manufacturers, wireless carriers and software developers a way to implement NFC functionality independently of the underlying NFC hardware as Gingerbread is adopted for use in a broad range of mobile products around the world.

“Open NFC relies on a separate, very thin and easily adaptable hardware abstraction software layer, which accounts for a very small percentage of the total stack code, meaning that the Open NFC software stack can be easily leveraged for different NFC chip hardware,” explains Philippe Martineau, executive vice president of the NFC business line at INSIDE Secure. “This has tremendous cost, time-to-market and flexibility advantages for NFC chip vendors, smartphone manufacturers and software developers, who would otherwise have to contend with rewriting the hardware-specific elements of the Gingerbread NFC protocol stack.”

Since it was introduced last year, the Open NFC protocol stack has earned a reputation as a cost-effective, open-standards NFC middleware solution for mobile phones, embedded products and other devices, and has received significant industry support from a broad array of participants in the NFC ecosystem.
Open NFC received a prestigious Sesames Award for software at the recent Cartes & Identification 2010 after it was judged by a panel of experts to represent a genuine breakthrough that brings significant benefits to OEMs and ODMs creating NFC-enabled mobile phones, embedded products and other devices.

Open NFC supports several levels of functionality, from low-level RF control to high-level NFC Forum tag handling, peer-to-peer communications, Bluetooth and wi-fi pairing, interactions with single-wire protocol SIMs and other secure elements, and compatibility with smart cards and RFID tags based on Felica, Mifare and ISO 14443 standards. 

Open NFC 4.2 for Android 2.3/2.4 will be available for download on the INSIDE Secure Open NFC website by the end of February as a free and open-source edition under the Apache License, Version 2.0.