INSIDE CONTACTLESS AND SAGEM WIRELESS EXTEND NFC TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP
Inside MicroRead NFC Chip and Software to Power New Sagem Wireless Handset Platforms
AIX EN PROVENCE, PARIS, France, February 4, 2009 – Building upon their successful partnership to develop an NFC handset for the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative, INSIDE Contactless, the world leader in advanced open-standard contactless chip technologies, today announced it is partnering with Sagem Wireless, a leading mobile design company, to create new handset platforms that will support enhanced NFC services. Expected to be available to major wireless operators and customers from the fourth quarter of 2009, the Sagem Wireless NFC platforms will utilize INSIDE’s award-winning MicroRead® NFC chip, and will also incorporate the associated MicroRead Software Foundation NFC protocol stack, which Sagem Wireless has licensed, and which will be integrated and validated with Sagem Wireless’ handset platform software.
“Sagem Wireless is making a major commitment to NFC technology with the development of this handset platform, and we are pleased they have chosen to continue working with us and rely upon our MicroRead hardware and software for this venture,” said Remy de Tonnac, chief executive officer of INSIDE Contactless. “MicroRead is the only NFC solution available today that is fully compliant with the single wire protocol standard, and its unique self-powered battery-off mode and low-power tag detection will enable Sagem Wireless to differentiate their offering for competitive advantage.”
According to de Tonnac, the MicroRead chip’s self-powered battery-off mode and low-power RFID tag detection features will help provide simplicity and convenience to improve the user experience of the Sagem Wireless handset by enabling payment or other transactions to take place successfully even when the handset is turned off or the battery is completely drained.
“INSIDE’s combination of MicroRead hardware and software offerings and their design, testing and validation expertise will play an important role in enabling us to speed development and get our new handset platform to market more quickly,” said Thierry Buffenoir, chief executive officer of Sagem Wireless. “With INSIDE’s help, we are confident that we can deliver an outstanding NFC handset platform with a superior user experience our customers will appreciate. Therefore we will be able to develop innovative and specific projects for our customers enabling them to prepare the launch of NFC services.”
In parallel to this partnership, INSIDE Contactless has reinforced its strength in NFC by establishing a new support facility in Cergy (Paris area), France, staffed with a team of former Sagem Mobiles engineers with specialized expertise in phone system integration and validation, giving INSIDE a unique set of capabilities to provide extra value to its NFC customers. The new Cergy laboratory enables INSIDE to conduct mobile phone RF performance testing and validation to further qualify NFC integration for its customers and accelerate global interoperability.
INSIDE’s third-generation MicroRead near field communication (NFC) chip, which was introduced on February 6, 2008, provides the broadest range of NFC options that enable numerous new contactless applications. Already in use by more than 15 handset makers, including 4 of the 5 tier-1 producers, the MicroRead suite combines third-generation silicon, a full set of interfaces, NFC software libraries and APIs, a field-proven reference design and robust standards support into a turnkey contactless reader solution. When incorporated into cell phones, PDAs or PCs, MicroRead chips enable them to operate both like RF readers and contactless smart cards or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Handset manufacturers, mobile operators, and third-party application developers can now offer applications that range from access control, to merchandise tracking and logistics, to revitalizing legacy RFID applications. MicroRead products are unique in that they are self-powered with a battery-off mode, and they include the company’s innovative multi-host router technology, which allows secure elements, such as SIM, SE, or SD cards to be incorporated into applications.
About Sagem Wireless
Sagem Wireless is a major player in the mobile communications marketplace. The mission of Sagem Wireless is to offer core expertise in industrial design and field-proven ability to swiftly integrate innovations and new-technology solutions (fingerprint authentication, NFC, touchscreens, Mobile TV, WiFi and more) to operators, equipment manufacturers and fashion and luxury-sector brands enabling them to market mobile terminals geared specifically to the needs of their customers. Through its partnerships and its own R&D center, Sagem Wireless is able to mobilize R&D skills enabling flexibility on the product design while guaranteeing the highest level of quality. Learn more at www.sagemwireless.com
About INSIDE Contactless
INSIDE Contactless is the global leader in open-standard contactless payment and Near Field Communication (NFC) semiconductors and software that power the next generation of payment, transit, identity and access control applications. The company’s intelligent, microprocessor-based platforms offer the flexibility to be embedded in smart cards, mobile phones and other consumer electronic devices, documents, badges and other items to support a wide range of innovative contactless applications and bring new levels of convenience to users. INSIDE has delivered more than 300 million contactless platforms worldwide to customers and partners that include many of the leading payment card and mobile phone manufacturers, systems integrators, and financial institutions. With a portfolio of 60 families of patents including several essential NFC patents, the company has played a leading role in NFC and contactless innovation. INSIDE is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Warsaw, Seoul, and San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.insidecontactless.com