By Stephen Schenck | February 14, 2012 12:14 AM
Near Field Communications has the potential to make a number of the things we do with our phones quite a bit easier. Someday, we all might tap our phones to exchange contact info, use our phones to unlock doors, and keep all our store loyalty cards in one, convenient place. Problem is, it currently can take some effort to track-down a phone supporting NFC. For uses of the technology that rely on multiple parties all having NFC-compliant handsets, the sad state of NFC deployment is especially problematic. We’re not sure just what it will take in order to get NFC-capable phones into the hands of a sizable fraction of smartphone users, but a new chip announced by Texas Instruments might end up playing a role.
The WiLink 8.0 family of components represent a one-stop-shop for your phone’s (non-cellular) wireless connectivity needs. The chip handles WiFi, Bluetooth, satellite positioning (both GPS and Russia’s GLONASS), and key to our interests today, NFC. The hope is that this chip will lead to increased NFC deployment as it allows manufacturers to introduce the functionality without requiring a dedicated NFC component, taking up less space in future phone designs.
We haven’t heard just which manufacturers might be interested in using the WiLink 8.0 in their phones, but samples of the chips are already going out to interested parties.