NXP, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, and STMicroelectronics, a leader in secure smart card chips, have announced a global strategic licensing agreement for NXP’s MIFARE™ technology. This agreement enables STMicroelectronics to integrate the entire MIFARE family into its security solutions for mobile phone and banking applications. It will facilitate the convergence of the MIFARE infrastructure and Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile devices, accelerating worldwide contactless application deployments.

As well as the MIFARE Plus contactless technology, ST can also include MIFARE Classic and MIFARE DESFire technology into its (U)SIM card ICs and other embedded secure solutions for the mobile phone market, as well as into security solutions for PC readers and banking card ICs. The licensing agreement provides operators and device vendors with widened availability of contactless smart card ICs incorporating the MIFARE technology used in public transport networks, ticketing systems and access management worldwide.

The agreement is set to drive the emergence of NFC-based services, such as electronic ticketing and payment, as well as advanced contactless banking cards. These applications will deliver enhanced consumer convenience and user-friendliness while allowing mobile network operators to increase average revenue per user.

“As the leader in contactless ICs, we are convinced that the mainstream adoption of NFC requires true industry collaboration, and so we are delighted that STMicroelectronics will be integrating the MIFARE technology into its next-generation contactless solutions,” said Ruediger Stroh, General Manager, Identification Business, NXP Semiconductors. “We will continue to drive the extension and evolution of contactless applications while developing technologies that provide the flexibility, security and performance required to bring an exciting new range of devices even closer to consumers' fingertips.”

Marie-France Florentin, Digital Secure Access Division General Manager at STMicroelectronics, said, “The breadth of ST’s smart card IC product portfolio, ranging from dual-interface microcontrollers to NFC devices and related embedded and SIM-based secure solutions, positions the company as a unique player in the contactless ecosystem. Teaming up with NXP and licensing MIFARE technology, the most widespread contactless technology around the world, we now support an additional and essential application field, which will enrich our portfolio of secure processor ICs for the SIM, banking card ICs and embedded secure solutions.”