Microwave Journal

NXP engineers win prestigious European Inventor Award for NFC

June 15, 2015

Two NXP Semiconductors’ engineers have won the much acclaimed and respected EPO European Inventor Award. At the ceremony in Paris, Franz Amtmann and Philippe Maugars, along with their teams, were commended for their work in the invention of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

As one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind, the European Inventor Award pays tribute to the creativity of inventors all over the world. The awards are judged by an independent international jury of authorities from the fields of business, science, academia and research.

This year’s event marked the 10th anniversary of the awards. There were five categories for the awards spanning industry, small to medium size enterprises (SMEs), research, non-European countries and lifetime achievement. Three previous finalists of the awards, Peter Grünberg, Stefan Hell and Shuji Nakamura have gone on to win Nobel Prizes

Since being co-invented by NXP and Sony in 2002, NFC technology now connects hundreds of millions of smartphones, tablets, and other consumer electronics for everyday uses such as buying goods with mobiles phones, public transport or access management.

“NFC is simply about making all of our lives easier with technology that is secure and easy to use,” said Rick Clemmer, CEO and president, NXP Semiconductors. “It’s great to see that Franz, Philippe and their teams have been rewarded for their hard work. They not only invented the technology but have remained as evangelists for NFC, strongly influencing its deployment in various markets.”

“As the co-inventor of NFC technology, we are genuinely thrilled about NXP winning the European Inventor Award this year,” said Kazuyuki Sakamoto, senior general manager of FeliCa Business Division, Sony Corporation. “NXP and Sony have worked together diligently over the past 13 years within the NFC Forum to familiarize the market with NFC as well as working on product development and standardization activities. Sony also makes use of the intuitive NFC interface, enabling many of its consumer products to offer greater convenience to users. With the continuing support from NXP and related ecosystem players, we hope to keep increasing market and user awareness of NFC.”

Through the development of NFC technology, NXP has significantly influenced major trends across various industry sectors. In manufacturing, NFC is now used as an enabling technology to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0. NFC has helped to enable smarter production lines and enhanced man-to-machine interfaces. NFC is also playing an important role in the evolution of payments by making smartphone transactions trusted, secure and seamless.

“Thanks to the versatility of NFC, we are now seeing new devices and applications emerging almost every day. We are looking forward to continuing on this journey to bring NFC everywhere, making new experiences possible,” said Rick Clemmer.