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nRF52 NFC operation modes

Hi Nordic,

Can you please shed some light on the size of NFC stack on nRF52?

Also, what NFC operation modes (Reader/Writer, Peer-to-Peer, Card Emulation) can be supported on nRF52?

This will greatly help in deciding about choosing nRF52 into some of our future products.

Thanks, Sam

  • Hi Sam,

    Have you tried to put "nfc" into the search on this forum? It would give you list of answers straight away;) In brief:

    • From nRF52 documentation it's clear that hardware implementation of NFC frontend cannot drive sufficient power to 13.56MHz field so only card emulation seems possible. This is also confirmed by Nordic as they don't intend to support other stacks then NFC Forum Tag Type 2 (= "Mifare Ultralight") and Type 4 (= "Mifare DESfire") which are card emulations (+ Nordic stacks will most probably implement it in "read only" way).
    • Nordic has released so far only one preview SDK (nRF52 SDK v0.9.1) which has real NFC support inside. It contains NFC stack (they previously called it "N10" but now it is simply just "nfc lib") in form of binary library and you can link it to your FW through headers in SDK. This library is supporting just NFC Forum Tag Type 2 in read-only mode. Size should not matter much on 512kB chip but if it's really important you would need to download SDK and compile couple of example projects - probably with modifications to fit exactly your use case. To give you example I've compiled one of Nordic NFC examples "nfc_url_record_pca10036.uvprojx" in Keil MDK5 and from overall application code loaded in HEX file (Total ROM Size = Code + RO Data + RW Data) of 3,892B the nfc_lib.lib consumes 1,236B. However there is additional code serving calls and callbacks to/from NFC library so you need to count with some overhead.

    Note that NFC frontend is very well documented in nRF52 documentation at Nordic's infocenter so you might develop (or subcontract) your own "generic" contactless stack supporting any technology which runs in card-emulation mode over ISO14443 Type A at 106kbps speed (which is exactly what nRF52 supports - HW will do ISO14443 Layer 1&2 for you + supports your stack at Layer3, Layer 4 and above is in your hands).

    Cheers Jan

  • Jan,

    Thanks so much for detailed information. Appreciate it!