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Meet WiLink 8.0: New NFC Chip Made By Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments

NFC, a cordless technology mainly utilized to make mobile payments, has not taken off absolutely in the US. It is available in few smartphones, but banks and different carriers are arguing over payment services, while smartphone manufacturers such as Motorola, for example, have said that they do not wish to carry out such expensive innovation without being sure that it will be utilized.

Texas Instruments (TI) new WiLink 8.0 microchip can make the move to NFC technology for Motorola much easier. This WiLink 8.0, that plugs into recently created OMAP5 chipset of TI, includes Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth, GPS and GLONASS, NFC and FM support in one little microchip utilizing a 45nm process, drastically reducing the space needed and price demanded for NFC technology implementation.

"Modern NFC controllers are truly large because most of them are manufactured using old processes, not standardized for tiny mobile sizes," said Texas Instruments Wireless Connectivity Solutions strategic marketing manager David Lacinski. "This takes NFC controller out of this equation integrating it right into the silicon, thus making it almost cost-free."

OMAP5 Texas Instruments microchip

Smartphone manufacturers will still need to include the NFC antenna, yet this will probably get them at least part of the hard way.

WiLink 8.0 will definitely come with the OMAP5 reference platform, yet it will "support what users need on their devices from the OMAP perspective," David Lacinski said, meaning that the company will in addition integrate this technology into their OMAP4 chipsets like those in Motorola Razr Maxx, Droid Razr and Droid 4 devices.

The WiLink microchips in addition have some really exotic technologies embedded in them, especially from the U.S. perspective. Those technologies are ANT+ sensors and FM radio support. The ANT+ is the low-power tech utilized in various health care and fitness products. The second one is, obviously, FM radio.


"Europe is more interested in FM radio usage compared to North America," David Lacinski said.

NFC used for making payment

This new microchip will in addition improve location tracking on smartphones, even indoors. The reason of that is the combination of GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation reinforced with Wi-Fi position finding based on Wi-Fi hotspot triangulation. Using all that microchip's location finding system can combine fragments of location data from every system and end up with precise answer.

This microchip will be released in the second half of the 2012 so you still have time to prepare for it. While some people might be happy to have such location finding system in their pocket, you may prevent Texas Instruments WiLink 8.0 from tracking your location outdoors and indoors, thus claiming that you want to have real freedom and not be tracked by anyone.

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