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Philips and Sony Announce Strategic Cooperation To Define Next Generation Near Field Radio-Frequency Communications
Posted: 06-Sep-2002 [Source: Philips press release]

[Philips and Sony to jointly develop new communication technology, Near Field Communication, enabling short-range communication networks between NFS-enabled wireless devices.]

Amsterdam, the Netherlands/Tokyo, Japan -- Royal Philips Electronics and Sony Corporation today announced that they will jointly develop a new near field radio-frequency communication technology, 'Near Field Communication' (NFC). The technology enables short-range communication networks between consumer devices incorporating an NFC interface, and is set to greatly improve the way consumers access data and services wirelessly.

Wireless NFC technology will operate on 13.56 MHz and allow for the transfer of any kind of data between NFC enabled devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and PDA's as well as to PC's, laptops, game consoles or PC Peripherals, across a distance of up to twenty centimeters and aiming at speeds fast enough to transfer high quality images. At communication speed up to 212 kbit/s the NFC technology is fully compliant to both Philips' existing Mifare(tm) and Sony's FeliCa(tm) contactless smartcard technologies.

The aim is to build a ubiquitous open infrastructure of NFC-compliant devices which effectively incorporate smart-key and smartcard reader functions, providing a convenient communication method for services such as payment (including credit card), ticketing, and accessing online entertainment content (e.g. gaming) through the devices. This can be done simply by holding devices or smartcards near each other. It is anticipated that the technology will play a key role in allowing content and service providers to offer various new ways of accessing their services. The consumer's primary NFC device (e.g. mobile phone or PDA) acts as a smart-key to gain access to chosen services from any NFC device, anywhere, anytime.

"This cooperation between Philips and Sony marks a breakthrough in establishing a new solution for an easy communication network between consumer electronic devices," commented Mr. Yuki Nozoe, Corporate Executive Vice President, Sony Corporation. "Together with Philips, we will study a vast range of new applications for NFC, and we look forward to welcoming other electronics and service companies in support of the technology."

Karsten Ottenberg, General Manager of Philips Semiconductors' Identification business, said: "This agreement will revolutionize the way consumers access services and see the penetration of identification chips move far beyond smart cards, with NFC becoming a standard component of new electronic devices, including those from Philips. It is another demonstration of Philips' strengths in the area of connectivity, and what our technologies can bring to the consumer, at home, in the office, or on the move. With the CD Philips and Sony demonstrated what their cooperation can bring to the electronics industry -- we look forward to the success of this partnership."

Philips is already the global industry leader in contactless smartcards through its Philips -- Mifare(tm) technology, supplying some of the world's major transport systems, and the banking sector, with supply to customers such as Visa. Sony has a significant market position in Hong Kong and Shenzhen (China), Singapore and Japan utilizing Sony's FeliCa contactless smartcard technology, mainly in the transportation and financial sectors. As NFC is fully operable on both platforms, all consumer devices containing NFC technology will be compatible.

Philips and Sony will promote the NFC technology as an open standard in order to integrate it into consumer devices, including those of other manufacturers in the CE, PC, automotive, and other industries. The companies intend to explore new applications together with relevant content and network service providers.

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