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Samsung Unveils RFID Reader Chip For Mobile Devices

Samsung expects the RFID chip will initially be designed into card-type readers that plug into mobile handsets.
With mobile RFID growth expected to skyrocket in the coming years, Samsung Electronics served notice that it intends to be a major beneficiary of the growth with a single-chip RFID reader for mobile devices.

Samsung said it expects the radio-frequency identification chip will initially be designed into card-type readers that plug into mobile handsets; later the chip will likely be included in retail store handheld readers and directly in mobile phone handsets.

"We are enabling anytime, anywhere mobile access to information," said Chihee Chung, senior VP of Samsung's Electronics System LSI Division, in a statement. "RFID chip readers systems allow consumers to pull context-specific information into their mobile devices while on the go. Our mobile RFID single-chip technology is an important step in the evolution of ubiquitous computing."

The chip operates in the 900 MHz band and integrates an analog front end and a base-band modem with a processor and a memory chip. The chip's tiny 6.5mm x 6.5mm form factor and its ultra low power 850mW consumption should make it attractive for mobile applications, Samsung said.

Samsung noted that the RoA Group has estimated the global demand for mobile RFID will grow at a compound annual rate of 196% between 2007 and 2010; the market research firm estimated mobile RFID revenues at $26.8 billion in 2007 and predicted revenues will hit $701 billion by 2010.

Mobile RFID has been gaining traction since handset manufacturer Nokia unveiled its Nokia Mobile RFID kit that enabled users to access phone functions like dialing and message sending simply by touching an RFID tag.