NFC (Near Field Communication) as known as a short-range wireless technology, is a set of communication protocols that enable simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices. In 2004, Nokia, Philips and Sony Establish The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum, which the NFC Forum defines five types of tags that provide different communication speeds and capabilities in terms of configurability, memory, security, data retention and write endurance.
The NFC Type 1 tag is based on the ISO/IEC 14443A standard. NFC Tag Type 1 is the simplest chip among all five types which also the slowest for data transfer rate. However, it’s also possible to stuff more memory on the type 1 chip due to the simplicity. The typical Tag Type 1 IC is Innovision Topaz 512 and the applications for Tag Type 1 normally are One-time provisioning or Read-only applications etc.
The NFC Type 2 tag is based on the ISO14443A standard. NFC Tag Type 2 tag is a more cost-effective choice as it provides enough functionality at the right price to meet market needs. The Type 2 tag is read & re-write capable and users can configure the tag to become read-only. The typical Tag Type 2 IC are NXP® Ntag series and MIFARE® ULTRALIGHT series. The applications for Tag Type 2 normally are Low-value transactions or event RFID tickets etc.
The Type 3 tag is based on the Sony FeliCa system, which is a Japanese innovation and mainly used in Asia. This is a complex tag that provides a wide range of functionality but also comes with higher pricing. The typical Tag Type 3 IC is SONY Felica Lite-S and the applications for Tag Type 3 normally are transit tickets, e-money, electronic ID etc.
The Type 4 tag is defined to be compatible with ISO14443A and B standards also provide support for ISO/IEC 7816 security. These NFC IC are pre-configured at manufacture and they can be either read / re-writable or read-only, also it allows for self-modification of NDEF content. The typical Tag Type 4 IC are NXP® Desfire series and the applications for Tag Type 4 normally are payment and security.
The latest NFC Type 5 specification was released in 2015, which is based on the RFID technology defined by the ISO/IEC 15693 specification. ISO/IEC 15693 specification was originally developed to enable a longer RF operational range that up to 1.5 meters. NFC Forum chose to support Active Communication mode that allows data transfer performance similar to the RFID technologies that supported by NFC Forum, but limits the reading distance at NFC devices. The typical Tag Type 5 IC are NXP® ICode series and ST25TV series by STMicroelectronics. The applications for Tag Type 5 normally are library books, packaging, and ticketing, etc.