Near Field Communication by Active Load Modulation

A NFC card usually has a size similar to a traditional credit card. Such NFC cards transmit data to NFC readers by passive load modulation. 

The method of active load modulation allows the build up of NFC cards with sizes below one square centimeter. Active NFC cards have to be equipped with a power supply, e.g. a battery.

For a research project we have developed the mixed mode gate array MD500-NFC. This gate array is manufactured in 0.9 µm CMOS-technology.

MD500-NFC realized the principles of active load modulation in an ASIC for the first time. Using the MD500-NFC several battery powered, miniaturized electronics have been built up, e.g. a microSD card with NFC functionality for a mobile phone. 

The results of the research projects are an essential base for the standardization of the method of active load modulation for NFC cards by an ISO/IEC working group.