New NFC Reader IC for Digital Car Keys by STMicroelectronics

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  • Delivers rapid and convenient car-key connectivity over extended distances
  • Compliant with the Digital Key Release 2.0 standard by the Car Connectivity Consortium and certified by NFC Forum

STMicroelectronics has announced a new addition to its digital car key portfolio of ST25R near-field communication (NFC) reader ICs, the ST25R3920. The new device introduces enhanced features for better performance, including rapid key response and extended range.

An advantage of digital car keys is that it allows drivers to conveniently lock and unlock their cars using their smartphones and support added-value features including easy sharing and management of access privileges for other users such as friends or valets. They could also enable new vehicle-ownership models, including car subscription services.

Together with unique Dynamic Power Output (DPO) and Noise-Suppression Receiver (NSR) technologies, the new device increases RF output power and offers an enhanced input-circuit design for rapid car-key response and superior user convenience.

Reliable and robust

With DPO, the device operates at up to 1.6W of continuous RF output power and 2.5W of short-term input peak, to maintain reliable NFC connections over distance with a small antenna.

The NSR decreases susceptibility to interference from noise sources and therefore strengthens electromagnetic immunity. Additionally, automatic antenna tuning compensates the changes in the RF environment for maintaining the best possible connection to a user’s smartphone and low-power key-signal detection with inductive wakeup minimises the load on the battery when the key is not being used.

The ST25R3920 is ideal for space-constrained locations that severely limit maximum antenna size, thus facilitating its positioned in door handles, B-pillar or centre console.

Widely standardised

The ST25R3920 supports the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) Digital Key Standardisation Release 2.0, the architecture endorsed by the world’s leading carmakers, smartphone manufacturers, and electronics suppliers. This standardisation allows the ability to use the key even when the phone battery is quite low for normal device operation to be performed.

The new chip is also certified by the NFC Forum and can work as an NFC reader or NFC universal device. Compliance with NFC Forum standards for pairing applications, as well as EMVCo 3.0 standards, provides an in-car contactless-payment terminal for services such as electric-vehicle charging. Also, a new and unique Qi wireless charging NFC-card protection algorithm enables safe wireless charging of portable devices.


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