NXP unveils its vision of a contactless NFC car, KEyLink Lite
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 22nd, 2011 at 7:06 PM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release, Videos
NXP unveils its vision of a contactless NFC car, KEyLink Lite
NXP, those Dutch folk behind Near Field Communications, have today unveiled their vision of a contactless NFC car, KEyLink Lite. If NXP gets its way we will soon be using NFC-enabled devices to access our vehicles, find where we parked our cars, personalize our settings and use NFC technology to diagnose vehicular problems – the time of the NFC car has arrived! The main problem with car keys is that they, well, just unlock and lock cars. Sure, they immobilize cars and can remember personal settings of particular drivers but in this world of convergence it is not like you can watch TV on your car key or order a pizza with it. It’s a good job for us that NXP Semiconductors have our backs covered when it comes to the NFC car then, isn’t it? NXP Semiconductors today unveiled KEyLink Lite, so let’s take a look:
NXP are not new to the automotive world and the NFC car KEyLink Lite product is a natural progression for the emerging Near Field Communications technology
The NFC car vision embodied in KEyLink Lite is a very natural progression for NXP as it already builds software, sensors and chips for the automotive industry. Near Field Communications are hot at the moment and it makes sense that the clog loving company would combine two areas of expertise to create products that tie all areas together and result in the NCF2970, or KEyLink Lite, NFC car product . The company is calling its NFC car product KEyLink Lite, but as you may have guessed, the chip doing the grunt work is the NCF2970.
Speaking about NXP’s KEyLink Lite, Drue Freeman, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing in Automotive Business Unit at NXP Semiconductors said, “Drivers will be able to simply wave their car key over an NFC-compliant mobile device to access essential and useful car data,” and added, “The car key experience will never be the same again.”
Freeman also addressed the convenience factor of an NFC car by saying, “Drivers will have a whole new connected car experience with a variety of services for comfort, convenience and maintenance, available at the swipe of the ‘smart’ key. By bringing together our industry-leading technology for car access and immobilization with our expertise in NFC, NXP‘s KeyLink Lite will open a lot more doors to the world of connected mobility.”
NXP sees the new KEyLink Lite chip revolutionizing 5 key areas to enable its vision of an NFC car
We feel there are more opportunities that can utilize KEyLink Lite, but here are the 5 NXP have set out with the NCF2970 KEyLink Lite solution.
- NFC car Car Finder. The key records the GPS coordinates of a car’s last parking position. This can then later be read by an NFC-compliant mobile phone, which would then in turn utilize a service like Google Maps to download a map and help locate your car. Of course, this can already be done with an app on your smartphone, but knowing where you parked your car in unfamiliar territory is always a good thing.
- NFC car Route planner. Drivers can use any computer or an NFC-enabled phone to plan their route and then transfer the data to the car key via NFC. They could then upload destination data from the NFC car key to the in-car navigation system. We don’t know about you, but searching for an address on our phones and then having to input the address using a clunky SatNav interface drives us nuts. This feature will be a very welcome addition to NFC capabilities when manufacturers add KEyLink Lite to their vehicles.
- NFC car status and service data management. Information such as how much fuel is in the car can be transferred to the NFC-enabled car key and thus to your NFC phone. A car’s service history can also be stored on the Keylink Lite which could help if app developers build a car maintenance reminder app.
- NFC car Self-diagnosis. Diagnostics data can be transferred from a car to an NFC-enabled PC / MAC or Smartphone via the car key. This data could be uploaded to an automotive service website so that a diagnostic analysis can be conducted online without having to take the car to the dealership. Again, app developers could make booking your car in to have a problem fixed seamless, saving you all kinds of time; and thanks to KEyLink Lite you now have time to wash your car.
- NFC car personalization. Car manufacturers can now pre-fit cars with premium services and features that drivers can choose to unlock at a later date by. Buy an app or feature online and simply transfer the information to your key and the purchased feature could then be written to the NFC car key and transferred to the car to be unlocked or activated. A great example of this would be a 4G data connection for your car that you wanted for a longer trip. This could also be used for premium apps or in-car movies as our NFC cars become media hubs with more powerful computers stashed inside.
KEyLink Lite is an exciting development that will further endear NFC to the populous. True convergence is happening at a break neck speed now and it makes sense we extend it to our vehicles and embrace the NFC car. The way we see it is that KEyLink Lite could also be extended to become our home and office key solutions also, but would of course not allow us to leave a spare key under the door mat for when we lose our keys. KEyLink Lite has facilities to be able to still work in the event that power is out and we would like to see more solutions that allow for access with no power before we feel people will totally convert, but this is a very positive start and we can’t wait to see which ways manufacturers use KEyLink Lite and the new business models that develop from it. The KEyLink Lite press release is below and we have chucked in an NXP KEyLink Lite video for good measure too.
NXP Unlocks the Potential of Multifunction Car Keys
Launches market-ready NFC-enabled ‘smart’ car key
Eindhoven, Netherlands and Hamburg, Germany, June 22, 2011 - Pioneering the market for ‘smart’ car keys, NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced the availability of its production-ready single-chip solution for multifunction car keys – the NCF2970 (KEyLink Lite). Enhancing the functionality of car keys by supporting Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, NXP’s KEyLink Lite enables car manufacturers to offer a new driving experience with keys that connect to external NFC-compliant devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
The launch of KEyLink Lite is timed to take advantage of the growing popularity and availability of NFC. Drivers will be able to simply wave their car key over an NFC-compliant mobile device to access essential and useful car data. Based on NFC standards, and utilizing the 13.56MHz frequency and cryptography such as Hitag-3 or AES-128, KEyLink Lite provides secure storage and enables communication of sensitive data. KEyLink Lite uniquely combines NFC capabilities and NXP’s industry-leading Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) and Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) technologies. This allows NFC-compliant mobile devices to edit and view data stored on a car key and opens many new use cases.
New ‘Smart’ Key Applications:
KEyLink Lite can be deployed in five new driver-friendly applications:
- Car Finder – The car key records the GPS coordinates of your car’s last parking position, which can later be read by an NFC-compliant mobile phone, which then uses a service such as Google Maps to download a vicinity map and help you locate the car.
- Route Planner – You can enter your destination while sitting comfortably in front of a PC at home and transfer the data into the car key via NFC. Once you are inside the car, your destination will be automatically uploaded to the in-car navigation system: No more stressful finger-tapping on the car navigator screen.
- Car Status and Service Data Management – Before stepping out from your home or office, you can find out how much fuel remains in your car for your next journey – by simply waving your car key over your NFC-compliant mobile phone. And, you no longer need to carry your car service history on paper; the important data is saved on your KEyLink Lite-powered ‘smart’ car key.
- Car Self-Diagnosis – Transfer diagnostic data from your car to a PC via the car key, then upload it to a service website and run a diagnostic analysis in seconds.
- Car Personalization – Car manufacturers can pre-fit cars with upgraded services, which can later be unlocked in the field. Obtain permissions from your car manufacturer –for example, by making an online request at home – and store the permission for the new features onto the car key. All new features will be automatically activated the next time you enter the car.
- Connectivity to NFC devices and ISO/IEC 14443 readers. NXP has integrated the ISO/IEC 14443 Type A interface into the automotive IC NCF2970. In addition to immobilizer and Passive Keyless Entry/Go functions, this device allows contactless data exchange with NFC-compliant devices via a standardized 13.56-MHz wireless link.
- Keyless entry interface. The NXP KEyLink Lite solution includes a low-frequency (125 kHz) front-end for the immobilizer and Passive Keyless Entry/Go systems, and works with an external UHF transmitter (315 to 928 MHz) for both Remote Keyless Entry and Passive Keyless Entry/Go systems.
- Power consumption and memory. The KEyLink Lite chip features a low-power high-speed RISC core with up to 32-kB user EROM for customer applications and 6-kB EEPROM for application specific user data, operating at a wide supply voltage range from 2.0 to 3.6 V.
- Drue Freeman, vice president, global sales and marketing, Automotive business unit, NXP Semiconductors, said: “The car key experience will never be the same again. Drivers will have a whole new connected car experience with a variety of services for comfort, convenience and maintenance, available at the swipe of the ‘smart’ key. By bringing together our industry-leading technology for car access and immobilization with our expertise in NFC, NXP’s KEyLink Lite will open a lot more doors to the world of connected mobility.”
NFC is a market-proven technology co-invented by NXP in 2002. In 2004 NXP co-founded the NFC Forum to lead collaboration with all industry stakeholders and help standardize the technology. NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. Ranked as the No.1 contactless IC vendor by ABI Research for three years in a row, NXP is the global leader in NFC solutions, field-proven in over 150 NFC trials and landmark commercial deployments worldwide.
About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010. Additional information can be found by visiting www.nxp.com.
NXP KEyLink Lite NFC car vision