New NFC tag-side controller integrates sensing and energy harvesting

The Infineon NGC1081 enables compact, battery-free smart IoT sensor solutions. Compliant with the NFC standard for tag devices, this controller implements motor control and sensing functions on-chip.

Infineon has introduced the NGC1081, an NFC tag-side controller which performs energy harvesting with sensor control as well as short-range data communications. This makes the controller ideal for use in low-cost, miniature, smart edge computing or sensing devices that are controlled and powered by a mobile phone, with the phone acting as an NFC reader.

The tag-side controller has dual power-supply capability: it can operate in a passive, battery-free mode on harvested energy, or in a battery-powered mode, operating as a self-contained sensing node on a 3.3 V external power supply. 

In passive mode, the entire sensing system, including the IC and its connected sensors, can draw power via energy harvesting from the NFC field of a mobile phone. Together with the naturally galvanically isolated sensing interface, these features open up the potential to create many innovative sensing use cases that require no battery and minimal maintenance. 

The NFC tag-side controller is based on a low-power Arm® Cortex®-M0 CPU core. The controller also includes an NFC front-end compliant with the ISO 14443 type A standard, and a motor control driver that employs an H-bridge circuit with a drive capability of up to 250 mA. 

The NGC1081 also features a sensing unit based on a 12-bit ADC with four analogue inputs, and a 10-bit DAC with one analogue output. The sensing unit includes a current-to-voltage converter, and a temperature sensor which provides accuracy of up to ±0.3°C.

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