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NFC Forum Announces Specifications to Support Peer-to-Peer Device Communication and Verify Data Authenticity

The NFC Forum (http://www.nfc-forum.org), a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, today announced the adoption and release of the Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) specification, which supports bi-directional communications between NFC-compliant devices. The organization also announced the new NFC Signature Record Type Definition (RTD) candidate specification, which defines how to digitally sign data records in NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) messages. Both specifications are available to the public for download at no charge at: http://www.nfc-forum.org/specs/.

LLCP Specification

Formerly a candidate specification, the adopted LLCP technical specification defines an OSI layer-2 protocol to support peer-to-peer communication between two NFC-enabled devices. This is essential for any NFC applications that involve bi-directional communications, such as the exchange of electronic business cards, the transfer of a Web URL from one phone to another, or the initiation of Bluetooth communications. The specification defines two service types, connectionless and connection-oriented, organized into three link service classes: connectionless service only; connection-oriented service only; and both connectionless and connection-oriented service. The connectionless service offers minimal setup with no reliability or flow-control guarantees (deferring these issues to applications and to the reliability guarantees offered by ISO/IEC 18092 and ISO/IEC 14443 MAC layers). The connection-oriented service adds, in-order, reliable delivery, flow-control, and session-based service layer multiplexing.

LLCP is a compact protocol, based on the industry standard IEEE 802.2, designed to support either small applications with limited data transport requirements, such as minor file transfers, or network protocols, such as OBEX and TCP/IP, which in turn provide a more robust service environment for applications. The NFC LLCP thus delivers a solid foundation for peer-to-peer applications, enhancing the basic functionality offered by ISO/IEC 18092, but without impacting the interoperability of legacy NFC applications or chipsets.

The adopted LLCP specification has only minor changes from the candidate version.

Signature RTD Candidate Specification

The Signature RTD candidate technical specification helps users verify the authenticity and integrity of data within NDEF messages by specifying the format to be used when signing single or multiple NDEF records. It defines the required and optional signature RTD fields, and also provides a list of suitable signature algorithms and certificate types that can be used to create the signature. It does not define or mandate a specific Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or certification system, nor does it define a new algorithm for use with the Signature RTD.

"For NFC to succeed globally, it is essential to provide a means to verify the authenticity of data in NDEF messages and to ensure smooth interoperability with earlier NFC implementations and existing contactless infrastructure," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "These two specifications provide these capabilities, giving NFC developers both the tools and the confidence to create solutions that can succeed globally."

The Signature RTD specification remains a candidate for final release pending feedback from NFC Forum members and other standards organizations. By releasing candidate specifications, the NFC Forum enables organizations in the NFC ecosystem to begin integrating them into their own work. This gives both NFC Forum members and other standards organizations an opportunity to accelerate their development and provide valuable feedback that can be incorporated into the final specifications. Once the feedback has been evaluated and integrated, the Signature RTD specification will be officially adopted and released by the NFC Forum.

Additional information on NFC Forum specifications can be found at http://www.nfc-forum.org/specs/.

About Near Field Communication Technology

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices. NFC technology allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with the simplicity of a single touch.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are based on ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards. NFC technology is supported by the world’s leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

About the NFC Forum

The NFC Forum, http://www.nfc-forum.org, was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s 140 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery and device capability.

The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Innovision Research & Technology plc, INSIDE Contactless, MasterCard Worldwide, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Technology, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Visa Inc.

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