NXP Semiconductors

Headquarters: 
Netherlands

Co-creator of NFC with Sony, NXP's partnership with Google announced in late 2010 has given it a dominant position in shipments for NFC chips for Android phones. It also has shipped NFC chips for all of Nokia's Symbian phones.

As of the end of 2011, NXP said it had design wins for more than 130 NFC handsets and tablets. Its only competitor during the year was Inside Secure, which sold the NFC chips to Research In Motion for about seven BlackBerry models released in 2011. NXP was believed to have edged out Inside in total NFC chip shipments in 2011, with more than 20 million unit shipments for NXP. All told, there were about 40 million NFC phones shipped by handset makers in 2011 using chips from NXP and Inside. That is lower than NXP had originally projected. 

Back in 2008 and 2009, the economic downturn soured revenue, especially for NXP’s consumer electronics and automobiles. And its aging Mifare Classic technology used in hundreds of millions of cheap and plentiful contactless transport cards worldwide suffered well-publicized but inevitable hacks in 2008. Delays in NFC rollouts upended NXP’s rosy sales projections for the technology in 2008 and 2009 in NXP’s identification division. And in January 2010, rivals Infineon Technologies and Inside Contactless announced with the Nos. 2 and 3 card vendors a plan to offer "open-standard" chips for transit cards using an Infineon-developed authentication scheme that would directly compete with Mifare.

But as 2010 closed out, NXP appeared to be in the driver's seat in the NFC market, with the announced coup that Google would be using its NFC chips and NFC protocol software stack in its new Nexus S and latest Android operating system for smartphones. Samsung Electronics, maker of the Nexus S, later announced it would incorporate NFC (using chips from NXP) in its Galaxy S II smartphone. And NXP's chips are used in such other Android phones as the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note.

As for Mifare, key customer Transport for London was sticking with NXP by upgrading to the chip supplier's top-of-the line DESFire technology for its huge transit-ticketing scheme, Oyster. Competitors are seeking to establish a new transit card technology, Cipurse, but as of late 2011, were still gearing up.

NXP abandoned the idea of selling NFC services and transferred its Mifare4Mobile application management unit to card vendor Gemalto in 2009, but held the rights to the intellectual property.
 
In banking cards, NXP’s SmartMX is used for dual-interface chips used on EMV contactless cards in Europe and beyond. The vendor finally introduced a contactless chip for the U.S contactless bank-card market in mid-2009.

Key figures: 
Financial Results
  2011   2010  Change
Revenue  698  589  18.5%
In millions of US$ for Identification division

Employees
Identification unit: 500 (As of May 2009)

Key NFC Personnel: 
Ruediger Stroh, SVP and general manager, identification
Steve Owen, VP, sales and marketing, identification
Henri Ardevol, general manager, secure transactions
Jeff Miles, VP, mobile transactions
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

Inside Secure, STMicroelectronics, Broadcom

Last Updated: 
Jan 2012
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

UK Tram Riders Take to Tapping with NFC phones to Pay for Fares, According to Early Results

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Transport for Greater Manchester, which last month launched open-loop payments on its large Metrolink tram network, said Thursday that contactless credit and debit cards and NFC wallets accounted for a combined 170,000 rides during the first four weeks of the service.

In-Depth: NFC Wallet Use for Open-Loop Transit Grows but Still Makes Up Relatively Small Share of Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – When New York City transit officials announced Tuesday that the 1 millionth ride paid for through their new OMNY open-loop payments service had arrived ahead of schedule, they also proudly noted that 80% of the contactless payments had come from NFC wallets, not physical bank cards. 

PayPay Gets Off to Quick Start as One of Many Digital Payments Services in Cash-Loving Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Japan continues to fight what to date has been a losing battle against cash, an announcement by the joint venture behind QR code-based payments service PayPay offers a little bit of encouragement. 

Research Firm Projects Use of NFC Mobile Wallets in U.S. to Remain Disappointing This Year

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Apple Pay approaches the fifth anniversary of its launch in the U.S., there is more research showing that most American consumers simply don’t see the value of tapping to pay with NFC-based payments services. 

In-Depth: Five Years After Transport for London Launched Contactless Across Its Transit Network, UK Open-Loop Rollout Remains Uneven

Aug 15 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Five years ago next month, Transport for London introduced open-loop contactless payments across its transit network, including metro, trams and commuter rail, following an earlier launch on buses. The service now accounts for more than half of all pay-as-you-go journeys and has become a global showcase for the technology.

Apple Again Promises to Push Transit Ticketing as It Seeks Broader Adoption of Apple Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While noting to financial analysts late Tuesday that Apple Pay is now approaching 1 billion transactions per month globally and is in 47 markets, perhaps Apple CEO Tim Cook’s most significant comments about Apple Pay this week was to again emphasize that Apple wants to enable users to routinely tap to pay for bus, subway and other transit rides with their iPhones and Apple Watches. 

Chinese Mega Wallets Continue to Expand QR Code-based Transit Ticketing, while Major Agencies in West Stay with NFC

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– China’s mega-mobile wallet providers have continued their rollouts of transit payments in China, with Tencent Holdings announcing Tuesday that two years after launching its first QR-code-based WeChat “Ride Code” service in Guangzhou, total users for its transit payments services has reached 100 million.

Sydney Transit Authority Gives Users of Contactless Bank Cards Nearly All Discounts They Get with Closed-Loop Opal Cards

Jul 29 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for New South Wales, Australia, the authority that oversees transit in and around Sydney, has taken a step toward phasing out its closed-loop contactless Opal fare card, today extending nearly all of the discounts it offers on Opal to users of open-loop Visa- Mastercard- and American Express-branded contactless cards.

In-Depth: 2020 Could Mark Landmark Year for Contactless Payments in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight– October will mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of Apple Pay in the U.S., Apple’s first country for its groundbreaking NFC payments service. 

Filings Point to Plans for Global Expansion of Apple Card and Apple Cash

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Following Apple’s imminent entry into the credit card business in the U.S. with its planned Apple Card, the tech giant is showing signs it is looking to roll out the branded credit card in a number of other countries, as well.

Analysis: It's Likely Too Little, Too Late for LG Pay

Jul 25 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – It was the fall of 2015, and interest in the Pays wallets was burgeoning. Google and Samsung had each launched their respective payments services in September of 2015 in the U.S., following introduction of Apple Pay a year earlier.

Apple Pay to Finally Support Octopus Card in Hong Kong, as Competition Grows in Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  Apple Pay will offer support for Hong Kong’s popular closed-loop contactless transit and retail payments card Octopus later this year, adding a much-needed service to an Apple Wallet that launched three years ago in Hong Kong for credit and debit payments at retail.