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

Samsung Pay Nears Launch in Taiwan; Android Pay Expected to Follow

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Samsung Pay is expected to launch next month in Taiwan, followed by Android Pay, as the two global “Pays” wallets gear up to compete with Apple Pay on the island nation, NFC Times has learned.

Analysis: Following Delays, PayPal ‘Soon’ to Launch Next Attempt at In-Store Payments using Host Card Emulation

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – PayPal and Google announced a deal that promises to finally bring HCE payments to U.S. PayPal account holders, after delays–enabling users to pay with PayPal through Android Pay.

Vendor Blames Certification Woes for Slow Rollout of Payments Wearables

NFC TIMES Exclusive – A costly and time-consuming payments wearables certification process is a major contributor to delays in payments wearables getting into the hands of more consumers, Israel-based On Track Innovations’ director of marketing and head of innovations Nir Barr told NFC Times.

With Apple’s NFC Technology Locked, Denmark Tries BLE for Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With Apple showing no signs of backing off its policy of restricting use of its NFC technology to Apple Pay only, banks and payments services providers are looking for ways to enable their iPhone-packing customers to pay with their phones in stores, especially in countries where Apple Pay hasn’t yet launched.

Analysis: Fall in NFC SIM Card Shipments Years in the Making

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – SIM card vendor trade group the SIMalliance acknowledged for the first time that NFC SIM shipments are dropping and blamed disappointing take-up by consumers, as well as the tail end of the impact of the closing of the Softcard joint venture in early 2015. The group again declined to release global NFC SIM shipment figures, however.

Exclusive: Group of Major U.S. Banks Presses Visa to Open up Tokenization

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Some of the largest banks in the U.S. have been pressing Visa to allow them to tokenize their Visa-branded cards for mobile payments through a token service provider set up by their trade group, The Clearing House, which is owned by such major U.S. issuers as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Bank of America, NFC Times has learned.

Major French Banks Roll Out HCE as They Warily Await Expansion of ‘Pays’ in France

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – There are markets where the major banks welcome Apple Pay and other “Pays” wallets, such as Taiwan, the most recent country to launch Apple Pay. And then there are countries where banks hold back.

As PayPal and Visa Extend Agreement to Asia-Pacific, PayPal Wallet Users Still Wait for In-Store Payments with NFC

NFC Times Exclusive – Visa and PayPal on Tuesday announced an extension to Asia-Pacific of last year’s agreement to work together on digital payments in the U.S., including opening up Visa tokenization and Visa payWave-enabled terminals to PayPal users for in-store NFC transactions.

Australian Antitrust Regulators: Apple’s Lock on NFC Technology Doesn’t Hurt Competition

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As expected, Australian antitrust regulators shot down a request by four major banks for permission to bargain collectively with Apple to try to gain access to the tech giant’s NFC technology in its iPhones and to jointly boycott participation in Apple Pay during the negotiations.

Apple Pay Launches in Taiwan; Banking Group Announces Local Token Service Provider, Though TSP Not Ready Yet

Apr 3 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – TAIPEI, Taiwan: Apple launched its mobile payments service in Taiwan today, before the end of the month as expected, as the tech giant expands Apple Pay to its 15th market globally.

Taiwan’s Domestic Debit Network to Launch Token Service Provider

Mar 29 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive – A number of Taiwanese banks plan to enable customers to load their debit card credentials into an HCE-enabled mobile wallet app starting this month, following the launch last year by the banks of HCE-enabled credit card payments, NFC Times has learned.

Samsung Launches Support for QR Code-Based Payments in India, as It Seeks to Broaden Merchant Acceptance

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Samsung has expanded its mobile payments service to India, where Samsung Pay will integrate a QR code-based mobile wallet service, along with conventional NFC bank card payments and Samsung’s proprietary mobile mag-stripe payments technology, MST.