Qualcomm Inc., through its Qualcomm Atheros Inc. subsidiary, has announced that it will introduce an NFC chip beginning next year. Qualcomm's entry into the NFC chip market is particularly interesting since its Snapdragon S4 processor powers many of the top smartphones from handset manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola.

The new chip, called the QCA1990, is being touted by Qualcomm for its low power consumption and small footprint, as well as its seamless integration with next-generation processors, including Qualcomm's own Snapdragon S4 processor.

While the new chip will have a number of uses, Qualcomm highlighted that it will support mobile payment applications, including both embedded and SIM-based secure elements.

"Qualcomm Atheros believes NFC will be another key element of an enriched experience for smartphone and tablet consumers," said David Favreau, VP of product management for Qualcomm Atheros. "As consumers continue to adopt functions like mobile payments and contactless data exchange, Qualcomm intends to be at the forefront of delivering simple, easy-to-use solutions to OEM partners. By enabling client devices, Qualcomm Atheros is paving the way for rapid adoption of products that incorporate NFC technology."

The QCA1990 is pre-tested to meet the requirements of payment schemes, mobile operators and OEMs globally, Qualcomm said.

For more stories like this, visit the Contactless/NFC research center. 

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