Single chip for battery-free smart locks

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By Nick Flaherty

Infineon Technologies has developed a 32bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller (MCU) with  integrated H-Bridge, energy harvesting modules and NFC RF for a single chip actuator in battery-free smart locks.

Using the NFC interface, the NAC1080 MCU enables devices to be controlled directly by smartphones, reducing the bill of material and the size of smart locks.

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The NAC1080 supports various operation modes and can be powered either in passive mode by the NFC field with the energy harvested from the mobile phone, or through a battery supply in active mode. The NAC1080 also provides an integrated AES128 accelerator and a true random number generator to enable data encryption/de-encryption in an ultra-low power environment. for secure operation which has been highlighted as a key issue for smart locks.

Besides the passive NFC lock application, NAC1080 can also be used as an emergency backup power supply application. Active lock systems, for example, depend on battery power. If they are discharged, the NFC interface IC for electronic devices can power the door lock. Since the electric power is transmitted via NFC, this use case may take longer than in passive mode.

The global smart lock market size was valued at 1.38 billion USD in 2020. The demand was recorded at 8.9 million units and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4 percent from 2021 to 2028.

In the Greater China region, Infineon is working with IH Tech and FIoT-Open Lab to offer complete smart NFC lock solutions based on NAC1080 combining IC products, application development, IoT device testing, certification and standardization. This collaboration enables the three companies to support local customers to accelerate the system development cycle and foster the ecosystem development together.

Infineon’s NAC1080 MCU is available now.

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