Atmel Introduces AVR Microcontroller-Based 13.56 MHz Contactless RFID Reader

AT90RF135602 reader is especially suited for small, battery-powered handheld devices

NANTES, France -- Atmel Corporation, a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced today the world's smallest and lowest-cost 13.56 MHz RFID single chip reader.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) readers allow devices to wirelessly interrogate and write to tags and Smart Cards. This technology is now being used in applications such as consumer, healthcare, transportation and logistics products.

Smaller than a US dime, the AT90RF135602 is ideal for portable devices. Combined with its low power consumption and intelligent power management, the AT90RF135602 is especially suited for small, battery-powered handheld devices. It integrates, in a single BGA package, an RF block developed by a leading RFID design company and an Atmel AVR(R) high performance RISC microcontroller. The AT90RF135602 is a ready-to-use solution and is easily integrated due to its proprietary embedded software. No additional software development is necessary.

The device reads and writes to industry-standard 13.56 MHz RFID tags and smart labels. Consuming very little power and optimised for a 2.8V battery operation, it is compliant to ISO/IEC 14443-A parts 2 & 3. It also supports initiation protocol of the forthcoming NFC standard. It can be used to read Philips Semiconductor Gratkorn's MIFARE(R) Ultralight tags, as well as Innovision R&T's Jewel(TM) RFID tag which are ITSO compatible and used in mass transit ticketing applications.

Manish Vadher, Atmel's marketing director said, "After our success in contact Smart Card Reader IC's, Atmel is now entering the 13.56 MHz reader market. The AT90RF135602 is a highly cost-effective solution and is our first step into contactless smart card readers. The AT90RF135602 reader's small size, low cost is backwards compatible for the emerging Near Field Communications (NFC) standards and will open possibilities for RFID applications in completely new areas, such as healthcare and consumer goods."

Available at $250, the contactless reader reference design development kit AT90RFD-09 allows the user to easily read and write data to either Innovision Jewel or Philips MIFARE Ultralight tag types. It can be used to evaluate the performance as well as to demonstrate RFID operation.

AT90RF135602 is available now in an LBGA 36-pin package in industrial temperature range. Samples are available now with volume production in Q3 2005. Pricing for 10,000-units is $3.00 per unit.