NXP, Inside Secure, and STMicroelectronics were judged to be the top rated vendors of NFC ICs in ABI Research’s Competitive Assessment. Companies were scored for eight key criteria under the categories of Implementation and Innovation across both NFC modems/controllers and secure elements. NXP ranked in first position overall and topped the Implementation category. It was the most successful vendor in 2012 and scored multiple design wins with a broad cross-section of OEMs and product categories. NXP was also one of three equal scoring companies coming in joint second for Innovation because of its work highlighting new use cases for NFC across its broad portfolio.
Inside Secure ranked second for Innovation and third for Implementation because it was the first vendor to announce a major OEM contract (with RIM using a SE from Infineon), its input into new standards, and its efforts to develop NFC in new device categories. It continues to develop new form-factors, features and is working with partners to better embed NFC technology into new devices.
STMicroelectronics found some traction in the eSE space and was the leading SWP SIM card IC vendor. This combined with its growing success in new device wins contributed to it achieving the second highest Implementation score. Other notable findings include:
- Broadcom topped the Innovation category with its strong feature set, market positioning, breadth of applications, and targeted and innovative approach, which has resulted in recent CLF design wins in smartphones and tablets.
- Sony’s knowledge of contactless with FeliCa has been one of the most active companies in showcasing NFC’s capabilities across a range of products and devices. As a direct result of this Sony has strong partner relationships and technical knowledge.
- Infineon achieved third position within the Implementation criteria. It does not offer a CLF but it has utilized its strengths in security to develop new standards and features to enable the NFC market take off.
Practice director John Devlin comments: “With the NFC market in the early stages of accelerating growth it is important to balance commercial success to date with technical innovation, design features, strategic positioning, and demonstration of new use cases. It is these factors that will have the largest impact on long-term success.”
These findings are part of ABI Research’s NFC Research Service.
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