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Electronics Production | November 07, 2006

Atmel and Melexis in collaboration

Atmel and Melexis announced today their collaboration to propose innovative solutions for 13.56 MHz RFID readers and Near Field Communication (NFC) devices. They will target applications such as passport and ID verification, contactless payment, transaction and peer-to-peer information exchange.
Atmel and Melexis are demonstrating at Cartes in Paris (Atmel booth 4J013 Hall 4), a passport reader and a NFC application based on a two-chip solution. The demos feature the powerful Atmel AT90USB AVR^® microcontroller and the Melexis MLX90131 RFID/NFC transceiver.

The Atmel AT90USB is an AVR RISC microcontroller featuring 16 MIPS at 16 MHz, full-speed USB, 64 KB of Flash and low power consumption. Thanks to its CPU power and its large on-board Flash memory, it is well suited for contactless applications.

The new MLX90131 is the next generation of Melexis' popular MLX90121 13.56 MHz RFID transceiver IC. Both handle ASK, FSK and PSK sub carrier demodulation. Their analog front-end circuitry may be used independently when in direct mode. The MLX90121 conforms to ISO/IEC14443A/B and SO/IEC15693 standards and provides support for non-ISO/IEC-compliant applications. The MLX90131 will add high data rates (848 kBaud) and ISO/IEC 18092 (NFC) compliance.

The AT90USB64 is available in volume production while the MLX90131 is currently in final design validation phase. A demonstration kit and a development platform based on the two devices will be available in April 2007.

According to Arnaud Ruchon, Product Marketing Manager for Atmel, "this partnership with Melexis will allow us to propose advanced contactless solutions to our customers for the fast growing RFID reader and NFC market. It will offer customers an attractive alternative to current market solution. Thanks to their long RF experience and their proven design capability on contactless reader interfaces, Melexis is a reliable partner and is one of the most advanced companies in this area".

"The choice of Atmel as a partner was natural" said Gilles Cérède, Product Marketing Manager at Melexis. Since the beginning of its RFID reader IC activity, Melexis has been using Atmel AVR microcontrollers in its demos and development kits. "We chose the AVR microcontroller for its high performance, combined with the low power consumption. This is the ideal candidate for designing a RFID reader device. Customers will gain benefits from Atmel and Melexis' expertise in microcontroller and RFID".

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