The NCI specification defines a standard interface within an NFC device between an NFC controller and the device’s main application processor. The NCI makes it easier for device manufacturers to integrate chipsets from different chip manufacturers, and it defines a common level of functionality and interoperability among the components within an NFC-enabled device. With the availability of the NCI, manufacturers have access to a standard interface they can use for whatever kind of NFC-enabled device they build – including mobile phones, PCs, tablets, printers, consumer electronics, and appliances. This will enable manufacturers to bring new NFC-enabled devices to market faster. The NCI provides users a logical interface that can be used with different physical transports, such as UART, SPI, and I2C.
NCI Version 2.0 introduces the concept of RF Interface Extensions to optimize for developers the data exchange for P2P and memory tag communications. The Listen Mode Routing mechanism has been extended to provide more flexibility for NFC devices with multiple secure elements. The new version also includes the option for NFC controllers to emulate NFC Forum tags autonomously, as well as a high-level RF interface to communicate with NFC Forum tags. NCI 2.0 supports Active Communication Mode (ACM) for P2P communication and Type V technology, allowing NFC devices to communicate with a broader range of devices and tags.
Version 2.1 of the NCI technical specification defines a standard interface within an NFC device between an NFC Controller and the device’s main application processor. This recent update to version 2.1 includes optimizations to improve performance.