STMicroelectronics N: 2 new NFC/RFID calculators eDesign Suite to allow communities to work on tags and readers

ST has released two new NFC/RFID calculators in eDesign Suite. the UHF link budget helps designers understand the range they can get from their RFID reader. the NFC tuning circuit allows engineers to optimize their NFC reader design around the ST25R3911B or ST253916. Both make building and optimizing contactless apps accessible by empowering businesses, students, enthusiasts, and more. Both web apps also benefit from a simple interface. Users enter parameters, run simulations, get schematics, and predict performance. Many teams use spreadsheets with the most common formulas to help them design their RF circuit. NFC/RFID calculators look like these Excel documents, but in an open format and with advanced features.


What is eDesign Suite and NFC/RFID calculators?

eDesign Suite tools reduce friction and make circuit design more intuitive. Some solutions facilitate power supply design, while others offer thermoelectric simulations or signal conditioning design tools. Users enter key parameters and get schematics or other design recommendations. Many utilities help teams find the right devices and define BOMs. Some of them also offer graphs or a console to simulate conditions or behaviors. ST recently revamped the web utility to make it more responsive and intuitive. We’ve also added export functionality to PSpice to integrate eDesign Suite into more workflows.


What is the NFC Inductance Calculator?

[Link]NFC Inductor Calculator

Since the early days of eDesign Suite, one of its most powerful utilities was the NFC Inductor Calculator. The form makes it possible to design antennas for readers and beacons even if users do not rely on ST devices. Indeed, one of the fundamental principles of NFC/RFID calculators is the desire to help the community as a whole. Whether to help researchers1, 2 or engineers working on any device, the NFC Inductor Calculator helps create contactless solutions faster and more efficiently. In a nutshell, users enter the antenna geometry values ​​and the tool calculates the expected inductance, which is the key parameter for calculating the resonant frequency of the antenna. It also issues a warning if the antenna settings may cause errors.


What is NFC tuning circuit

The NFC tuning circuit

Originally, NFC Tuning Circuit was an executable downloaded from our website. However, to make it more accessible, ST turned it into a web application and added it to NFC/RFID calculators. Users choose between the ST25R39xx that matches their device and a configuration type, such as single-ended or differential, and the tool spits out the corresponding matching network. The schematics include the necessary capacitors and resistors. Users can also fine-tune performance, and the console offers performance data. Therefore, NFC Tuning Circuit answers many questions engineers have before testing their product in the field. Additionally, developers can also work backwards by setting their target impedance and seeing what they need.


What is the UHF link budget?

The UHF link budget

UHF Link Budget is one of the new UHF RFID calculators. It helps developers to determine the distance between the beacon and the reader. The measurement depends on many variables, from antenna characteristics to tag type, among other specifications. Additionally, developers can enter the range they want to achieve and the wizard calculates the hardware requirements. For example, engineers who need a reliable range of around three meters will enter six meters into the application to allow some headroom and determine if their prototype matches the UHF link budget results. The default carrier value is 915 MHz to reflect regulatory requirements in North America. However, developers can change it to the frequency corresponding to their region.


And after?

ST will continue to update these calculators and create more tutorials to help engineers take advantage of them. The goal is to enable the community to design more accurate systems faster, reduce friction and shorten time to market. The NFC tuning circuit is also expected to support additional ST25 reader devices in the future.

  1. Awate, Rehan & Rathod, Ravi. (2017). Near field communication using M24LR16. ↩

  2. Peres C, Emam M, Jafarzadeh H, Belcastro M, O’Flynn B. Development of an NFC-enabled low-power underwater sensor for algae monitoring. Sensors. 2021; 21(14):4649. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144649↩


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