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NXP Unlocks the Potential of Multifunction Car Keys

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Press release

Launches market-ready NFC-enabled ‘smart' car key

Eindhoven, Netherlands and Hamburg, Germany, June 22, 2011 - Pioneering the market for ‘smart' car keys, NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced the availability of its production-ready single-chip solution for multifunction car keys - the NCF2970 (KEyLink Lite).    Enhancing the functionality of car keys by supporting the Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, NXP's KEyLink Lite enables car manufacturers to offer a new driving experience with keys that connect to external NFC-compliant devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

The launch of KEyLink Lite is timed to take advantage of the growing popularity and availability of NFC. Drivers will be able to simply wave their car key over an NFC-compliant mobile device to access essential and useful car data. Based on NFC standards, and utilizing the 13.56MHz frequency and cryptography such as Hitag-3 or AES-128, KEyLink Lite provides secure storage and enables communication of sensitive data.  KEyLink Lite uniquely combines NFC capabilities and NXP's industry-leading Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) and Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) technologies. This allows NFC-compliant mobile devices to edit and view data stored on a car key and opens many new use cases.

New ‘Smart' Key Applications:

KEyLink Lite can be deployed in five new driver-friendly applications:

  • Car Finder - The car key records the GPS coordinates of your car's last parking position, which can later be read by an NFC-compliant mobile phone, which then uses a service such as Google Maps to download a vicinity map and help you locate the car.
  • Route Planner - You can enter your destination while sitting comfortably in front of a PC at home and transfer the data into the car key via NFC.  Once you are inside the car, your destination will be automatically uploaded to the in-car navigation system:  No more stressful finger-tapping on the car navigator screen.
  • Car Status and Service Data Management - Before stepping out from your home or office, you can find out how much fuel remains in your car for your next journey - by simply waving your car key over your NFC- compliant mobile phone.  And, you no longer need to carry your car service history on paper; the important data is saved on your KEyLink Lite-powered ‘smart' car key.
  • Car Self Diagnosis - Transfer diagnosis data from your car to a PC via the car key, then upload it to a service website and run a diagnostic analysis in seconds.
  • Car Personalization - Car manufacturers pre-fit cars with upgraded services, which can later be unlocked in the field.  Obtain permissions from your car manufacturer -for example, by making an online request at home - and store the permission for the new features onto the car key. All new features will be automatically activated the next time you enter the car.


Technical Features:

  • Connectivity to NFC devices and ISO/IEC 14443 readers. NXP has integrated the ISO/IEC 14443 Type A interface into the automotive IC NCF2970. In addition to immobilizer and Passive Keyless Entry/Go functions, this device allows contactless data exchange with NFC-compliant devices via a standardized 13.56 MHz wireless link.
  • Keyless entry interface. The NXP KEyLink Lite solution includes a low-frequency (125 kHz) front-end for the immobilizer and Passive Keyless Entry/Go systems, and works with an external UHF transmitter (315 to 928 MHz) for both Remote Keyless Entry and Passive Keyless Entry/Go systems. 
  • Power consumption and memory.The KEyLink Lite chip features a low-power high-speed RISC core with up to 32-kB user EROM for customer applications, 6-kB EEPROM for application specific user data, operating at a wide supply voltage range from 2.0 to 3.6 V.

Supporting Quote:

  • Drue Freeman, vice president, global sales and marketing, Automotive business unit, NXP Semiconductors, said:  "The car key experience will never be the same again.  Drivers will have a whole new connected car experience with a variety of services for comfort, convenience and maintenance, available at the swipe of the ‘smart' key. By bringing together our industry-leading technology for car access and immobilization with our expertise in NFC, NXP's KEyLink Lite will open a lot more doors to the world of connected mobility."



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Exactly what features are they going to unlock? The only things can think of are engine tunings, sat nav and a radio. Its not like they can prefit alloy wheels or a body kit for remote unlocking later or perhaps you will need an upgrade to tune left as well as right!