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Choosing your NFC IC

Different IC chips are available such as- Ultralight, Ultralight C, Standard (Classic) 1K, Desfire 4k and the new NTAG203 chips. The table below will offer an indication of what IC is best for your requirements.

Please contact us if you require more information.

 

NFC Ultralight Ultralight C Standard 1K NTAG203
Memory Size (1) 64 bytes 192 bytes 1024 bytes 168 bytes
User Memory (2) 46 bytes 137 bytes 716 bytes 137 bytes
URL Length (3) 41 chars 132 chars 256 chars 132 chars
Text Length (4) 39 chars 130 chars 709 chars 130 chars
Mobile Comp. (5) Yes Yes No Yes
Best Use Cost effective, short URL, smart poster and general NFC use. For applications required encryption tech only. Not recommended for general NFC use. Latest chip, best performance. Great for everything from marketing to task launcher apps.
NFC Forum T2 (6) Yes Yes No Yes
Serial Number (7) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scan Strength (8) 7 4 6 9

1 – Memory Size : the full capacity / memory on the chip. Segments of the full capacity is for one time programming (OTP), some will be for locking features however the majority will be for read/write.
2 – User Memory : This is the available capacity for encoding the data.
3 – URL Length : The length of URL you can store on the chip, excluding the http:// or http://www parts
4 – Text Length : The maximum length of plain text that can be store on the chip.
5 – Mobile Compatibility : With the use of Android Apps to self-encode NFC tags, locking features will not function correctly with the 1k. As the Mifare 1k tags follow a proprietary format, they are incompatible with BlackBerry devices, which read only approved open standard tags defined by the NFC Forum.
6 – NFC Forum Type 2 : Fully functional /compatible with NFC Forum Type 2 spec.
7 – Serial Number : The IC cChip contains a unique serial number for identification purposes. A specific  App would be required to access this information.
8 – Scan Strength : This is an average indication of the relative scanning distances of the chip.

 

What is ‘Usable Memory’?

Data in NFC tags is often measured in units called bytes and very roughly measured, one byte is equivalent to approximately one character of text.

The chip in NFC Tags contains an amount of non-volatile memory which is used to store the encoded data..

It is important to know that when encoding data to an NFC tag there will be extra bytes of unseen information that is there to tell your Smartphone what to do. This means that there is a difference between actual memory and usable memory.

  1. There is ‘hard coded’ data on the NFC chips during manufacture such as the unique ID number.
  2. Many  NFC Tags, such as the NTAG203, have additional memory bytes allocated to identify how to manage parts of the memory space.
  3. A few bytes are allocated to ‘wrap’ around the encoded data determining what your data actually is – such as URL web address, V-Card, App launch, Text creation.

 

NFC Memory / Bytes

A is a unit of digital information in computing that most commonly consists of eight bits. Historically, the byte was the number of bits used to encode a single character of text in computer language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte

Sadly, apart from text and URL’s it’s not easy to work out the bytes in the sense that ten more characters equals ten more bytes.

That said, the table will offer a guideline as to content options and memory capacity utilised.

 

NFC Chip Available Memory
Ultralight 46 Bytes
Ultralight C 137 Bytes
NTAG203 137 Bytes
1K (Mifare Classic) 716 Bytes
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