1. Brief Introduction to TRF7970A NFC BoosterPack

This is the DLP Designed NFC/RFID BoosterPack (DLP-7970ABP) .This BoosterPack allows developer to get familiar with the functionalities of TRF7970A Multi-Protocol Fully Integrated 13.56 MHz NFC/ HF RFID IC  without having to worry about developing the RF section. In fact, RF part is always challenges to engineers, even for hardware engineers.

This design pack supplies DLP-7970ABP Board and one Type 2 NFC Tag.

NFC link shall be used for test and debug this board.

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2. TRF7970A

Key component in this board is TI-TRF7970A.

The TRF7970A device is an integrated analog front end (AFE) and multiprotocol data-framing device for a 13.56-MHz NFC/RFID system supporting all three NFC operation modes – reader/writer, peer-to-peer, and card emulation according to ISO/IEC 14443 A and B, Sony FeliCa, ISO/IEC 15693, NFCIP-1 (ISO/IEC 18092), and NFCIP-2 (ISO/IEC 21481). Built-in programming options make the device suitable for a wide range of applications for NFC, proximity, and vicinity identification systems.

The TRF7970A device supports data rates up to 848 kbps with all framing and synchronization tasks for the ISO protocols onboard. The TRF7970A device also supports reader and writer mode for NFC Forum tag types 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Other standards and even custom protocols can be implemented by using one of the direct modes the device offers. These direct modes let the user fully control the AFE and also gain access to the raw subcarrier data or the unframed, but already ISO-formatted, data and the associated (extracted) clock signal.

A SPI or parallel interface can be used for the communication between the MCU and the TRF7970A device. When the built-in hardware encoders and decoders are used, transmit and receive functions use a 127-byte FIFO register.

This following diagram shows the function block within the chip.

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3. NFC protocol

NFC protocolshall be referred to for further understanding if you really want to use this pack, For Type 2 Tag  in this pack (ISO/IEC 14443A based). Tags are read and re-write capable; users can configure the tag to become read-only. Memory availability is 48 bytes and expandable to 2 kbyte.

 

4. Testing the TRF7970A NFC BoosterPack

4.1 Hardware and demo project

The NFC BoosterPack shall be plugged into the MSP432F401R pack. The pin number is silk-printed in the PCB, it is easy to plug in right position.

There are several demo projects in TI website. I have tested MSP430G2553 boostpack, and tried to migrate to MSP432. But it appears not to be one easy task, even it is compatible with pins but 16-bit MSP430 structure and 32-bit MSP432 structure are obviously different. But it will work if you really want to.

 

4.2 First, use CCS v7 to build and flash the binary file into the MSP432401R.

 

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4.3 Then, start the NFC tools GUI

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In the configuration page, choose right parameters and test different functions

4.4 Try the Read/Write function for Type 2 tag, one tag per time, shown in the following video. It is clear that, the board find the tag with blue LED indicator, but the R/W pages freeze without any further response.

 

 

 

5. Summary

It proves to be a good platform for NFC related project development,as well as another fact, that you need more knowledge and experience to fully utilize this convenient tool.

Even in my plan, NFC boost pack is not going to be used.  I am glad to have chance to test it and dig more out of it.