Near Field Communications (NFC), even though used in dozens of applications from contactless payment to healthcare, and billions of NFC ICs, readers, and tags are in use globally, studies continue to show that many, even very inexpensive, products that could benefit from it have yet to do so.


The use of NFC in inexpensive products, of which there are thousands, recently got more appealing thanks to a microcontroller within NXP’s LPC800 series introduced last October targeted specifically at entry-level products. The LPC8N04 MCU integrates NFC functionality in a single chip, and it also brings 32-bit performance, lots of I/O, and other features to the broad market for the cost of an 8-bit MCU without NFC.


Based on Arm Cortex-M0+ core, LPC8N04 is a cost-effective MCU which serves as an entry-level connectivity solution for embedded IoT applications with integrated NFC connectivity. The MCU contains multiple features, including several power-down modes and a selectable CPU frequency of up to 8 MHz for ultra-low power consumption. The peripheral complement of the LPC8N04 includes up to 32 KB of flash memory, up to 8 KB of SRAM, 4 KB of EEPROM, one I2C, one SPI/SSP, and up to 12 general purpose I/O pins.


The use of NFC isn’t expensive to begin with and the LPC8N04 MCU makes it even less so. As it provides interfaces required to external functions, almost any type sensor, lights, sounds, assorted programmable functions, an LCD panel, can be enabled to produce differentiating features. The benefits of NFC haven’t yet permeated the design community but without doubt, LPC8N04 MCU could bring inexpensive NFC designs to a broader market.