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Home > Other > ST25R3911B - DISCO One-Stop Solution

ST25R3911B - DISCO One-Stop Solution

Update Time: 2022-05-18 15:46:20

The ST25R3911B-DISCO is the first NFC and HF RFID development board on the market that can switch from low bit rate to high bit-rate operation and vice versa using a single chip. Combining the STM32L476RE microcontroller (MCU) and the ST25R3911B NFC / HF RFID reader, it is a one-stop solution that can quickly scale from a simple tag reader to a high bandwidth set for sensitive information such as passports. So, after releasing the most versatile NFC SIP, ST continues to leverage its extensive experience and breadth of near-field wireless devices with the most flexible development tools available.


ST25R3911B-DISCO: A Powerful MCU

The STM32L476RE MCU runs at 80 MHz, and its architecture integrates a dedicated single-precision (FP32) floating-point unit to optimize specific calculations. Large amounts of data without calling additional libraries are slower than the hardware implementation.


The chip also includes a complete set of DSP instructions and a memory protection unit (MPU) to enhance the handling of secure operations. Because the system must be protected against attacks that attempt to copy data, eavesdrop or disrupt communications, ST MCUs ensure that standards can be met with minimal impact on overall performance. For example, ISO 18092 (NFCIP-1) devices must handle the key exchange and encrypt data using the AES 128-bit method to ensure the integrity of the information and prevent hackers from accessing it. For example, since the ST25R3911B-DISCO can be used as the starting point for a passport reader, it is critical to protect user data.


ST25R3911B-DISCO: A Practical Transceiver

The ST25R3911B NFC/RFID reader integrated with the Discovery Board is the only product today that can switch from low to high bandwidth and vice versa without an external IC. By default, the board offers a high bit rate of 3.4 Mbps to accommodate most applications. However, a certain amount of resistance can be switched to NFC Forum Match mode, which increases the range by 10% while reducing the bit rate to 848 kbps. It helps engineers replicate the performance of their final design as faithfully as possible to better prototype and test various use cases.

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Configuring the antenna on the ST25R3911B-DISCO board

The transceiver also supports differential outputs of up to 1.4 W, greatly extending the range of the reader without the need for an external amplifier. In addition, its automatic antenna tuning system enables engineers to adjust phase and amplitude to ensure that this chip will be optimized for their products. They can even continue these optimizations to accommodate last-minute design modifications during the manufacturing process. So not only can the board's components be easily ported to the final design, their flexibility, and technical specifications ensure simpler circuits and a more cost-effective bill of materials.


The Discovery Board's flexibility is also reflected in the options it offers engineers regarding handling incoming communications. Its low-power capacitive sensor means that a change in capacitance wakes up the system when the tag approaches the reader. The wide-ranging solution works with all card types, but the sensing module requires power. With ST's components, the system requires less than 5 µA in sleep mode, which is one of the most economical solutions. This makes the system ideal for payment terminals or readers with batteries.


The ST25R3911B-DISCO board also includes a sense wakeup function. Using a 13.56 MHz electromagnetic field, a tiny object can begin to resonate with the receiver's coils to generate power and turn the system on. This mechanism is much like the STWBC-WA's wireless charging solution. It does not require any external power source but typically requires a tag to contact the reader, such as a hotel key card or company badge.


Hardware and Software

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Selecting and setting the wakeup procedure for the ST25R3911B-DISCO board


ST has dramatically simplified the setup and configuration of the ST25R3911B-DISCO by providing the STSW-ST25R001 software, which provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for Windows. It allows the above-mentioned automatic antenna tuning system to be adjusted and one of the many standards supported to be implemented quickly. It is provided free of charge, and ST provides further documentation to guide the user through the firmware upgrade process and the many settings available.


Teams interested in building a complete solution will also want to turn to the ST25DV-DISCOVERY, a development board with NFC and HF RFID daughter boards that can be used as cards, and the ST25DV is compatible with both protocols.


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