Chipmaker Intel has signed a deal that will give it the option to build near-field communication technology into its chips.
The deal gives Intel access to the software, firmware and core hardware technology of US company Inside Secure, as well as letting Intel use Inside’s existing NFC solutions.
NFC technology will allow Intel’s chips to communicate wirelessly with each other, but only at close range. Mobile payments, where a transaction is processed using details stored on a phone and communicated to the point of sale wirelessly, are seen as an immediate application for the technology.
"NFC is gaining traction in many markets as one of the most convenient ways to use consumer electronic devices for payments and retail commerce transactions, for access to facilities and information, and a host of other applications," said Aicha Evans, the general manager of Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group, adding that Intel would be developing connectivity solutions for mainstream consumer products that incorporate NFC features.
Intel is behind in the mobile chipset battle, with ARM designs being the current standard. Aligning its chipmaking process with NFC technology will place Intel in a position to take advantage of new smartphone offerings such as Google Wallet.