Inside Secure SA (Aix-en-Provence, France) has extended a near field communication (NFC) and intellectual property licensing agreement with Intel in return for $19.2 million in cash.
The deal includes the transfer of Inside Secure's next-generation NFC modem technology to Intel and dropping per-unit royalty terms as part of a strategy whereby Inside Secure focuses on embedded security for mobile and wirelessly connected equipment while seeking to monetize its NFC technology and IP.
Under the terms of the deal Inside Secure abandons a royalty model with Intel and instead grants the company a royalty-free, fully paid-up license, while retaining ownership of the IP. Intel also receives the MicroRead-v5 hardware and software modem, currently under development.
At the same time Intel is taking in the employment of certain Inside Secure employees based in France and California. The agreement is subject to consultation with Inside Secure's works council and other customary conditions. However, Inside Secure plans to continue to develop the NFC booster front-end, known as PicoPulse.
NFC is a short-range communications channel that operates at 13.56-MHz at data rates up to about 500-kbit/s. It can support passive tags with preset information that can be powered up by the NFC reader. It has been expected to be used to enable wireless non-contact financial payments by smartphone, although this market has been slow to develop. The range of applications for NFC include: access control, transportation, healthcare, information collection and exchange, loyalty coupons and payments.
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