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NFC Tag Types

The NFC Forum has agreed on the following four tag types.

  • Type 1:Type 1 Tag is based on ISO/IEC 14443A. This tag type is read and re-write capable. The memory of the tags can be write protected. Memory size can be between 96 bytes and 2 Kbytes. Communication Speed with the tag is 106 kbit/sec. Example: Innovision Topaz
  • Type 2: Type 2 Tag is based on ISO/IEC 14443A. This tag type is read and re-write capable. The memory of the tags can be write protected. Memory size can be between 48 bytes and 2 Kbytes. Communication Speed with the tag is 106 kbit/sec. Example: NXP Mifare Ultralight, NXP Mifare Ultralight
  • Type 3:Type 3 Tag is based on the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 6319-4. This tag type is pre-configured at manufacture to be either read and re-writable, or read-only. Memory size can be up to 1 Mbyte. Communication Speed with the tag is 212 kbit/sec. Example: Sony Felica
  • Type 4:Type 4 is fully compatible with the ISO/IEC 14443 (A \& B) standard series. This tag type is pre-configured at manufacture to be either read and re-writable, or read-only. Memory size can be up to 32 KBytes; For the communication with tags APDUs according to ISO 7816-4 can be used. Communication speed with the tag is 106 kbit/sec. Example: NXP DESfire, NXP SmartMX with JCOP.)

Mifare Classic is not an NFC forum compliant tag, although reading and writing of the tag is supported by most of the NFC devices as they ship with an NXP chip. The specifications for the tag types are available for free from the NFC-Forum website.

NFC data exchange format (NDEF)

The NFC forum has defined a structure for writing data to tags or exchanging it between two NFC devices. The format is called NDEF. A so called NDEF record can contain multiple different RTD. A RTD is an information set for a single application, as an RTD may only contain an isolated information such as text, a URI, a business card or pairing information for other technologies. The different RTD specifications are available from the NFC Forum website.

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