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Choosing an NFC Chip Type

One of the first steps in an NFC project is to choose which NFC chip type will be used in the NFC tags. There are several different NFC chip types available; each with its own features, performance, cost and availability.


  • Use an NFC chip that has just enough user memory capacity to store the data that will be encoded. No need to purchase a chip type that has extra memory as it will be more expensive.
  • Encode as little data as possible to increase read and write performance. The less data to be transferred, the faster the interaction will occur with the least likelihood of a broken connection.
  • Use a modern NFC chip that is readily available; they are better tuned for the antennas in NFC enabled devices.
  • Choose an NFC Forum compliant chip to ensure it will work on all NFC enabled devices.
  • Most NFC projects will want an NDEF formatted chip; especially since iOS can only read NDEF formatted NFC tags.
  • Some NFC chips have additional features; these are not used by the vast majority of deployments and are not supported on all systems.
  • Not all NFC tags (stickers, wristbands, cards…) are available with all NFC chips; another reason to use a modern and available NFC chip type.


Most projects use the NTAG series, specifically the NTAG213 or the NTAG210 Micro if available.

Updated on September 5, 2017

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